Xavier Schipani

Region: West

My work explores male identity in response to toxic masculinity. By sharing their experience, transgender males act as stewards of observation. I shift the focus from dangerous stereotypes of “what makes a man” to “what makes a trans man,” thus creating the observable history of a new identity.

I like to think that we are all transitioning as we chase our desire, and that strict definitions impede our progress. Pleasure and sexuality are important themes in my work, which often includes positive imagery of bodies in turmoil. The large scale references the “monumental” loss we have experienced by not representing queer identities historically. It constructs safe spaces for people to see and be seen by their “transcestors,” those who came before us. I hope to create dialogues with the viewer that are helpful not only in offering visibility for trans bodies but in advocating for society’s celebration of them.