Textaqueen

Textaqueen completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), University of Western Australia, Perth, 1995 and a Certificate II in Arts (Interactive Multimedia), Metro Screen, Sydney in 1998. She currently lives and works in California, United States.

Using the humble felt-tip pen or ‘Texta’, the art of TextaQueen is both playful and politic. Thematically, the artist interrogates the complex politics of sexuality, race and gender identity alongside ideas of self-image and collective expressions of identity based on shared experience. Just as TextaQueen’s unforgiving medium of choice reveals all, so do the real-life subjects of the work, who are often friends of the artist. Paired with personal props and located in their own intimate environment such as their bedroom, kitchen or lounge, the subjects are transposed from a private experience into a performative display that uncovers their sexuality, secrets and desires.

TextaQueen has exhibited nationally and internationally, with works held in important public collections including Artbank, Sydney; National Portrait Gallery of Australia, Canberra and National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Selected solo exhibitions include Eve of Reconstruction, Footscray Community Arts Centre Gabriel Gallery, Victoria (2017); Gods Save the Queen, Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney (2017); Arlene TextaQueen: Naked Landscapes of Gippsland and Beyond, Switchback Gallery, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne (2010); Felt-tips Forever, The Arm, Brooklyn, New York, USA and Casa Del Popolo, Montreal, Canada (2006), and Un-dressed-up, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Perth, Western Australia (2004). Recent group exhibitions include Cars = My Automolove, Caboolture Regional Art Gallery, Caboolture QLD (2014); National Works on Paper, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Victoria (2014); Discendance, African American Art & Culture Complex, National Queer Arts Festival, San Francisco (2013); Self-Conscious: Contemporary Portraiture, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne (2012; and Subtext – Art for Literacy, Carriageworks, Sydney (2011).

TextaQueen has held residencies at Bundanon Trust, Australia, (2016); Asialink Arts Residency, Kriti Gallery & Residency, Varanasi, India (2015); the Gippsland Centre for Art and Design, Monash University, Victoria, 2010 and at the Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland, 2008. In 2017, she was the finalist of the Hazelhurst Art on Paper Award and the Wyndham Art Prize.

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