By Taylor Vermillion |Staff Writer|
“My work presents viewers with an unapologetic depiction of lives on the edge, lives in transition (bodily, emotionally, and circumstantially) and attempts to capture the strength, beauty and resilience of my chosen kin and our shattered yet shared experiences,” said Matthew McMilon.
The Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art (RAFFMA) recently showcased the work of McMilon in a solo exhibition entitled “Re-Presentations.”
The exhibition was held in The Dutton Gallery at the RAFFMA and premiered on April 3 and lasted through April 10.
McMilon’s exhibit featured several collections of photographs, sculptures, poems, and paintings all centered around themes of identity, intimacy, and ambiguity related to the LGBTQIA community.
LGBTQIA is an acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer, intersex, and asexual individuals.
Attendees of the exhibition immediately noticed the intimacy of the room and were able to get up close and personal with the artwork.
Stunning photographs depicting transitioning bodies surrounded the room, as well as strategically placed sculptures laced with personal items from the artist provided imagery to the poetry that coincided.
One of the pieces entitled, “The Invocation and Subsequent Burial of Your Ghost,” was a poem and a sculptural performance that featured a vessel made from biodegradable, eco-friendly paper and a restored tarnished silver ring.
The beautiful poem was dedicated to the death of a 10-year relationship, as well as a date of burial.
The poem eloquently expressed pain and heartbreak, while the sculpture depicted physical items representative of his memories.
The vessel’s burial date presented in the poem seemed to symbolize a future release from the pain of such a devastating breakup.
The performance was both heartbreaking, empowering and revealed a deep insight into a very personal experience.
Paintings were located on a few of the gallery walls.
One statement from McMilon’s introductory piece said, “It is my firm belief that the LGBTQIA community has bowed to burdensome social pressures to conform and blend for too long and that it is time for a revolution.”
McMilon’s exhibition was a powerful piece. His piece was dedicated to presenting a culture to the world that is predominantly marginalized by society and his showcase was a step towards a cultural revolution.
Students and faculty are encouraged to attend events like McMilon’s solo exhibition “Re-Presentations”and all other art showings at the RAFFMA on the CSUSB campus.