Perrotin is pleased to present TOYMAKER: Big blu & the Weeping walls!! 👁️💧💒, an exhibition of new work by Trevon Latin on view at Perrotin New York. In the artist’s application of textures, such as sequined cloth and quilted fabrics, canvas, found objects, beads and barrettes, Latin’s work seeks to engender narrative and world-making through the media of painting, sculpture, installation, and performance.
In TOYMAKER, Latin builds a digitally inspired landscape that is inhabited by beings in a state of becoming. Interested in world-building from a young age, gaming and cartoons served as a means of escape for the artist. Growing up as a queer person in the South, his own identity was formed as much in online communities as it was in the physical world. Latin began working on TOYMAKER following his return to Houston, Texas. Consequently, the works on view serve as a reflection on childhood and the metamorphoses of aging and self-becoming. In this latest body of work, Latin explores these motifs through characters that transform between childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, while referencing the artist’s own relationship between the virtual and physical.
Latin’s homecoming reintroduced them to focal aspects of their youth. In their Southern Black Pentecostal community in Texas, Christianity was the epicenter, which the artist increasingly struggled with as they embraced their own identity. In Latin’s new series of portals, they revisit this relationship through seven wall sculptures that recall sacred architecture. Formally, the works are shaped as portals or doorways, recalling rounded Roman and pointed Gothic arches of historical cathedrals. The quilted plane is a kaleidoscope of colors, reminiscent of stained-glass windows, where traditional biblical stories have been replaced by those of transformation, fantasy, and Latin’s own upbringing.
Latin imbues each portal with figures that appear to be growing out of the frame, simultaneously emerging and constrained. Each portal depicts abstracted figures in luminous chroma, illustrating stages of dysmorphia to empowerment, insecurity to intimacy. The series traces detailed portraits of individual avatars throughout development: from children sipping on bottles, to adolescents at play, and finally, a reckoning of one’s own mortality.
In Lean with the left-lean with the left | Llelow, Latin depicts a bas-relief figure in a lunging position, appearing to jump from the frame with a boxing glove raised, asserting their presence amid a field of flowers. The genderless figure propels upwards, leaving in their wake teardrops which fall toward their feet. The figure merges with the quilted plane, underscoring the necessity of artistry and creation as a mechanism for queer survival. In Our daily bred | Blue-berries n’ cream, Latin depicts two headless forms in a loving embrace, their bodies and patterns chameleon-ing into one another. Dripping in pearls and stones, surrounded by flowers and butterflies, the figures propose a queer love of unabashed beauty. If religious architecture aims to blur the boundaries between the sacred and material worlds, Latin’s work goes one step further, seeking to embed often marginalized experiences into our history and built environment.
The exhibition culminates in a sculpted figure, titled Big Blu, an avatar present in Latin’s practice for half of a decade. Big Blu is both an accomplice and mirror for Latin, a constructed identity that he can put on. This iteration of Blu exhibits a newfound air of self-assuredness, emphasized by their stance, which mirrors a quintessential gaming posture taken by characters prior to combat. Here, Big Blu rests upon a garden of luscious green fabric, whose earthliness grounds the avatar, granting space and safety.
This exhibition is dedicated to Latin’s late mother, Shanda.
Né en 1987 à Houston, Texas, USA
Habite et travaille à Houston, Texas, USA
Born in Houston in 1987, Trevon Latin is a multimedia artist whose work seeks to engender narrative and world-making through the media of painting, sculpture, installation, and performance. In his application of textures, such as sequined cloth, found textiles, and canvas, the artist creates compositions that develop avatars and personas from virtual reality, queer nightlife and the artist's own visage as a transformative palette. The resulting creations blend futurity and fantasy, mythology and religion, creating landscapes where the characters portrayed exist in a state of becoming.
Latin received their BFA from the University of Houston, Texas in 2011, before receiving an MFA from Yale University's department of Painting and Printmaking in 2020. The artist lives and works in Houston, Texas.