Ladyboy, April 15 - May 12, 2017
Ladyboy is a solo exhibition featuring new works by Derek Jackson.
I want to talk about trans and gender narratives that aren’t featured in the mainstream. I want to talk about cross dressing. I want it to be about genitals, just for one day. And sex work. And faces. Beautiful faces. And gender expression that isn’t about craft or identity, that isn’t an end but a means.
These are the stories we aren’t supposed to hear or tell. They subvert our fight to not be murdered just for being who we are. I feel honored to be an artist and to hold these stories. I feel compelled to make them beautiful, to embellish and seduce. To convince you that this is ok. Then I remember, it’s not about pleasing the audience or being ok. It’s about Ladyboy.
I'm going to draw and paint the fuck out of this painting with an urgent need to engage in pleasure and expression without persecution. I don’t care if it’s the same painting over and over. I don’t care if I’m good at drawing hands. I don’t care if it’s a simple expression of a couple of ideas. I need to do this.
I'm reflecting the desire to dress, to cross dress, as a way to get to a different place. To be different than I was before, than we were, before. Maybe drugs or alcohol makes it easy for you to go there. Maybe it’s a place you return to on occasion or every day. But this isn’t just about totems either. I'm finding humanity and strength in the simple play with things I love. I am handling materials like lumber and sheetrock--stereotypically thought of as masculine--in a way that subverts their intended use, regardless of validation or whether any house was built. Am I holding up a roof caving under the weight of expectations around respectability? Does this show do anything to make it safer for anyone? I so desperately want it to. This world is not safe. I would be kidding you if I believed a painting could change that. But this isn’t about the world. This is about Ladyboy.
This is about life in the shadows and on the fringe. This is about your brother, father, coworker or friend. This is about being a tech geek during the week and letting down your long black hair as an androgynous goth lord on the weekends. This is about transforming pain into a flawless ability to serve contour for days. This is about a big load from daddy all over your face because you’ve been a good girl. This is about violence and beauty living side by side in the perfume of sex for sale. Ladyboy is here and she’s dressed for you.
-Derek Jackson, March 2017
Ladyboy #1, 2016
Mixed media on wood
9 x 10 in.