Morphs 1 - 10, 2021
acrylic, toner and 22k gold leaf on canvas board
8 x 10 inches each
In mid-February of 2020, I began taking testosterone to treat diagnosed gender dysphoria. Shortly after beginning hormone replacement therapy, the COVID-19 pandemic forced me and much of my community to distance ourselves from each other, and my support network changed dramatically. It was much harder to have the kind of in-person connection with other transgender people I had expected to rely on as I began to see changes both internally and externally. Morphs 1 - 10 are a response to these changes, which I have had to process mostly independently. Taking photos of my body and layering them as I see changes allows me to process the little things (peach fuzz, subtle body fat redistribution, greasier skin) and the big things (an inability to cry, passing versus not passing, male privilege). By positioning the strange-yet-familiar new forms against textures in flux (rusting metal, footprints in mud, sand on the beach), I am able to find reflection in the world around me and grace within myself rather than relying on the affirmation of others. The photo transfer process used to put these photographs onto canvas is imperfect, and inevitably leaves gaps and holes in the image. To me, this reflects the imperfect nature of being. In these gaps, I apply gold leaf: even in the imperfections of self, in the hard places, there is beauty and value.
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