SHALE – My Narrative, My Gaze, and His Giant Clit
BFA thesis @ Samuel Dorsky Museum, SUNY New Paltz
Love is the ultimate muse; I allow myself to indulge in imagery that is sacred to me. For the first time in my life, I am creating work through my own trans, polyamorous gaze. As a queer and non-binary person, the images of myself and loved ones represented in my work express my narrative. I am exploring themes of identity, neurodivergence, romance, and the general intensity that frames who I am.
Shale, a graduating artist from SUNY New Paltz’s BFA Painting and Drawing program, recently had their work on display at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art. The exhibit was a radical portrayal of queer love, approached with intimacy, romance, and personal flair. As both an observer and a friend, I know Shale put their heart and soul into this project. Shale is a natural lover. Through these paintings, this was clear. Their work encompasses love in terms of intimate connections, polyamorous bonds, and, arguably most importantly, theirself. Love is a sacred force and when approached under a queer, polyamorous gaze, I can see their boundless love for others and their drive for human connection.
I had the pleasure of asking them a few questions about their work:
How does love influence the way you interact with the world?
My experience with love and how it influences my life is very complicated because in many ways love is an inspirational and motivating feeling but as someone who struggles from mental illness it has been a struggle for me to conceptualize love in a healthy and anxiety free way. I’m good at loving people but I’m bad at not letting my feelings destroy me.
As someone who is not polyamorous, I’m interested in what polyamory means to you. Personally, I get consumed by romantic love and only know how to love by dedicating my energy to one person who is exceptionally special to me. On the other hand, love without boundaries sounds beautiful. My question is: how do you approach love as a queer polyamorous person?
For me polyamory, (specifically relationship anarchy) is the only relationship style that I have seen successful, fulfilling, and healthy relationships come from. In past monogamous relationships I have felt unstable because I was reliant on one single person for romantic fulfillment. Since discovering polyamory, I have realized that my most trusting relationships are ones that don’t ignore and devalue the reality of outside love and attraction. Polyamory has made me a happier and healthier person when it comes to love, but relationships with less boundaries can also become a lot more complicated and nuanced. I want to express the nuance of my queer, and gender fucked, polyamorous romantic life in my work
How do you want your art to connect with others?
I want my art to evoke the tenderness and honestly of my experience. I’m hoping that with my art I can reach the queer community and make art that represents a more alternative lifestyle and expression of gender and sexuality that has been rarely expressed in figurative art
Follow Shale on instagram @_shale_artist_ to see more of their amazing work. I can’t wait to see what they do next!