Details:

This acrylic-on-panel painting is a part of the artist’s Queer Elders and Ancestors series. The protagonist—known as the Queen of Disco—is one of Key’s favorite performers from the 1970s and 80s. The portrait captures an intimate moment with Sylvester’s head resting on his hand.
Unframed
Available until 3:00 PM, Jul 11, 2024.

① Artwork:

Sylvester in Violet

This acrylic-on-panel painting is a part of the artist’s Queer Elders and Ancestors series. The protagonist—known as the Queen of Disco—is one of Key’s favorite performers from the 1970s and 80s. The portrait captures an intimate moment with Sylvester’s head resting on his hand.

Jon Key is a Queer Black man originally from the small rural town of Seale, Alabama, whose work excavates the lineage and history of his identity through the intersecting themes of Southernness, Blackness, Queerness, and Family. Lately, he’s been examining the spaces Queer people of color inhabit and claim as safe while expressing the tension and anxiety of performing and existing as a Queer Black Man. Drawn using a historical range of design principles, Key’s contorted, hard-lined figures get brushed with family histories, reflected in plaid and polka-dotted surfaces. Within interior and exterior environments from America’s history of pain and oppression, Key creates stories about his Queer ancestry’s strength, support, and resilience.

Specs:

18 inches
24 inches
2 inches
24 inches

③ Artist:

Jon Key

Jon Key is a Queer Black man originally from the small rural town of Seale, Alabama, whose work excavates the lineage and history of his identity through the intersecting themes of Southernness, Blackness, Queerness, and Family. Lately, he’s been examining the spaces Queer people of color inhabit and claim as safe while expressing the tension and anxiety of performing and existing as a Queer Black Man. Drawn using a historical range of design principles, Key’s contorted, hard-lined figures get brushed with family histories, reflected in plaid and polka-dotted surfaces. Within interior and exterior environments from America’s history of pain and oppression, Key creates stories about his Queer ancestry’s strength, support, and resilience.

Jon Key was born in 1990 in Seale, AL, and lives in Brooklyn, NY. He earned his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI (2013) and his MA in Design Research, Writing, & Criticism from the School of Visual Arts in New York, NY (2021).

Key has exhibited his work at Steve Turner in Los Angeles, CA; Carl Freedman Gallery in Kent, UK; Jeffrey Deitch in New York, NY; and elsewhere.

Key’s work resides in private and institutional collections, such as Yale University, the AIEVA Institute, The Dean Collection, The Watson Library Collection at The Met, The Columbus Museum, The RISD Special Collection, and the Schomburg Center.

He is the Co-Founder and Design Director of Codify Art, a multidisciplinary collective dedicated to creating, producing, supporting, and showcasing work by artists of color, particularly women, queer, and trans artists of color.

Jon Key:
Sylvester in Violet, 2022
Acrylic on panel
24.0 × 18.0 inches /