Luke Shand (He/Him)
My practice is centered in the interaction of painting and queer theory. Processes of painting and mono-printing are focused on to develop layered images that fluctuate in their opacity as they embody both figurative and abstract elements evoking their subject, the coded queer image. Reclaiming these hidden queer images and transforming them through the act of painting into intimate expressions of desire; doing this allows for a challenging presentation of the queer body to emerge and to be better comprehended.
My new body of work is based on film stills obtained during the research for my dissertation which highlighted closeted queer actors’ portrayal of coded queerness in horror films; using Dr Harry M. Benshoff’s ‘The Homosexual and the Monster’ as a key text in understanding this coded form of representation. I seek to imbue my work with the fear and freedom of queer expression, highlighting snapshots of queer intimacy amongst these horrifying scenes. The extraction of which allows its queer narrative to become more visible. The paintings feature tightly cropped compositions to heighten the tension and with the subject being primarily figurative, the work unpicks and unravels years of harmful deceptions of queerness as the monstrous by resurfacing these intense bursts of cinematic homoeroticism.