rae strozzo
up up but never away 4
2011
acrylic on canvas
11"x14"
“over and over” is made up of two bodies of work: “folding (over)” and “up up but never away.” The work as a whole is about endings and beginnings. About those things that happen to us repeatedly or that we need to do or be repeatedly. It is about how those repetitions relate and resolve each other. And about how an ending is really just a beginning in disguise.

The bridges are a metaphor for connection and how quickly things can happen and pass. They also are a metaphor for what it means for me as a trans guy to cross from one point on the gender continuum to another. I have to be open to connection and loss in those decisions. And I have to be willing to cross even if I find myself (as I often do now) standing at the center of those crossings rather than actually needing to get to the other side.

For the trans boy, male relationships can seem completely enigmatic while simultaneously being a careful example to study. My relationships with my father and grandfather had a lot of distance built into them. And perhaps never really developed into something really solid and reliable in the traditional sense. But they were both good relationships for me. Both men, especially my dad, taught me a lot about what it means to be a good man, and in that way he taught me not only how to be a “good daughter” but a son as well. The crop dusters don’t have anyone in the cockpits. They have empty spaces in the wings, are missing propellers, and sometimes have holes in the body of the plane because they aren’t physically whole. But they fly. And beautifully because the sky is even more of a part of their being. They are in it and it is in them. The blanks spaces make them whole and functional.

All of these are about an exercises in trust. Trust that physics will actually get a huge hunk of metal up into the sky. Trust that in a moment of suspension, that bridge will stay up and allow you to cross over to the next part of your journey. Trust that by putting one foot in front of the other and following your intuition, the path that you are on will be the one you are supposed to be walking.
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