Moss Y. Loke O'Connor
Effeminate Encounters by Moss Y. Loke O’Connor is the artist’s first solo exhibition in New York City. The works featured are composed of textile-based sculptural paintings. Fiber-based materials are at the core of these works, with felting and embroidery used to build into the fabric to initiate and reject a series of games being played. Screen-printed imagery is often included and is sourced from personal archives of digital media, medium format and super 8 film. Their work forms an intermediary for queer and trans storytelling as a generous depiction of shared labor.
The artist uses wool, thread, and fabric to construct a digital sensibility, making the works behave with a video-game-like quality. Text is peppered into pieces with sewn lettering and pencil marks breaking from the predetermined lines of the fabric. An emphasis is placed on breaking from the grid and building out from it without trying to mask its existence. Rejection without erasure. The binary programming becomes a playful place for the works to move through, behind, and between the structures. The woodwork supports masculinize the space, with the deep orange cherry hardwood reminiscent of a traditional leather-clad home study. Masculinity is replanted into a domestic space in which the virtues of patience and strength emerge.
Each fabric piece is undefinable. Some appear to be records, while others are windows, and others are stopping points without access or instruction. The text included in the works acts as a game that, with some investigation, will reveal hidden messages. However, the statements are sometimes entirely hidden, and only fragments are left with no way to decode. There are three recurring pieces of imagery in the exhibition. The first, a hand, opened with the faint suggestion of something being cupped in the palm. The artist views this gesture as their interpretation of the hand of creation. The other two images inform the other. What started as a schoolboy fantasy uncovered a cellular-like representation of identity signifiers. Viewing these symbols as cells distils transness into the smallest particle of the body. The notion of transness is mutated away from the clunky understandings of gender and into the realm of what is un-seeable yet felt so profoundly in every atom, cell, and emotion of the body. These cellular symbols are anchored into the work, denoting a mere vessel under construction in the face of death-defying noise.
About the artist:
Moss Y. Loke O’Connor is an emerging trans-masc visual artist. Originally from London, UK, they moved to New York to attend Parsons, receiving a BFA in fine art in 2020. They are currently an MFA candidate in fine art at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. In recent years they have started exhibiting across NYC. Their work has been included in exhibitions at Kellen Gallery, Noble Showroom, AHA Fine Art, BWAC, Project Gallery V, and O’Flaherty’s. Their writing and work have also been featured in print in The Hand Magazine and Themselves Publication.