Three Trans Artists You Should Know

1. Cassils

Gender-nonconforming transmasculine performance, sound and installation artist

3 Works: Cassils on Space | Gardiner Museum | https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XVKicmt4PE

Above is a video detailing three of Cassils’ works revolving around the theme of Space, with attention paid to gender constructs.

Cassils exposes the turbulent history, representation and struggles of the LGBTQ+ community through raw, physical art. Working mainly in film, sound and live performance media, they use human bodies in sculptural fashions. Their pieces are known to require intense training regimens and difficult tasks, such as standing against ice for hours until it melts. The audience’s reactions often include nervousness and tension—so proceed with caution. Those reactions are part of what Cassils wants to see, however. They state that those emotions are felt by many in real life about real gender issues. Some of their most well-known works include “Tiresias,” “Cuts: A Traditional Sculpture” and “Advertisement: Homage to Benglis.”

His website can be found here.

2. Amos Mac

Trans male photographer and creative

Mac has been at the forefront of trans male art for years. Born in 1981, his work delves into identity, coming-of-age narratives and queerness. He shoots portraits of self-identified queer individuals: “It feels like a documenting moment. I love having this archive of queer artists,” he says. His portraits are usually very intimate, the subjects allowed to style themselves. The founder of Original Plumbing, the first magazine dedicated to trans male culture, his photography has been featured in The New York Times, Vogue Italia and more. Notably, he shot a fashion campaign with an all-transgender cast and crew with the brand & Other Stories, sister to H&M, the first to do so. Change and visibility are what he loves about the fashion industry. Mac’s work in film and television has also earned him much acclaim.

His website can be found here.

  1. Yishay Garbasz

Trans female interdisciplinary performance artist, installation artist and photographer

yisssh | https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5diBtcul_4

The video above shows the behind-the-scenes process of installing Garbasz’s “Becoming.”

Garbasz is an interdisciplinary performance artist, installation artist and photographer whose multi-dimensional works explore the deepest crevices of physical, mental and emotional human pain. She takes inspiration from her mother’s experiences in the Holocaust, as well as her own experiences as a trans woman. Some of her works include “Ritual and Reality,” a dissection of nuclear violence; “Number Project,” in which she brands herself with her mother’s Holocaust number; and “Becoming,” a project that tracked her gender affirmation surgery (behind-the-scenes of installation shown above!). She has also, notably, become Germany’s first trans woman triathlete, despite having asthma and chronic lung problems. She is truly a woman of grit, passion and many talents.

Her website can be found here.

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