Quay Quinn Wolf: Tensions at Jack Barrett Gallery
January 10 – February 23, 2019
PR: Jack Barrett is pleased to present Tensions, Quay Quinn Wolf’s second solo show and fifth presentation with the gallery.
On June 25th, 2018 at 11:53 PM, a car at an intersection in downtown Brooklyn struck Quay Quinn Wolf and his partner. The resulting bodily injuries were minor; they were dismissed from the hospital with only small cuts and bruises, yet the psychological impact of the incident proved to be far greater.
The incident is classified as a hate crime. The couple was intentionally struck with the driver speeding off after the incident. Wolf recalls the driver making eye contact with him prior to the hit, then laughing after the impact. To this date, there has been no legal remedy or resolution with the perpetrator having never been found. The memory of this night is the source of Tensions, and the resulting body of work, through its exploration of materials and their juxtaposition, examines the layered interpretation of the crime.
The show’s title takes its name from two, four-liter diffusers that rest on newly painted lavender floors, and disperse rose and tobacco oil throughout the gallery. Masculine and feminine aromas weave between the works and visitors, creating a dense atmosphere. The slippage between feminine and masculine, interior and exterior, the difference between the leather seats of a car and the hard surface of its metal facades, become a crucial thread throughout Tensions.
With May the Memory of that night Haunt You, Leather Interior (no 1) and (no 2), Wolf has draped white leather scraps dyed with cherries, red roses, and Shea oil, over steel fixtures. The leather interior references the physical interior of the driver’s car and the driver’s own interiority, hardened and rough.
In Fear of Softness (no 1) and (no 2), modified menswear paired with automotive parts, Wolf begins to approach an ideological space where softness and masculinity are not mutually exclusive. This sculptural pair is indicative of Wolf’s longstanding interest in complicating our associations with menswear through materials that evoke flamboyancy and fragility.
The car itself is an object of fixation and a site of inquiry for Wolf as he dissects and reimagines its parts. Wolf’s Connected is made up of Toyota Sienna sliding door part, lilies, and black rubber tubing. Unclean is a pair of mangled Toyota Sienna fender liners fixed with rabbit fur, a material with many associations. Rabbit fur also appears in Hidden Desires, folded over a steel pole protruding from the gallery wall. For Wolf, the rabbit fur is part of a queer vernacular representing fully realized sexual desires while simultaneously reflecting a dangerous and pervasive sentiment that gay men are unclean.
These manifestations of masculinity, and the corresponding relationship to queer bodies and femme energies, have always perplexed and captivated Wolf. Referencing a specific event, Tensions continues to tease out these nuanced relationships and their impact on the supposedly safe interiority of the Self as a queer black man.