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Testosterone on Canvas (2023)

Conceptual Painting

Priced upon inquiry for cisgender buyers, available via forms of material or non-material) exchange for trans buyers.

Topical testosterone is what I take each day as part of my gender-affirming care. It transfers upon touch and can be absorbed by anyone who comes into contact with it. Here I have painted it onto a canvas, and while not visible to the naked eye, will be absorbed by a viewer if touched.

This work is a gesture toward access for trans and gender non-conforming people. A placard accompanying the work reads "Please do not touch. However, if you identify as trans or non-binary, the artist invites you to do so if you feel called to."

This piece began out of a combination of frustration (a year of trouble accessing my testosterone, a history of medical gatekeeping, insurance inaccessiblility), visits to a bodyworker with whom I’d always have to remember to wash off my T, and imagining fist bumping guys at the gym with estrogel on my hands.

— and thinking about how strange it is the way that prolonged contact with a substance results in the world treating me differently, affords me ways to move through the world differently: gender, patriarchy, and how arbitrary it all is.

I have a lot to say now about the minimalism in this work now. Is minimalism always the white man’s tool? I wanted to claim it, see what it can do. I wanted to use abstraction to create space for pondering what one can and can’t see, and to see what projections appear. But when the visitor is the cis white man himself, the work is too defenseless. For that I need other tools. This is still just a start.