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Lukey Walden's Paintings Capture Intimate Moments Between Two Trans People
When Lukey Walden attended college in Colorado Springs, they managed to discover a queer family in a town known for being hyper-conservative. With a close-knit crew of LGBTQ friends, Walden found the comfort to come out as non-binary and focus their art on championing trans individuals through a series of intimate one-on-one portrait sessions.
Walden paints their subjects with an empathetic brush only a fellow trans person could carry, but the final result still welcomes an inevitable element of cis voyeurism--something the artist wanted to explore in making this project.
"I only asked other trans people to sit for portraits, and each painting serves as a record of an intimate moment shared between two trans people," Walden told OUT. "Because of that, there's an element of voyeurism or intrusion that comes into play when a cis person appreciates the paintings. I want to make cis viewers aware of their complicity in turning our private lives into a public spectacle."
Though subtle surrealness in Walden's work may lead cis viewers to create connections between the subjects and style, Walden said "any morsel of abstraction in art by trans people is in danger of getting coopted by cis audiences as some vague metaphor for transformation. That's why it's important to me to confront cis viewers with my real, living trans peers."
(Pictured Above): Self Portrait by Luke Walden