My work explores the intersections and materials of desire, ornament and nightlife. Referencing French Rococo, needlework traditions, coded signals, leather, fetish and drag culture, I make objects and sculptures that celebrate the beauty and poetry of what is considered deviant. I combine mass-produced objects and handicraft textile techniques such as couture embellishment, piecework and fabric manipulation to reflect on the needs and dynamics for non-normative identities to constitute their own narratives using and adapting elements of the dominant cultures. By reclaiming and queering objects often displayed on ripped and or sexualized bodies, I am especially interested in playing with and subverting the gay male gaze.
The materials I use are rooted in long histories of power structures, gender identities and sexual implications; they also have abilities to record individual existences, as well as being connected to my personal affinities and identity. Men’s underwear –especially the iconic ‘tighty-whities’ –, pearls, costume jewelry, sportswear, beads, mesh, bits of domestic and urban furniture are pieced together or recreated in my work in the same manner as my own constitution: haphazard with an attention to detail.
Théo Bignon is a French artist whose work investigates notions of desire and identity through objects and sculpture involving material such as men’s briefs, beads, and other embellishments. After graduating in Political Science and History from Sciences Po Paris, he moved to the US to study art at the University of Pittsburgh, PA. His artwork has been exhibited nationally at the Hive Gallery in Los Angeles, CA, The Visual Art Center in Richmond, VA, The Studio Door in San Diego, CA, as well as other galleries across the US. Théo currently lives in Chicago, IL, where he is pursuing an MFA in the Fiber & Material Studies Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.