(updated spring 2021)
Identity is inescapable for me. Grappling with it is not an option for most marginalized people, and with the voice of the Good Word and capitalistic tendencies breathing down my back, I have to reckon with how my upbringing has intersected with how I perform my various identities. The awkward positioning of being a worker, biracial, queer, and Protestant has lead me to be hyper aware of my role in society, especially in terms of how I am perceived by others and how I view myself.
I use my image to perform the roles I want to speak about, and moreover, how those roles are positioned in a Christianity-centric, bigoted, and capitalistic society. I also utilize both the language of comics and their flatness, as well as and the naturalistic imitation of life that can be provided by oil paintings. There is showmanship in both Capitalism and Catholicism, and the extent to which the opulence performed is beautifully tacky. Having this beauty in mind, I capitalize on the tawdry style that comes from both neo-pop art and Catholic displays in order to create spectacle. With bright colors, large canvases, and focus on aesthetics comes a range of audience. I always say my audience is my mother – I consider her a stand in for the intersection of people who want to learn and those who already relate. With this, I create my work to be irreverent, accessible, and relatable, especially for those grappling with their identity as I am.