THE INVERT’S COVENANT

Performance/Painting series,

February 2020

Two weeks before the COVID-19 lockdown, the artist exhibited symptoms of syphilis. It left stigmata-like marks across their palms; a fever, and deep, painful fissures, having knowingly contracted the disease sexually through their anus months prior in a bout of loneliness and apathy. The artist, performing to camera, primed sandpaper using the queer sick body, intermingling their infected blood with the grain of the canvas.


From there, they etched into it their internalised homophobia. Notions of queerness as an inversion of the heterocentric, "natural" order; of sin manifesting in physical and spiritual illness - such were the seeds sewn in the artist under an Evangelical upbringing that culminated in conversion therapy, later actualised as an adult in a self-fulfilling prophecy, self-destruction a queer sexual rite of passage. Presented is a Hellscape of the artist's toxic associations with sex now, risen to the abrasive surface: queer abjections and biblical abominations. The initial sandpaper painting “Panoramic Abject” was succeeded by five “inversions” of Caravaggio paintings depicting biblical tales, also on sandpaper, finally completed with another original composition drawing from notions of queer futurity and the imagery of the Book of Revelations, “The Investiture of Abatton”.

‘Salome with the Head of John the Baptist’

140x270cm

sandpaper, dead skin cells, acrylic, pastel, charcoal, conté, chalk, spray paint, primed with skin.

‘The Denial of St Peter’

140x270cm

sandpaper, dead skin cells, acrylic, pastel, charcoal, conté, chalk, spray paint, primed with skin.

‘The Investiture of Abatton’

140x270cm

sandpaper, dead skin cells, acrylic, pastel, charcoal, conté, chalk, spray paint, primed with skin.