davidson.edu department of art

Brendan Schamu: Transition

April 20-29, 2012


Transistion is a solo exhibition by Brendan Schamu, ’12, and is part of an on-going series of Senior Studio Art Major exhibitions in the Edward M. Smith Gallery.

I seek to transform a surface through unconventional means, with materials that typically are not seen as art medium. I embrace going against what is considered “normal,” as seen in my constantly changing rainbow spectrum of hair as well as my gender expression.

In my work, I bridge the gap between my personal life and my art with the materials I use. Having been raised as a female by my two wonderful parents, I saw the world through a girl’s eyes. But deep down, I couldn’t push away the feeling that I was male. It took several years to come to the realization that I not only had no idea how to close a bra hook properly on the first try; I also had no desire to learn how to be a lady at all. This was already going against what most people consider “normal.” I was very confused.

after some research, I learned that some men are born into female bodies, and some women are born into male bodies. It is not very conventional for either gender to “transition” and have a sex change; thus, there is a controversy around this topic. As time went on, I found myself needing to transfer my newfound knowledge of my male gender identity into my art by using materials I regularly use that are connected to my gender transistion.

I directly connect myself to my work by using my testosterone injection syringes to apply India ink in squirts all over the canvas. I use Elmer’s glue as an unconventional paint medium, and as the base into which the India ink binds and spreads. The end product is reminiscent of cells in the body viewed under a microscope. I inject testosterone, it absorbs into muscle tissue, and my changing body becomes the end result. I inject ink, it binds to the glue, and the changing surface becomes a composition.

Making this art proves that everyday objects that usually are not considered a painting medium can result in a surprising and unique effect. With the use of my materials, I embracy my body and its changes just as I embrace the canvas and its changes as well.



Opening Reception – April 20, 3-5pm

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“Regina José Galindo: Bearing Witness” Review in Sculpture Magazine - November 2016

Regina José Galindo: Acts of Endurance by Barbara Schreiber Regina José Galindo’s performances are often shocking and degrading. Sometimes naked, she is tasered, hit, bloodied, anesthetized, urinated on, or left for dead. “Bearing Witness,” at North Carolina’s David son College last fall, was Galindo’s first solo show in the United States. Curator Lia Newman gathered […]

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