Flatfile » Luan Sherman »

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Website: luansherman.com

Luan Joy Sherman (loo-en joi sure-man), is a 24 year old queer, trans male artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. He works with embroidery, photography, sculpture, performance, video, and sound, to process and document his medical transition from female to male and explore themes of gender, identity, and body politics. In 2015, he graduated from The Savannah College of Art and Design with a B.F.A. in painting and art history. He has exhibited work in New York, NY, Brooklyn, NY, Chautauqua, NY, Boston, MA, Black Mountain, NC, San Francisco, CA, Savannah, GA, Atlanta, GA, Iowa City, IA, and Lacoste, France. In 2010, he attended the Young Artist in Residence Program at the Art Institute of Boston, in 2014 he attended the Chautauqua School of Art Residency Program at the Chautauqua Institute, and in May of 2016, he attended a 2 week residency program at Black Mountain School in Black Mountain, NC. He has participated in public performances at The Women's Suffrage Centennial at The Cooper Union in New York, NY, and at the SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah, GA. In August of 2016, he taught a course on queer theory and intersectionality for an experimental education initiative in Brooklyn, NY called "Sundae School". In May 2017, he served as faculty at the School of the Alternative in Black Mountain, NC, and taught a self-designed course called "Queering Masculinity". In July, he attended the ACRE Artist Residency in Steuben, WI with a fully funded Brenda Greene Gender Inclusivity scholarship. In September of 2017, his film, "ARTS ACTION AGAINST HB2" was shown at Anthology Film Archives for their Trans Film Series. His work can also be seen in print in the most recent issue of Unvarnished Mag, Issue 1: "LIBERATION". He is currently working as an artist and educator in Brooklyn, NY as well as being a trainer and rock climbing instructor.




These photo blankets display trans masculine bodies in different states of preference, transition, and identity.

“Freedom and Suffering”, 2017

I drew this Venn Diagram while recovering from the most painful surgery of my life. I had double incision top surgery in December of 2016; a 6 week recovery period followed by 4-6 months of memory loss, cognitive deficiency, and an overall decreased mental and emotional capacity. This endurance/reward dynamic was very clear to me at the time, and still resonates with me now, that despite my tremendous suffering, there was also tremendous freedom ahead of me. This carpet is intended to be walked on and considered while standing within the diagram.

“Luan Joy Sherman vs. The State of Maine”, 2017

This piece is intended to document and expose the problematic dynamics that many trans people have to manage when trying to obtain updated legal identity documents. The to-do list for trans folks attempting to change their name and gender markers on legal documents may include but is not limited to: birth certificates, utilities accounts, phone bills, health insurance, hospital records, driver’s license, passports, legal state ID, school registration information, diplomas, vehicle registration, social security, employment information, tax information, and every other instance when you fill out paperwork that requires you to sign your name and indicate your gender. For trans folks attempting to fly under the radar of cis violence, these documented instances of identity follow you around like a specter; a phantom-you that once existed can appear at any moment and out you, cost you your job, prevent you from accessing public spaces, or get you denied healthcare. These challenges and barriers associated with obtaining updated documents are just one of the myriad factors contributing to trans unemployment rates, homelessness, and violence against trans people.

“Trans Pride Is Radical”, 2017

These works were shown in June of 2017 at Midtown Player’s Club, a temporary gallery space that transformed a repurposed community gym in downtown Atlanta. “Trans Pride Is Radical” consists of 4 posters that were displayed in the women’s locker room of the gym as a part of a larger body of work addressing trans identity, trans bodies, and the challenges associated with existing as a trans person in public space and through a system of public regulation.

“Double Incision”, 2016

This tank was embroidered pre-top surgery to anticipate and acclimate to the scars I would acquire post-op.

“On Being Queer”, 2017