Alexis Garrett Stodghill is an artist, multi-media journalist, and new media producer. She graduated from Brown University with a double major in Modern Culture and Media and English and American Literature. Through the mix of these disciplines, she explores the way different media can empower subjects, or subjugate them to dominant powers with greater access to the means of visual production. In her business endeavours, she has created media that gives voice to individuals typically disenfranchised in this economy through projects such as co-producing the groundbreaking web site BlackPlanet.com. She has also written for various outlets, including NBCNews.com, New York’s Daily News, Ebony, Jet, and BlackEnterprise.com. Ms. Stodghill currently produces news at MSNBC, and lives in New York City. For more information: alexisgstodghill.com
Alexis Garrett Stodghill joins André St. Clair and Tavet Gillson of ANDRÉTAVET, whose work explores self-image filtered through the dreamlike prism of technology.
In Button Reign, the central character of the button “queen” illustrates the universal tension between the public and private self. The theme of the “button” unifies the piece, functioning both as a strong visual element and as a metaphor for notions of closure and confinement, suturing and covering up.
In the first image the queen is shown in her formal court portrait. She is “buttoned-up” — constrained in a heteronormative power role, her transgender identity almost subsumed.
In the second portrait the queen is “unbuttoned” — vulnerable, relaxing in her tub, taking pleasure in her feminine nature, free from society’s constraints.
The buttons in the first image function as armor — a visual cue to royalty, power and order. In the second image the buttons form a multicolored, polymorphous dream-substance that caresses the queen as she experiences her true self.
Our work concerns the universal experience of having both a “buttoned-up” social self we all must present, and a gender-personal self we all possess outside society’s prescriptions.
On an artistic level, our work combines subversive content with a pop visual style that seduces and provokes viewers into going deeper — into our work, into our culture, into themselves.
The aesthetic of Button Reign is in part inspired by the dynamic designs of famed interior designer Jamie Drake, who lent key spaces in his Manhattan home for our photo shoot, which plays upon the mix of darkness, elegance, and pop/edgy romance that the designer has described as key elements of his abode.
The Button ShowJanuary 21st- March 12th, 2016