Judy Giera

2022 Aim Fellow


Judy Giera is an artist rooted in video, performance, and painting. She holds an MFA in Art (Lehman College) and an MFA in Theatre (Pace University). Her work has been seen in both solo and group exhibitions at venues including the Hudson River Museum, SPANTZO, Ceres Gallery, Amos Eno Gallery, White Columns (Online), and Bronx Arts Space, Trestle Gallery among others. Her evening length performance with soundscape, ‘Blanche On A Winter’s Eve’ premiered at the United Solo Theatre Festival and was curated into the First International Human Rights Arts Festival in 2017. Giera’s work has been featured in Vellum Magazine, Art511, and Artspiel and she is a 2022 AIM Fellow with the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Recently, Judy joined the staff of the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, the only dedicated LGBTQ+ art museum in the world, as their Collections Manager. Prior to this she served as Program Manager for EFA Project Space, the cross-disciplinary gallery program at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts. Giera resides in Brooklyn with her partner and two cats.

Artist Statement

Working through painting, video, and performance, I aim to create the closest visual approximation I can make in order to express the joyfully terrifying tension of being a trans woman in a world not remotely made to even consider the trans experience. When I came out as a trans woman, the sense of refusal I had inherently felt my whole life towards most of the world felt finally justified. Being led to grossly misunderstand my own gender for years created within me a critical humor. To this end, a framework of ironic refusal guides my art practice to abstract the layers of life, joy, bigotry and bias which define my transgender existence.

My paintings are abstractions, inspired by action painting and assemblage.  I use paint the same way I use found materials in my work, applying the same reverence to oil paint as I do to synthetic wigs and cheap LED lights. Outlandish items join hardware store staples alongside traditional materials for drawing and painting to weave plentiful layers and loaded texture rife with synthetic colors like neon yellow, millennial pink, and slime green inspired by the Lisa Frank, Nickelodeon, and nascent internet aesthetics of my quintessentially 90s upbringing. Leaning into this bright palette alongside an ample use of contrasting tones and effects, I reassert a sense of levity within a grim and grave reality that encompasses existence as a transgender woman in the present moment.

Through video and performance works I employ the mentality of infinite doom scrolling by stringing together vintage television media like old toy commercials and late night public access TV with internet detritus such as memes and YouTube rants by anti-trans bigots with performances of myself as unhinged characters ranging from a drunk Barbie to a man-hungry extraterrestrial lounge singer. These entertaining vignettes satirize the absurdities which guide cisgender dominated conversations around the transgender experience.

The art I create, much like my gender, tests the normative limits of what is considered acceptable.

The performance(s) of self 1 (or rather did you know the original barbie dream house was a yellow cardboard mid-century deal?, or rather rather some people thrive and bloom, living life in a living room...), 2021
Extraterrestrigurl, 2020
Ultimate Unadulterated Gogdog With Myself Tho (no worries darling, I'll just finish myself off), 2021
Left: The Perfect Accessory for the Perfect Day (or rather, is it the perfect day for the perfect accessory?). 2021. Right: Partial view/video still, Gurl World (or rather, don’t make me over), 2021.
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