Region: MFA Annual
Growing up queer and brown in the borderlands of South Texas, I have always felt a desire to represent unconventional ideas of sexuality and gender performance through visual art. Living in Chicago as a queer man navigating heteronormative spaces, I have learned to utilize my queerness as both an arming and disarming mechanism. Whether it means ensuring my safety on a walk home or evading police harassment as a brown man, I use my gaze as a tool for informing myself of danger and safety in my surroundings. My work deals with the push and pull of the gaze through means of desire and menace. Bodies painted in oil on canvas present themselves to the viewer as enticing and seductive but are often armed or in a ravaging stance. My objective is to further deconstruct tools of desire and seduction through decoding body language and the viewer’s relationship to circulated images, antiquity, and canonized painting tropes in history.