Drag Portraits Exhibition: new works by Max Markwald

Category: Event Calendar

  • Wed, Jan 6, 2021 - Sat, Feb 6, 2021

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Max Markwald artist statement:

After my senior show, I did begin thinking about what it meant, but the label didn’t feel right. I couldn’t recognize myself in the mirror or in pictures. Without words to describe the displacement I felt in my body, I painted a series of androgynous self portraits. At my gallery opening I felt unqualified to be making work about gender. I looked around and couldn't recognize myself in the paintings either. That summer I spent two weeks in Chicago for a studio intensive at
North Park University. There I began painting my friends dressed as Rosie the Riveter, which became a way to explore and subvert gender roles. I was drawn to her as a symbol of power for normal every-day working women. I finished the last piece while participating in a month long residency at the New York Academy of Art. When I got back from New York City I began painting masculinity: an old photograph of myself at fourteen where I looked tomboyish; the house I grew up in that had no drywall, just rafters and fiberglass insulation; ridiculously gendered products like deodorant and body spray. I hated how girly my name was, hated how pretty everyone expected my paintings to be.