Edie Fake’s paintings start as self-portraits, and from there, they make a break for it, referencing elements of the trans and non-binary body through pattern, color and architectural metaphor. His precise, intimately scaled, gouache-and-ink paintings on panel are structured around the physical aspects of transition and adaptation as well as mental and sexual health.
Since moving from first Chicago, then to Los Angeles while briefly attending grad school at USC, to now the high desert of Joshua Tree in California, Fake’s work has evolved from his acclaimed Memory Palaces series — reimagined facades of urban lesbian bars and gay nightclubs — to a new feeling of vulnerability due to shifts in the U.S. social and political climate. The work blurs lines between architecture and body with structures adorned by elements that seem to be both decorative and protective. Architectural components are used as visual metaphors for the ways in which definition and validation elude trans identities. Says Fake, “More and more I’m trying to bring an anarchy into that architecture, or a fantasy and ecstasy of what queer space is and can be.”
Edie Fake currently has painted installations on view at The Drawing Center in New York and the Berkeley Art Museum and Film Archive in California. Fake’s drawings, paintings, comics, books and publications have been written about it in artforum, ArtNews, The Comics Journal, Art 21, The Guardian, Hyperallergic, The Los Angeles Review of Books and were recently featured on the cover of the Paris Review. Fake’s 2018 show at Western Exhibitions was reviewed in Art in America He was one of the first recipients of Printed Matter’s Awards for Artists and his collection of comics, Gaylord Phoenix, won the 2011 Ignatz Award for Outstanding Graphic Novel. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including a solo shows at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, NY and Marlborough Contemporary, NYC, and in group shows at the Museum of Art and Design, NYC and the Institute of Art at VCU in Richmond, VA. Fake’s work is held in the collections of the Des Moines Art Center in Iowa, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Overland Park,KS and the RISD Art Museum in Providence, RI. Edie Fake was born in Chicagoland in 1980 and received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2002. Fake is represented by Western Exhibitions in Chicago and he currently lives and works in Twentynine Palms, California.