Through the interplay of drag, sculpture, and drawing I create elaborate, colorful objects that are used in intensely emotional and narrative performances. As an American POC LGBTQ artist my work is no longer simply about the traumas of marginalization, but more about writing a new narrative of self-empowerment, discovery, and charting a new territory; a reverse manifest destiny.
As my drag persona Untitled Queen, I ignite the power of imagination and visualization to dismantle constructed binaries of American body, thought, and ideology. I focus on the self-made, drawing inspiration from art history, film, dollar stores, and DIY aesthetics. In this everchanging con- and decon- struction, identity and form are a fluid universe, with a lexicon of objects and images: magic wands, landmasses of stones, my Mother’s flower garden, and more. I plumb the mind for the poetic, the joy in the tragic and the everyday.
Currently my work is a rumination on post-colonial American citizenship and its repercussions and origins. I have been interested in the concept of islands, as I grew up on Governors Island [originally called Pagganuck (“Nut Island”) by Manhattan Native Americans], NY with my Military father who emigrated from the Philippines and my mother, whose parents emigrated from Puerto Rico. I am interested in the emotional, historical, and physical connections to Islands as I am reconciling being born in America, a country founded on the exploitation of Indigenous cultures. I want to insert my own images, my own stories to not only subvert, but also promulgate a new vision of LGBTQ selfhood.
I was born in 1984 on Governors Island, New York. I am the recipient of the Brooklyn Nightlife Award for Drag Queen of the Year 2015. I am a resident performer for RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9 Winner Sasha Velour’s Nightgowns monthly show. I have shown in group exhibitions at the University of Connecticut, Mixed Greens Gallery, The Kitchen, Boston Center for the Arts, Honey Ramka, and the Bureau of General Services-Queer Division, among others.
matthewdeleon84 [at] gmail.com
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