Artworks, Issue 29, Issue 29, Past Issues
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Queerstory on Art and Sex: What’s love got to do with it?

By Trish Nixon

Visceral desire, pleasures of the flesh,
A pulsating heat that is all consuming
A gaze that touches melting you into a pool of ecstasy

My aim is to articulate truthfully what it means to inhabit my body. Rawness, pleasure, and deviant behavior are what excites me most. Currently, my studio practice is taking me on a search for a new kind of imagery, one where lines are blurred between gender constructs. The work crosses into various fields from painting to digital media. Installation and performance are also appropriate platforms. Food and self-pleasure are a consistent theme throughout. My images allow me the freedom to embrace my sexual body anyway I please. I do not seek to establish a barrier between my work and explicit imagery. Nor do I seek to align my work with a grand aesthetic theme. At this time, my images speak to sexual desires and fetishes outside of a normative framework surrounding the body. It is within this framework where I express my queerness, my vulnerability, and my need to constantly question.

I do the work that I do because I enjoy it. I am a better human because of it. Skin excites me. Nakedness excites me. Sex excites me. I embrace the erotic nature of my work and there is certainly a theme of abjection in my work. Lust and desire are what I feel at times while I’m behind the camera. At this time, desire is played out through physical gestures as well as constructing scenes for photo shoots. The camera becomes a digital eye that “looks” and captures my acts of self- pleasure. Perhaps there is a connection between love and the eroticism of my images. There is a deep rooted longing to feel loved by another, to feel its power. I tend to express such a feeling in both subtle and blatant ways at once. Within my studio practice I draw lines connecting self-pleasure or self-love and body positivity. I embrace my body on my own terms by exploring certain sensations whether it is through touch or pouring of certain liquids onto my flesh or at times experiencing the tastes of fruits. I will also introduce props such as a chain into the photo shoots where physical rubbing or pressing the cold stainless steel against my skin heightens bodily pleasures. In my practice, I am in command of how pleasure is expressed. I seek my pleasure outside of a heteronormative lens. A transformation happens when one exposes themselves in such a raw and intimate way. Because of the abuse I have experienced in the past, my view of love is distorted and tied to pain both physical as well as emotional. Only recently, have I begun to explore this subjective phenomenon in such a positive way. I would like to think that love is enduring. Love is found in vulnerability and strength. It is found in our passion. It is found in our desires. It is found in self-pleasure. It is found in the very core of our being.



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