My artistic practice examines the nebulous contours of the subconscious, those intangible and complex emotions that refuse to be captured by language alone. I am especially drawn to explorations of gender, intimacy, psychological horror, encounters with the sublime, pre-colonial history, and ancestral trauma; these explorations are necessarily informed by my experience as a queer, transgender man born of the Filipino diaspora. My lived experience within these oppressive systems, like many others, is marked by ambiguous grief, cognitive dissonance, looming threats of violence, and apocalyptic futures. I translate the inner life of a body caught in the crosshairs of this colonial lack of imagination into intense, emotionally confrontational imagery.
While my practice is interdisciplinary, exploratory, and intuitive, I feel most at home in the realm of figurative painting. My paintings feature distorted figures, states of matter, biomimicry, dream logic, and vibrant color palettes — particularly fluorescent red, hot pink, and neon yellow. My work is visceral, abject, vulnerable, erotic, and surreal; it is informed by studies of natural history, deep time, abnormal psychology, American Imperialism, biological ecosystems, and queerness.
I have recently expanded my practice into textiles and soft sculpture, where I get to play with new dimensions, movement, and materiality. I find myself drawn to the rich, universal history of making inherent to the medium: every culture has textiles, and I believe that the history of their creation and distribution – from the Silk Road to cotton’s role in the Atlantic slave to the ecological devastation of fast fashion – reveals the literal threads that connect us all.
I also spent much of my early artistic career working in comics, which I often return to in the form of poetic autobiography and creative nonfiction.
My current projects include:
The Intimacy Studies, a series of paintings about attachment anxiety
Chrysalis, a science fiction graphic novel about family, found and otherwise
Atom Dance, series of paired, articulated, quilted sculptures