Christina Quarles

born 1985

Christina Quarles experiments with acrylic painting techniques, toying with the notions of bodily and sexual identity. She draws inspiration for creating her semi-figurative, post-surrealist paintings from the sense of ambivalence experienced daily. The artist says, ‘As a Queer, cis-woman, born to a black father and a white mother, I engage with the world from a position that is multiply situated. My project is informed by my daily experience with ambiguity and seeks to dismantle assumptions of our fixed subjectivity through images that challenge the viewer to contend with the disorganized body in a state of excess.” The bodies on Quarles' canvases remain indeterminate, bent in unnatural poses, juxtaposed with others in impossible arrangements, as if the painting was a laboratory of their potentials. Similarly, the activity in which they are engaged remains implicit. If it is an erotic act, then the pleasure is mixed with pain. ‘Every classification is a form of violence,’ says Quarles, ‘yet the bodies want to be named, because only as such can they be recognized by the collective.’

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