The Queer Art of Leidy Churchman
February 4, 2010
Works of art, like people and Transformers, are more than meets the eye. To me, art is also the resources available to the artist, the medium, the message, the feel, what’s inside or behind or underneath the image. To me, art is also the thoughts that start running through my head when I experience the artwork; it’s my gut reaction AND the reaction that lingers and the questions that arise.
These sculptures of Leidy Churchman are so interesting to me because they blur the line between art and craft; art becomes less prestigious and craft less lowly. I love how he takes time to create individually-made, commonplace items that are usually mass-produced. His sculptures blur the line between practical and aesthetic. And, because they’re such cute, queer little things, I would love a bowl-full of the berries painted on rocks on my breakfast table! (By the way, my 9-year-old and I are both equally impressed with his rock painting because we have tried it, and it’s not as easy as it looks).
As his name might hint, he is a transgender artist who says of himself:
I make transgender pictures. My painting is informed by transitions, the humor of uncertainty, and relationships of supposed opposites.
I see people and their environments morphing into transsexual, not as a definitive destination but a space of complexity and amusement. As a transgender artist, I imagine “trans” as suggestive and paradoxical, where gender is always contradictory and in a state of flux.
Also, here’s a video that Leidy did for the really rad band MEN (MEN is a band and art/performance collective that speaks to issues such as trans awareness, wartime economies, sexual compromise, and demanding liberties through lyrical content and an exciting stage show).
Here’s to queer art and those who queer it! Cheers!