Author/Artist Name

CJ NanceFollow



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Academic Level at Time of Creation


Date of Creation

Spring 5-2-2024

Artist Statement

Have you ever experienced hate from those you love the most? From those in the media you admire? Hatred that tells you that your existence should not be allowed? This is my daily experience as a transgender man. Being transgender has given me experiences that I love and experiences that I would never wish upon my worst enemy. Unfortunately, coming out and being out is dangerous for my community, and many transgender people choose to stay hidden. As an artist, I focus on gender identity and transformation that aims to provide courage to other transgender individuals so that they too can become their authentic selves.

Creating prints is a way to process my transformation while advocating for the transgender community. The graphic quality of screen printing works in conjunction with my figure and object-driven images. The prints are realistic and illustrative with line quality that is essential to my work. By using these elements as well as bold, bright colors, I emphasize the shapes and textures of the subject.

Along with screen printing, embroidery is a technique that is implemented in my pieces. The patches of embroidery floss make certain areas of the image more distinctive than the others. It is used to highlight the parts of the body that are changing or being changed deliberately by the transgender person. This is to bring awareness to transgender people and what we go through, so that others can further understand who we are and not jump to conclusions when it comes to our bodies.

Cathrine Opie uses lots of symbolism in their work as a queer person to show what others might be afraid to let those outside the community see. My community frequently uses symbolism as a more appealing way to show the harsh reality that comes with being ourselves. Because of this, I use symbolism as a powerful tool to talk about how being transgender is not all happiness. Being publicly out is harsh and not for the faint of heart. Despite this, those that came before me have inspired and encouraged hundreds of people to accept their identities. I hope my work can do the same.


Nicole Hand-Bryant; John Utgaard; Antje Gamble; Mike Martin


Transcendence consists of 12 pillows in a variety of sizes from 30 in x 20 in to 18 in x 18 in. All of the pillows consists of different types of changes that transgender people go through medically. 3 pillows consisted of bottom growth that happens when transgender males go on testosterone, 2 pillows had different types of abstract top surgery scars transgender males get when they get a double mastectomy, 2 pillows had a multitude of nipples on them because during the healing process after top surgery there is a chance for our nipples to fall off, and even more consisting of similar ideals.

This exhibition was created using multiple mediums including screenprinting and embroidery. Transcendence was chosen because I personally know how hard it is to be out publicly as transgender and wanted those like me to feel appreciated and seen. On the other side of that, I wanted those who do not have the knowledge or appreciation for the transgender community to be able to understand what my community has to go through just to feel like ourselves and like we belong. I created the tent to bring some of that familiarity from childhood into the mix and hopefully create a feeling comfort and belonging to the viewers.

Photo Credit

CJ Nance




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