Through the construction and deconstruction of images, I challenge the covertly racist imagery that is imbedded in our visual culture. By collaging together found images and self-portraiture I create amalgamations that reflect how people see me and the people who look like me. My work serves as a mirror to the reality of the ways Black Queer people have been represented. With an understanding of the lineage of western image making, gaze theory, and psychology, the work asks questions about re-presentation and image making. 

The work deals the with internet image cultures and the ways in which Black Queer people are desired as the fetish, manipulated, and exploited for the pleasure of the viewer. By creating collages that bend in space or depict blurred sexual violence I reconstitute the racial violence that is placed on the Black Queer body to expose the power dynamics in image making.

In an age of image proliferation the lines between a facsimile and the simulacra become blurred. This blurring leads to racist and/ or queer-phobic representations that disseminate into our visual language. I wants to challenge the validity of, and histories behind, these representations.  

Luke was born in 1998 in Los Angels County, Ca. They are graduating with their BFA from California Polytechnic San Luis Obispo in 2020.

Luke Francis Austin

Photo by Roslyn Yeager