Drag is My Light and My Salvation; Whom Shall I Fear? Drag is the Stronghold of My Life; of Whom Shall I Be Afraid?

60 x 40 in, oil on canvas, 2020

This accompanying painting is part of an ongoing project exploring the spiritual aspects of the art form, drag. For this project, I wanted to bring attention to an otherwise overlooked component of drag: the ritualistic process of getting ready (getting into drag). A meditative routine that involves “putting on a mask” to become your truest self, piecing the puzzle together until you reach your final form. This is why it was important for me to have the painting feel raw and unfinished. With the grid and original draft from underneath showing through in some areas. The expressive face on the left is the only portion that has detail because the ritual has been completed. I intended for the viewer to feel the movement of the different parts coming together. The donning of the wig and lashes being the final step. Masks have been used for centuries by different cultures around the world in rituals, ceremonies, theatrical performances, etc. I think it’s extremely interesting that drag is really no different from that.

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