TRANSCEND (2018)

“The more we are willing to become authentic rather than conventional, and the more unique, unconventional, or creative a being we are… the more we need to eschew conditioning for aliveness.” ~Brené Brown

 

Transgender is not just about one experience, not linear and not simple. Each transgender person is unique with incredibly diverse experiences yet we are united in a common struggle. 

Portraits in this series are of individuals all over the world who are living their lives out in the open, and choosing integrity over safety. To live openly as transgender requires personal courage to live authentically in oppressive environments.

The artist deliberately uses no natural skin tones, instead drawing upon vibrant rainbow colors deliberately chosen to take pride in our intersectional identities uniting us in celebration. 

The artist paints all clothing in gray-scale using simple black paint on white canvas. Choosing gray-scale (especially in the cases of many fashion trailblazers) helps to not distract from the vibrant living breathing souls represented while carefully respecting their style.

Many paintings meet the eye in a grounded but fierce stare, claiming space, with untouchable strength and power.

In others, joy is depicted yet directed inward. The figures are not smiling at the viewer, but instead the viewer is invited to witness an intimate moment of tenderness.

This series is a direct response to the oppression experienced by transgender people as they reclaim space, both literally in larger than life portraits and figuratively under a vast blue sky.

May joy, power, and blue skies be a reality for transgender and gender non-conforming community everywhere.