Help me update technology & work w/ Italian Artist
$1,164 raised
51% of $2.3k goal
17 contributors
48 Weeks running

My name is Curtis Walker and I need your help in creating more fat-positive, intersectional LGBTQI+ art and sharing it with the world. In 2016, I set out to find a way to create art that would empower fat gay/queer men and non-binary folks. It has since spun into two art projects. One focuses on men and non-binary folks while the other focuses on all members of the LGBTQI+ communities and anyone that doesn’t fit into heteronormative boxes.

As I have struggled with eating disorders and body image over the course of my life, art has helped me restore a sense of well-being. As a trans man, I found images of men and non-binary people that were fat positive and beautiful exceedingly hard to find. Even today, most bear art has a fairly limited variety of who is included. My end goal will be to work with other artists to build a collaborative website that includes other artists who are invested in intersectionality. But I need to get my own website up and running first. I’ve spent the last two-and-a-half years capturing the work you see here. My current computer is a decade old and incompatible with contemporary photo managing and editing software. I've photographed fifty-seven models in the last year, and have hundreds of photos to edit. Updating my system will allow me to process this backlog more quickly and continue with my projects.

At the same time, I have the opportunity to meet with one of the artists that have encouraged me and mentored me along the way. Gian lives in Italy so going to visit him was never really possible, but now there is an unusual opportunity for us to both be in the same city at the same time. Gian would allow me to accompany him on some photo shoots. We will also have the opportunity to model for one another as a collaboration.

I'm a fat, queer, non-binary, white, disabled, trans guy. I have a vantage point of having lived at many intersections of oppressions that put me on the edges of many communities, while simultaneously receiving privilege of different types at different times. When we are/live at intersections of identities we have perspectives that are unique and valuable regarding how cultures are dynamic and beautiful. We also know the ways in which the intersections are exhausting and isolating, making it hard to advocate for our representation in the world.

More about the projects

In the Fat Gaze Project, I am capturing large non-binary people and men that are bi, pan, queer, androphilic,* or gay. As large gay and queer men and non-binary people we often have trouble seeing ourselves as beautiful. Even within the bear community, which originally developed out of “chubs” and their lovers celebrating each other, the largest men get pushed to the fringe. Fem and non-binary people in this community also have our own internal and external oppressions, even in our own subcultures, and so it has been amazing to spend time with these individuals and capture their stories through images.

 

*Androphilic means attracted to masculine and male-identified people including non-binary people.

 

My other project, Edges and Curves started when I was approached by people that wanted to be a part of my fat-positive process. These individuals that like my work but fell outside of the other project (mostly thin people and women) loved the empowerment my project provided and wanted to have their images captured to further that mutual goal. I believe fatphobia is real and is its own unique oppression that not many people face and few others even know about. I’ve chosen to keep the first project focused on those of us that struggle to do things like, for example, find clothes or fly on a plane. I wanted to share the stories held in the body of all of us on the edges. With Edges and Curves, I hope to empower those of us who are not represented in most works, even in the queer community. Intersectionality is a profound part of this project, looking at the ways multiple oppressions impact people’s lives and bodies. Edges and Curves explores the edges of our communities and how the boundaries, identities and subcultures shift and change.

 

Budget

I need your support to complete these projects and share powerful fat positive LGBTQI+ art! Every dollar you donate here we'll go to furthering that goal.

$1000 towards a new computer and software

$300 towards airfare from Philadelphia to San Francisco

$850 towards accommodations in the bay area.

$150 towards ground transportation

 

Thank you all for taking the time to read through my fundraiser and for making donations small and large. If you or someone you know has airline miles, upgrade coupons, or hotel points these are at least as valuable as money! Please consider contacting me to donate them as well. Each donor will get updated information on my process and links to photos as they become available. You're an intrical part of what I'm doing and I am grateful to each and everyone of you! If it wasn't for the help and support of you and the rest of my friends and family: financial, emotional and physical, I would not be where I am today creating this powerful art. I believe we need art now more than ever, as well as, the emotional empowerment that comes from it.

Thanks for your generous donations and involvement in this process, in these trying times,

Curtis Walker

Feel free to contact me at impetusarts@yahoo.com 

You can see more of my art at CurtisWalkerPhotography.tumblr.com 

Note: Do not assume the genders or identities of any of the models in these projects unless otherwise specified.

 

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