T1TS OUT 2023
T1TS OUT 2023
12 x 12 inches
One Layer Screenprint on French Paper
I'm excited to share my newest piece, T1TS OUT. I have learned to really BE in my body and I enjoy being in spaces clothes-free, in the same way that I came into earthside. Like many folks, throughout my childhood I received very negative messages about my body and I was forced to cover my body in ways that did not feel authentic to me as a girl and young woman. I learned to only see my body through a predatory lens.
Growing up in the Queer Bay Area, a place where sexual expression was encouraged, I would try to dress in ways that made me feel confident and sexy and empowered, and because of that I was punished in painful ways. But it ended up having the opposite effect. Wearing and not wearing clothes became a way for me to fully express myself. I feel thankful to have the freedom to be fully expressed in my gender identity and wear things that make me feel playful, joyful, sensual - like myself.
One of the things I love about attending Burning Man is that I get to co-lead a camp of BIPOC femmes, and I get to lead in my full sensual self. I love to BE in the body that nature gifted me. I get to walk around in the suit that I was born in, and I get to inspire other femmes to do the same. I always love looking around my camp and seeing so many melanated bodies gradually embracing the joy of being topless. It's so extremely RARE to have spaces where all being topless regardless of your gender is normalized. And that’s the space I try to create.
As an artist, I question a lot of dominant narratives in our society. Why is it that cis male bodies get to walk around showing their chest? Yet those of us who have breasts, which are literally parts of our bodies that are fascinating! These parts help nourish babies, literally ensuring the survival of our species. Why do we have to cover them? Why do we have laws that legislate how mothers get to breastfeed their kids in public? These are all patriarchal policies rooted in colonial thinking and they serve to limit the expression and enjoyment of our bodies.
Similarly, there are many other parts of the body which also get highly sexualized and stigmatized. This is why I resist this colonial framework by walking around freely like a kid and being naked, especially in nature. It feels good to me and it feels empowering.
This particular art piece is inspired by a trip that I took recently to the Folsom Street Fair. I love how many folks were wearing harnesses and like leather outfits that are popular in kink and BDSM culture. I felt so lucky to live in such an open place like the Bay Area. So I got myself a really cute harness, and that inspired this piece!