As an autistic queer second-generation Filipinx-American in the South, embracing home can be challenging. My recent explorations have been about delving into family photographs and objects from childhood in an attempt to search for relationships to the self and place. Home isn’t always so definitive; a complexity of layers, where queer safe spaces are difficult to find and diasporic probing of what or where is home, tantalize. My pieces examine aspects of home, as it pertains to themes of identity, labor, and connection.
As an interdisciplinary artist, some of my work combines old photographs with embroidery to connect a common thread or they’re simple photographs of everyday; others are shaped in wood to illustrate some of the arduous tasks involved in carving out an existence. I’ve even used medical gauze to illustrate the delicate fabric of life. Manila envelopes, once made from abaca fibers, a plant from the Philippines, are part of my current explorations; they reference my Filipinx connection, while some aspects such as, disappearing image transfer plays with lost memory.
With interests in collections, cataloging, and documenting, whether it’s a photograph, the use of video, carving wood, or stitching embroidery, the act within some of these laborious activities becomes meditative even within the conceptual process. This balance between social constructs and what is true to self becomes an inquiry between where or why do I/we keep searching in ourselves in the everyday. Identity is layered but in seeking facets of home, it always includes a part of self and within my creative process, I hope it continues to find connection.
Cher Musico (she/her/they) is an autistic Filipinx-American interdisciplinary artist and MFA candidate in Studio Art at Texas Woman’s University. Her interdisciplinary art work explores identity, labor, and connection, especially within queer spaces and her Filipinix-American culture.
She received her AAA in Visual Communication in 1996 & BFA in Advertising Design from the Art Institute in 2009. Her career as a production artist and graphic designer with a background in branding and marketing has helped influence a digital perspective to her studio practice yet photographing and enacting performances has also helped shape a unique viewpoint. She’s spent some time competing in local spoken word poetry slams, winning space to compete with a few teams at the former National Poetry Slam.
In addition, Musico helped co-found Mustache Envy, an entertainment drag and queerlesque troupe, which she is currently the executive producer of and whose primary focus is community and social justice advocacy. Her numerous group exhibitions include work with “Superdomestic” at Asukal Space’s virtual gallery, Dallas’ creative group, Art, Love, Magic, live performances with Denton’s Spiderweb Salon, and recently, 500x’s inaugural LGBTQIA+ art show.