Large, life-sized doorways and entrances line Perrotin’s New York gallery. Reaching up to seven feet tall, these patchwork planes are made from patterned, sequined, and solid-colored fabrics that evoke the stained glass windows of Christian cathedrals, their curved architectural shapes mimicking the windows and archways of the religious sanctuaries.
The work of artist Trevon Latin (previously), these reliefs can also be seen as portals. Latin is visionary and corrective, using quilted, mixed-media forms to amend historical narratives and envision new realities. Part of their solo show TOYMAKER: Big Blu & the Weeping Walls!! 👁️💧💒, these works reflect a world that welcomes the fluidity of gender and sexuality and where queer love and joy reign.
Sewn with distinct, vibrant color palettes, the reliefs consider the process of self-discovery and stages of development from infancy to adulthood. A genderless figure emerges through the works, in “I wish I could have listened to my conscience …..And not drunk a drip. I wouldn’t be here in so many pieces….. I shouldn’t have drank a sip” appearing as a barrette-enveloped baby grasping for a bottle. Similar, stylized subjects continue to appear in each of the pieces, an arm extending from the mishmash or embracing another as in “Our daily bred | Blue-berries n’ cream.”
The artist’s childhood in a Southern Black Pentecostal community undergirds the body of work and offers an entry point into exploring how the strictures and rigidity of the church affect the formation of an identity. Although experiencing dysmorphia and confined by these religious doctrines, Latin’s figures continually transform and find greater freedom as they break from their structural bases. The freestanding sculpture “Big Blu” is the final form in the series, its fists pressing into the green, earthen base and hunched back appearing ready to rise and move forward.
TOYMAKER is on view through July 28, and you can find more from Latin on Perrotin.
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