emily north/em16 an artist analyzing figurative depiction through large-scale immersive works on paper and permanent tattoos on skin. Their practice explores the multiplicities of identity as developed within internal and external representations of human form.
Examining gender, race, and queerness via narrative storytelling is a consistent goal of their visual work. Over the past twenty years, they have worked in performative, digital, and analog media. They have continued to adopt language and materials to each specific project, working both individually and collaboratively with other artists.
Their recent collaboration Still Life/Still Alive with artist Awilda Rodríguez, serves to document matrilineal bloodlines via storytelling and tattooing. In an exchange of conversation and art-making, they honored their ancestors and questioned the temporality of art and life. Conversation topics consisted of re-conceiving “still-life”, the body as a siphon for history, mapping POC and queer lineage, and the heritage of mental illness. This piece took place at SOHO20 Gallery and was broadcasted live on Facebook.
Their beach drawings and birth-centered paintings explore disappearing moments of connection as time and urban development shift queer spaces. They reinvent traditional artistic tropes of figurative painting morphing human form into a vessel for a narrative of an “othered” experience. These over-sized two-dimensional works on paper are both reverent and challenging of classical painting, fairy tales, and graphic novels.
They currently live and work in Brooklyn, NY. From 2003-2007, they co-founded riffRAG, a queer, anti-racist, feminist art magazine, and curated related art exhibitions in New York City. Their work has been exhibited in film festivals and galleries, including SOHO20, Leslie Lohman, Fountain Art Fair, Artists Space, Longwood Gallery, SF Arts Commission, Queens Museum of Art, New Fest, and Brooklyn Borough Hall. After retiring from 15 years working as a graphic designer, they now make artwork in their Brooklyn studio, teach courses at Parsons, and tattoo from their queer, feminist tattoo shop