MSAC Individual Artist Award (IAA)2013
Artist StatementIn researching the subject of desire, my main interest lies in how stereotypes of sexual emotions, experiences, and identities are propagated in mass-produced images and print material, and in turn, how these images and text shape our own identities. Sourcing romance novels, erotic magazines, online dating websites, personals ads and text messages, I extract both ambiguous and specific bits of sexual language and illustration, and piece together new content which subverts the original messages and context. Deconstructing these images and cultural artifacts opens up gaps in which I can insert and reconstruct my own complicated narrative as a nerdy Appalachian queer guy. Thus, stories of cruising men and family past-times are interwoven as a multi-layered collage of text, images, patterned cloth, personal clothing, furniture, wallpaper, drawings and found domestic textiles. These saturated works draw attention to the often murky intersection of personal desires and family institutions, as well as openly question our larger social constructions of deviancy, normality, adolescent imprinting and generational divides.
Aaron McIntosh grew up in the Appalachian mountains of East Tennessee, where his families’ working class environments and domestic activities such as quiltmaking have figured large in his visual vocabulary. He received a BFA from the Appalachian Center for Craft and a MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. He continues to explore the intersections of material culture, family tradition, identity-shaping, sexuality and desire in a range of works including quilts, collage, drawing, domestic textiles and furniture. McIntosh was one of the first recipients of the Windgate Undergraduate Fellowships in 2006, and recently served as the first alumni juror for the 2011 Fellowships. His exhibition record includes numerous solo and group exhibitions, including Quilt National ’09 and most recently the curated exhibition, Beyond Useful and Beautiful: Rethinking Domestic Craft, at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. His teaching experience includes positions as adjunct faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University and as the Fiber Area head at James Madison University. McIntosh currently lives in Baltimore, MD, and works at the Maryland Institute College of Art as a Full-Time Professor in the Fiber Department.