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Artist ID: 2313

Lifelong, I have grappled with the identity assigned to me by society, whose premature labeling has created issues of internal reconciliation. Being labeled a 'sissy' as a boy, the physical indoctrination of "making a man out of me" robbed me of the opportunity to establish a sense of self. The instilled confusion and shame emboldened my quest to confront social injustices. I seek to fill the internalized voids by facilitating connection through personal expression. Working within the confines of the self, I reclaim spaces that scar identities to inspire consciousness. The search for personal identity outside the confines of repeated labeling and the reclamations of power over the dynamics labeling words possess is rich territory worthy of exploration.
My current work is autobiographical, a psychological exploration into recontextualizing the formations homophobia has had over my foundational identity. Broadly, my interest is in the reconciliation of my LGBTQ identity with the identity assigned to me through public designation. Being labeled with terms designed to other and degrade creates voids in psychological development between how I perceive myself and the stigma associated with labels assigned to me. This reconciliation of self-perception, societal perception, and the reclamation of identity is the current focus of my research. I reflect upon these influences through abstract concepts, layered textures, and wry humor. The depiction of color and atmosphere is directly influenced by my exploration into the voids between private and public. Sometimes my approach is overt, seeking to reclaim space. Other times, my approach is an expression of nostalgia and grief for what never materialized. Emphasizing color through emotional gesture, I apply materials with unique approaches to evoke emotional responses of empathy, anxiety, and wonder often heightened by tensions of angst and humor.

Richard Sexton is an interdisciplinary artist who investigates LGBTQ and sociopolitical issues in ceramics, video, textiles, set design, and oil painting. His work is expressive and gestural, concerned with abstraction to convey energy and emotional content. Based in Pensacola, Florida, he is currently a student at the University of West Florida, completing his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. After graduation, he intends to pursue his MFA and build his art practice.
Richard’s creative background is in choreography and movement. Starting as a performer, he moved into teaching, costumes, and set design. In his professional career, Richard worked as a graphic design artist at a Fortune 500 mutual investment firm, a prop artist for an events company, and an executive assistant to a personal entertainment manager in the music, television, and film industry. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, gardening, and exploring nature with his three dogs.

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