T(een/eeth/estosterone), 2018. Oil on canvas. 48" x 48".
On view in Send Help at Mohr Student Gallery, Stanford, CA in 2018.
Published in Kunstkammer: Princeton University Undergraduate Journal of Art, issue 2.
This piece draws on the lushly layered digital compositions of Kei Imazu, and the macabre application of paint of Jenny Saville.
I invite the viewer into the liminal space between care and violence, and problematise mainstream representations of gender dysphoria. I embed my own body in mythical, dreamlike settings, along with unsettling objects like knives and teeth, to meditate on the uneasy peace of occupying a trans body.
The teeth motif functions as a symbol for my inner self. Teeth are a part of the skeleton, which is usually hidden beneath our skin and bone and muscle. To expose my teeth is to expose the structure that keeps my body together. That something as private and hidden as teeth can be studied, codified, and removed from its bodily context, speaks to my experience as a trans person. Through the cisgender gaze on both this painting and my body, I feel as if my body has been alienated from myself.