Steve Frost

Washington, DC | by April 21, 2008

Steve is a young mix media artist liv­ing and work­ing in Wash­ing­ton D.C. His stu­dio is a live work space which he shares with a few other peo­ple and his cat Fis­cher. He first moved to Wash­ing­ton in 2004 after fin­ish­ing his under­grad at Alfred Uni­ver­sity. He now works as the Assis­tant Direc­tor of Admis­sions at the Cor­co­ran School of Art. The mix media in his work is com­prised of exten­sive sewing both by hand and with the machine, appro­pri­a­tion, trans­fer prints and paint.

Why sewing? “I think a lot of it is to access a his­tory of women in my fam­ily espe­cially my mom. She wasn’t a seam­stress or any­thing but she would just wing it and make some­thing awesome.

“The way I describe this work is a ‘her­itage with­out chil­dren’. Because when a gay man comes out of the closet it’s dif­fer­ent than many other minor­ity groups…it’s not like you’re born into a fam­ily of gays that raise you ‘gay’”. A lot of the ways you dis­cover your­self is through media – so pornog­ra­phy is a kind of genre where you dis­cover your­self or your com­mu­nity and it’s not just pornog­ra­phy, it’s through sex when you dis­cover that you’re queer so that’s kind of where you start build­ing your iden­tity — through your sense of sex­u­al­ity. So it’s a really strange com­mu­nity with no real traditions…so I’ve started using these porno­graphic images in my work in a more sub­tle way to start talk­ing about a his­tory or a her­itage and I use this badge sym­bol to imply a kind of fam­ily crest.”

“I was using pornog­ra­phy ver­ba­tim and cov­er­ing up the gen­i­tal area—using the badges as sym­bol of cen­sor­ship and suppression.”

The jockey under­wear seems to be such an iconic sym­bol of being male which is what he was look­ing for. ”I was look­ing for some­thing that was sin­gu­larly male.”

I did a lot of prints…they’re pho­to­copy trans­fers with charpak marker. “They’re really smelly. I did so much of the­ses and my room­mates seri­ously had an inter­ven­tion because the odor was killing them.”

Steve is cur­rently work­ing on a piece for the show “The Thread as the Line: Con­tem­po­rary Sewn Art” at the Ellipse Art Cen­ter in Arling­ton, VA open­ing this May 1. “I’m going to be reuphol­ster­ing the cush­ions with these t-​​shirts (above) I’m turn­ing them into pil­lows which are going to be on a couch. I try to use fab­rics that are from other things…they’re not bought per se….I feel like it has more his­tory. This is why I started using fab­ric because it is more vis­ceral.” The t-​​shirts he’s using for this project are his own screen­print creations.

To see more of his work and his cur­rent show­ings go to his site:

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