“It’s not often you enter a museum space where you see trans people depicted by trans people,”
Los Angeles based artist Coyote Park (he/they) is buzzing with energy, processing the recent opening of Coyote Park: I Love You Like Mirrors Do, their exhibition on view through July 2023 in New York City at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art.
A mirrored installation meets viewers as a part of the exhibition and Park is probing a level of inquiry around the experience of that self-reflection, “What does it mean for trans bipoc, how is it for all of us, being able to not have access to spaces where our love is celebrated?”
“It was so precious going back, during the public opening,” recalls Park, “Seeing couples looking at the images together and being reflected.”
I LOVE YOU LIKE MIRRORS DO conveys a level of openness, softness and intimacy. Collaborative works featuring a constellation of Park’s closest chosen family, friends and lovers depicted in intimate moments, self-portraits, audio recordings.
A 2Spirit, Indigenous (Yurok) Korean-American transgender artist raised in Hawai’i, they often depict interpersonal relationships with their kin in foliage and interior spaces. Utilizing self portraiture as a mode of collaboration, Parks images share moments with friends and intimate partners. Park’s practice centers queer love, community, and trans futures.
The exhibit inaugurates the Interventions series at LLMA which engages queer artists and cultural producers to dive into LLMA’s extensive collection and creatively present their research, building new narratives and interpretations from diverse subjectivities.
The selection of recorded audio memories entitled “An Ocean of Reflections” features contributions from Park’s network of close collaborators in life and love, playing over a sparkling seascape. Refracting and reflecting on fleeting moments, shared spaces and intimacy, they offer a selection of excerpts below in advance of their conversation on February 17 with Leslie-Lohman Museum and Zackary Drucker at Ace DTLA.
Excerpted from “An Ocean of Reflections”, part of “Coyote Park: I Love You Like Mirrors Do” on view February 3 – July 16, 2023 at Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art.
Curated by Stamatina Gregory, Head Curator and Director of Exhibitions and Collections
You bring a light into this world that
I just want more of.
There is a radiance there
that has to be amplified.
And I’ve also noticed the trend
too, that every time
we’re intimate, sexual,
when we’re feeling
like our honest, truthful selves,
we’re usually connected with the land.
We usually shed fabrics,
We let our skin glisten.
We allow the sun to bless us
and kiss us
with their rays.
You feel healing to these childhood
versions of myself
and in my teen years
where I felt like no one could
touch my surface
and know me for how I saw me.
And yet, you remind me of my beauty
as I remind you yours.
On a naked, glistening sand.
It was 2020 in Brooklyn
when I was first able
to see your smile and able to wrap
my arms around you for the first time.
Though we hadn’t met in person before,
it was as if I was returning
to a sacred monument, a form
that I know I’d felt love for before.
You are like a silk
shaw draped around my body.
My nervous system. My heart.
I love you, Coyote.
Em. It was late August,
and we were on our little farmhouse
And you were in the kitchen,
shirtless, making breakfast for us.
You looked so at peace.
And this is this place
that was just our home for the night.
It felt like someplace
that we could hide in the corner
of the world together for some peace
and quiet, only for it to be morning.
Being with you also
feel the spiritual
of my gender expression.
Being with you helps me remember that
my gender expression
is sacred and ancestral.
I still think about your offerings
to the ocean.
You dancing for her like a light
rippling across the surface.
I always feel calm around you.
The way I feel
when I see the sun glimmer.
You told me the time
zone in your heart was the time zone
that I was in.
Yet your body was in the land
of your childhood.
The words you wrote to me filled me up
with so much emotion
that I erupted in tears.
Words have never made me cry before.
The land, the time,
and the ocean between us
only make this love wider.
Our worlds bigger
and the time we get to know each other
even more ancient.
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