Featured Artist

My Narrative, My Gaze, and His Giant Clit


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!

Oaklash: the Bay Area’s love letter to eclectic drag

Two PM comes around in a classic car showcase warehouse and it echoes –

“Everybody, welcome to the show!”

Alaska Thunderfuck’s ‘HIEEE’ fills Classic Cars West on an unsuspecting Saturday afternoon. The famous show-opening number draws a crowd around a set stage as the notorious WooWoo Monroe kicks off the second annual Oaklash drag festival.

Born in 2018, Oaklash celebrated its second year over April’s last weekend. It kicked off with an opening night party Friday at Eli’s Mile High Club where performers and live bands gave the Bay a small taste of what was to come over the next two days.

After Monroe’s lip-synced instructions of flash photography being absolutely mandatory and tipping these [performers], the day kicked off its first set. With about five performances clocking in at half an hour and a DJ set filling the next half, each eight-hour day allowed over 50 Bay Area local and visiting artists to grace the stage – the festival hosted over 100 performers, vendors, photographers, bands, and more.

Queeries got the chance to sit down with a myriad of incredible individuals all working with the festival in one way or another and, phew, does it take a village. …

Putting Queer POC Voices First: Pre-Cut

Let’s be honest, when was the last time you heard from queer poc within the arts on a massive scale?

I’ll wait.

You haven’t and that’s a problem. But if you have, it’s probably because you sought it out and not because it was readily available to you/us.

As we begin to become more connected through the interwebs, social media, blogs, etc., I hope that we can also become more connected through our common narratives as Queer People of Color. Or at the very least become aware of the multitude of narratives there are. Therefore, (lol, I sound so formal) I am starting a “cut” where I cut to artists and/or queer poc within the theatre who are creating.

As a starting place, I have laid out some projects I have learned about and a few artists I will be in interviews. These features are only the starting point for finding a place where queer poc can find a place to belong because, if we’re being honest…our queer spaces can be dominated by white narratives. And yes, those are equally as important, sometimes, but we need more. We have more! So let’s talk about them and listen to them.

(Play) Q2: An online community of LGBTQIA+ youth from around the country are connected through an online platform called Q2. When a new member enters the platform with questions, the group begins to reveal themselves to the real world as a way of proclaiming their solidarity. Slammed up against the pressures of tradition & classification, the group decides to incite a revolution. For more information: https://www.newyorkstageandfilm.org/in-residence
Up next: “Putting Queer POC Voices First Cut #1: Wenxuan Xue”

Swaying beneath the words of resistance, love, unity, and freedom
I wonder if my desires will come to fruition
Is my imagination my reality
Or the truth of my dreams?
Who do I want to become, who am I and what do I represent?
It’s a constant black and forth, brown and forth of knowing and not knowing
Because we continue to grow like we have never grown before

Laying in the sun, bathing in the breath I am given
Red, Purple, Blue, Yellow flowers being sprouting from my soul
They are un contained — un aligned
Forming a ball around
-My heart

Grabbing at the veins inside my forearms ripping them open
leaving room for brown and black roots that are longing to stretch down to my hands
Porque esos manos son mi vida
They are la escénica de mi sonrisa
Porque ellos are the roots that keep my spin up
Ripping a whole down my core

Is the answer to my longing for more–
black and forth…?
brown and forth…?