Matthew Quass

BFA Solo Exhibition 

Kresge Art Center | Gallery 114

April 15 – April 19, 2024 

Closing Reception: Friday, April 19th | 6 – 8 pm

For Lost Time, Never to be Retrieved, I worked in watercolor and oil paint to depict masculine identities through figure painting and portraiture. These paintings show the kinds of experiences, bodies, and identities that I envy or feel a sense of desire towards. Many of the images I paint are sourced from social media, films, pornography, and photos I have taken of myself.

Growing up with a female body truly stunted my growth overall as a person. I was shy, uncomfortable, and awkward, and never pursued romance or sexual intimacy. I would always read and watch things about men in relationships, especially gay ones. In 8th grade, a friend told me about the term “transgender” which opened my eyes. Now as an adult, I have been on hormone replacement therapy for about 2 years. Since starting testosterone, I have become happier and more confident with myself and my body. My grandmother has even told my mom that “This is the happiest I’ve seen him in a long time!”.

I enjoy working with oil due to its lasting wetness and overall look with brush strokes; however, watercolor paint is nice with its softness and the layering of colors. Both mediums have captured my heart with their looks, but I like to use them for different subject matters. Oil feels more intense to me, so I use it to paint more imaginative emotional pieces while watercolor offers a softer, dreamier feel which I apply to imagery that makes me happy.