Say Her Name: Dominique "Rem'mie" Fells
By Jonathan VanDyke
The York Daily Record (PA)
"It would be difficult to overstate the degree of daily prejudice queer people have faced in the US. The Stonewall Riots in New York City, a 1969 uprising protesting constant police mistreatment and brutality against the LGBTQ community, were initiated by trans women of color. Even within the movement itself, trans people were subject to prejudice and exclusion. But their willingness to speak truth to power, and decades of grueling work by advocates for equal treatment under the law, made it possible for me to write this today without fear of putting my life at risk. But our transgender kin cannot say the same..."
By Simone Zacchini
Mia Le Journal
"In his stitched paintings, the materials used to form the canvas come both from performative sessions with dancers and from elaborate colouring processes devised by the artist. In both cases, the work of 'dirtying' these fabrics (canvasses, T-shirts, jeans) is extremely time-consuming and is only completed when the artist believes he has enough coloured fabric on hand to create the painting. These are then cut and stitched in accordance with various patterns, some regular, some not which VanDyke refers to after having carefull designed them: the historical references range from the marble floors of ancient Rome to American quilts from the 19th century...."
Jonathan VanDyke Interviewed by Daisy Nam
"DN: The performance sounds like a ritualistic process, which the audience, including the volunteers, could access and experience.
JVD: I once visited the Duomo in Milan during a religious holiday, and they had a series of paintings that were hung high in the air, temporarily, almost like flags or banners. I love this idea of a painting as an event in time, removed from the wall. I’ve also seen Khmer statuary exhibited in museums in the West as priceless objects on pedestals, but in the National Museum in Phnom Penh, these objects are still actively worshipped and given offerings. I was so affected by seeing that.
Quilts live in a hybrid spaces of the sacred and profane. In some cultures, like the Amish, you could describe the patient work of the quilter as a ritual or a form of veneration. In The Patient Eye, I’m ritualizing pedestrian actions–standing, observing, contemplating, being silent. I want to stretch these actions into almost impossibly long, extended gestures. Have you seen the photos of the Hindu Sadhus who hold one arm in the air for years on end? Persistence transforms the commonplace into the sacred...."
by Jared Ledesma
Queer Abstraction Catalog
Published by the
Des Moines Art Center
"As a child, VanDyke's first exposures to Abstract Expressionism were the popular depictions of Jackson Pollock spewing paint onto canvas. 'It dissonated with me,' he admits, 'as a young person, because I felt I couldn't be that: I puzzled over American abstract paintings while puzzling over my emerging queer identity.' Gay sexuality is often equated with sensitivity, and for the aspiring artist, being gay contrasted with the heroism of abstraction. Moreover, during his childhood growing up in the south central Pennsylvania countryside not far from the Amish people, quilting and handicraft were always nearby. Both influences came together for VanDyke, who makes work that confronts Abstract Expressionism's gendered, heterosexual past, and manipulates it through the form of craft..."
Guest edited by Ellie Krakow
Issue launch at the Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC, June 2018
Painting Bitten By a Man
Vox Populi, Philadelphia
Installation of sculptures, photographs, video, and a live performance,
featuring David Rafael Botana and Bradley Teal Ellis.
Curated by Andrew Suggs.