The Queer Altarpiece
2017 – Oil Paint + 1/2" Birch Plywood Panel – 136 3/4" x 63 5/8" Total
The Queer Altarpiece is an appropriation of Van Eyck’s Ghent Altarpiece, by replacing all of the thin, white, heteronormative figures and semiology embedded in Christianity with contemporary stories of queer culture. Formally blurring the lines of eloquence and kitsch, I want to reclaim stereotypes faced by the queer community and create a satirical piece for people to both make fun of and celebrate the societal standards for queerness.
Creating this piece is therapeutic for myself as a genderqueer, demisexual artist, in the fact that it reconciles my upbringing as a Southern Baptist with my queerness to create a very polarizing visual commentary. By using “old master’s” techniques such as glazing, the satire is pushed even further by referencing a European Renaissance style of painting contrasted with modern day figures and subject matter. My intention in completing this piece was not to make something universally and immediately understood—as all people will approach it from different experiences—but rather to create an underdetermined series of panels that the viewer would feel a sense of empowerment from.