Trans and non-binary art
December 19, 2021 5:43 AM   Subscribe

Who are the most famous and interesting trans and non-binary visual artists, and what makes them worth learning about?
posted by mortaddams to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Mark Aguhar (more here, including "these are the axes" which isn't visual art but which she's especially known for.)
posted by needs more cowbell at 5:57 AM on December 19, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Jeffrey Cheung's nudes is my current obsession. Check out their work with Unity Skateboarding, a queer skating collective.
posted by NickPeters at 6:50 AM on December 19, 2021

Best answer: Alex Jay Brady Is a brilliant sci-fi and futurist artist. I really like their own creations, as well as the careful attention to original works when they illustrate ideas from literature.
posted by nickggully at 6:55 AM on December 19, 2021

Best answer: Trans identity gets difficult to discuss when we're talking about a historical setting, which in part leads to an erasure of trans history. But I'd like to think that Vernon Lee, who always dressed a la garcon and preferred their pen name, Vernon, to their birth name Violet likely qualifies. They coined the term "empathy" in its modern usage, were the grandparent of supernatural fiction, were buds with Oscar Wilde and John Singer Sargent, and were so hated by Henry James that he attempt (with a dispiriting amount of success) to write them out of the historic record.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:34 AM on December 19, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Claude Cahun may or may not have id’d as trans/nb (early 20th c., retroactive labels are hard) but check out her photographs.

Kent Monkman is a painter from Winnipeg who does enormous history paintings that revisit colonialism in North America, his alter ego is Miss Chief Eagle Testickle and she is a delight. He does not mention his own identity, so I am not sure if 2-spirit is the right way to refer to him.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 9:35 AM on December 19, 2021 [3 favorites]

Grayson Perry Is a crossdresser, famous contemporary artist, and broadcaster.
posted by slimeline at 10:25 AM on December 19, 2021

Best answer: He doesn't seem to be active any more (his website is gone; he is alive as far as I know), but Loren Cameron was one of the major players in shaping US transmasculine culture.

Pedantry/education: Afaik, Grayson Perryson is cis. Crossdressing is great, but doesn't actually say things about your gender.
posted by hoyland at 10:29 AM on December 19, 2021 [3 favorites]

posted by Grandysaur at 12:36 PM on December 19, 2021 [2 favorites]

I find David Kim Whittaker's work to be visually exceptional.
posted by taltalim at 11:11 AM on December 20, 2021

Not really sure how to address the "most famous" part of the ask, but here are some of my favorites:

Shoog, as mentioned above.
Juliana Huxtable: afro-futurist & sci-fi artist.
Tourmaline: activist, filmmaker, writer.
Silas Howard: punk musician & filmmaker.
Micha Cárdenas: artist and academic in the digital humanities space.
Yishay Garbasz: photography & installation art.
Zanele Muholi: photography & video art focused on Black African people.
Demian Dinéyazhi': artivism focused on Indigenous people; poetry, photography, video art.

Recent NYT article that mentions Nicki Green, Zanele Muholi, Shu Lea Cheang and Vaginal Davis.
posted by wicked_sassy at 12:43 PM on December 20, 2021

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! Please keep sharing. I am going to mark as the best answers those that explained in at least one sentence why an artist is interesting.
posted by mortaddams at 5:34 PM on December 20, 2021

Best answer: I'm not sure if you meant currently working artists, but Greer Lankton was a fantastic doll artist who was part of the 80s New York art scene, and made doll portraits of Divine and Diana Vreeland, among others.
posted by Nibbly Fang at 4:36 PM on December 21, 2021

If you're looking for the most famous modern trans artists, surely the Wachowski sisters would win!
posted by equipoise at 4:24 PM on December 29, 2021

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