Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art



First Reader/Committee Chair

Jane Chin Davidson, Ph.D.


My work examines the concept of the fetish through subject and materiality. By weaving together elements borrowed from Baroque and Pop art, I intentionally disrupt historical norms. The overarching Camp aesthetics serve as a vehicle for subverting established references, while simultaneously imbuing them with a queer sensibility. By recontextualizing classical representations of the figure, I put myself into the work to examine how identity is the Subject but is conflated with the ideas of Objecthood.

References to pornography and sex work play a pivotal role in this body of work. For many trans women, sex work becomes a pragmatic choice due to the constraints imposed by dominant gender norms and capitalist structures. Paradoxically, society often blames trans individuals for their own sexualization, conveniently overlooking the systemic reinforcement of these ideals through regulatory practices, consumerism, and media portrayal of gender performance.

Dominant culture wields significant influence over trans and femme bodies. On one hand, it perpetuates the unattainable “Barbie ideal,” while simultaneously sexualizing pre-op trans women based on their anatomy. This reduction of trans women to mere fetish objects underscores the complex power dynamics at play.