It’s been said that art should sometimes confuse people a little to help them to see things in a way they’re not used to. Probably, one of the things that stir up the most discomfort and disorientation is the subject of human sexuality. As consciousness shifts and attitudes evolve, the question of what is male or female, non-binary, gender fluid or gender neutral or even transgendered is being examined with more profundity and opened mindedness, as something that can no longer be ignored.
According to a British study back in 2015 (YouGov U.K.), 49% among 18-24 year olds consider themselves something other than heterosexual. This ambiguous realm of not quite this and not quite that struck me as something of a beautiful mystery that needed artistic exploration as an alternative to all the things people say and write.
I began painting subjects that I hoped would draw viewers into a sort of trance, a fashion show, if you will, that would express what words cannot and the mind may not be able to fathom, each narrow, vertical, elongated painting, essentially a runway model gazing at their audience, overflowing with secrets and/or confessions.
The reality is, those that are somewhere outside the binary model of gender and societal norms suffer from dysphoria, hating themselves and their bodies, at least this was what I learned when trying to obtain permission from a model to use her Instagram account as reference photographs. Having suffered from depression, I find it particularly alarming that 41% of transgendered people had attempted suicide according to one study.
With the encouragement of Art Frenzie Gallery in Wilton Manors, Florida, I created the Androgynous Project with the help of American androgynous model, Loring MaCall, American cosplay model, Rune De LaVince, American actor, model, writer, Alita LaShae and Malaysian androgynous model, Joash Kong. I sought to capture their beauty and look past all the obvious questions, such as what pronouns to use. More importantly, there seems to be some cosmic mystery at work, the interplay of yin and yang within the soul and the achievement of balance between polar opposites. And such are heavenly mysteries, the things that completely baffle us. And so another artist chooses to respond to a peerless muse.