In October, 2019, Chicago artist Edie Fake will create a site-specific wall drawing in the stairwell of The Drawing Center lobby. Fake’s installation will be the fourth in a series following Inka Essenhigh’s Manhattanhenge (April 2018–August 2019), Gary Simmons’s Ghost Reels (October 2016–February 2018), and Abdelkader Benchamma’s Dark Matter (April 2015–August 2016).
Edie Fake (b. 1980, Chicago) is known for his drawings of architecture, both real and visionary, that represent what the artist calls “Queer Space.” Using kaleidoscopic color schemes and vibrating maze-like motifs, Fake creates psychical maps of spaces in which LGBTQ+ communities traditionally sought out self-identification. Fake floods his drawings with overlapping patterns and architectural features: labyrinthine walls, doors, windows, and swimming pools among others. Simultaneously bold and disorienting, Fake’s eclectic drawings function as visual metaphors for the experience of LGBTQ+ identity, which can be both empowering and destabilizing.
At The Drawing Center, Fake will realize his architectural fantasies in an actual built space. Overlaying an imagined maze-like architectural façade onto the walls of the stairwell, Fake will turn the liminal space into an homage to the Labyrinth Foundation, an early organization for trans men established in the late 1960s in Chicago. The elaborate façade will dissolve into the same winding patterns and paths that populate Fake’s individual drawings, a reference to the myriad unmapped territories and paths through trans identity.
Edie Fake: Labyrinth is made possible by Marlborough; the Toby Devan Lewis Donor Advised Fund of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland; Gary Metzner and Scott Johnson; John Robin Baitz; billy ocallaghan and mark gross; and Western Exhibitions.
Image: Edie Fake, Sketch for Labyrinth at The Drawing Center, 2019. Courtesy of the artist.