boychild is the artist-oracle who invokes spirits, casts cosmic spells and enraptures onlookers with her Delphic stage presence. A volatile, visceral fluidity informs her presentations and acts, as well as a lofty determination to dissolve the boundaries between gender rigidities, dogmatism, discrimination, artist, and audience. Hailing from the Bay Area, boychild (properly written in all lowercase letters) has masqueraded as everything from goth-glam cyborg to double-edged debutante to magical, maniacal mutant muse in film and fashion. Aggressive, alluring and alien-like with a fremd aura, the style savant excels at hacking and hijacking gender clichés and stages a specifically he-she-it form of histrionics. No wonder she’s often compared to Cindy Sherman, Leigh Bowery and John Waters. With a solid support system from San Fran to Sweden, oodles of admirers on social media and a cool as a cucumber personality, this visionary performance artist, painter, poet, polymath, make-up artist and mystic is certainly coming into her own. Her performance presence is always a kinetic condensation of meanings and styles: tensions between archetypal and utopian elements, otherworldy incarnations, post-punk personas, queer chumminess, bile rage and intense, glitched-out expressiveness. boychild’s bang-up and BLISSful methodologies might be thought of as a kind of latter-day Dadaist pushing the limits of representation, androgyny, exhibitionism and ontology. Respect!
What was the genesis of boychild?
My background is in photography. When a friend who was studying abroad suggested that I should invent an alter ego for an art project I did it. After lots of contemplation and copious character sketches, I developed a persona that would be inspired by shamans, sorcerers, clowns and priestesses. Then, the artist Dia Dear, along with San Fran’s frenetic drag scene, fueled my ideas further and, voila, boychild was birthed—mainly as an artistic character with healing and shamanistic qualities.
What’s your creative process like?
I map out my ideas through drawings and sketches. Then I take those ideas from paper to live performance. Performance art and exhibition allows me to express things that I otherwise could not, so it’s my ideal medium.
What role does gender play in your work?
I think my physicality—my trans body form—is intrinsic to my art form. People are always drawn to my inherent androgyny. It’s a complex issue, I know, but it is part of my nature. My work is fundamentally about connecting with other people.
Are you spiritual?
Yes. And during performances I live out a kind of otherworldly consciousness. It is a very spiritual experience, both within and without. I’m basically flipped inside out, from my heart and soul. I also meditate regularly—meditation helps me reach a certain state of homeostatis, especially before and after a show.
What are you scared of?
I’m afraid of fear because it is fear that breeds anger, insecurity and hatred. My art form, despite appearing ‘dark,’ is all about love and respect. Oh, I’m also scared of sharks and huge bodies of water