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Intricate Architectural Drawings Are Allegories for Queer Bodies and Sex

Edie Fake tackles trans identity and queer sexuality through an unusual medium—architectural drawings.

Edie Fake’s gouache and ink drawings deal with themes of queer identity through an unusual lens: architecture. In intricate, incredibly detailed geometric figurations, Fake renders structures that are analogies for the body and sexuality. "I think that geometric patterns have subtle stories they tell the viewer through the arrangement of shapes,” he tells The Creators Project. "A form [may] engulf another, pass through it, rub up against it, rest on top of it—maybe that all comes back to telling a story about how bodies interact with other bodies?”

The project began when Fake, who’s currently based in LA, was living in Chicago. In researching the city’s history, he found that many of its queer and feminist spaces had closed down. "I could feel a rich continuum of gay activity in my bones, but I couldn’t see any solid evidence of the past around me—only tiny hints of it would come to the surface,” he writes. "So I started drawing re-imagined spaces as a way to reinvigorate those sites and as a way to think about potential and memory in the world we’re building right now."

Before Stonewall, 2015

The project evolved from Fake imagining spaces that were once real to drawing sites that would be impossible to build, constructions that serve as allegories for the body. “They’re built around complicated spaces in sexual and gender identities, and especially spaces I navigate within trans identity,” he writes.

Personal Business, 2015

Switches, a stark design that evokes M.C. Escher-esque impossibilities, is one such work. "I wanted to draw a place that had no inherent top or bottom as a way to evoke sexual and gender flexibility and I wanted that idea to run concurrently through the drawing with ideas about circuitry and circulation, the electricity of the body, mirrors and mirroring and outer space,” says Fake.

Fronts, 2016

Switches, 2015

The Stick It Inn, 2016

Edie Fake’s work will be displayed at Marlborough Chelsea through April 23rd. For more information, click here.

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