"It’s given me room to try stuff out," Edie Fake told our contributing editor, Joey Garfield, in the new Fall 2018 Juxtapoz print issue. Fake was talking about his move to the California desert from Chicago, and obvious big change of scenery that had the artist thinking about their work in a different light. "I look at the work that I started when I was in grad school in LA and saw it was coming from a place of sadness and worry, and trying to draw these drawings that are puzzles and metaphors about identity that were all ending the same. Being out here kind of reminds me that things are flawed, funny and contradictory, and that’s ok. It was all a process to go through. I feel like between drawing those drawings and being out here, I can think, 'Oh yeah. There is joy in life, not just conundrums'.”

This sentiment works well into Fake's new exhibition, Gut Rehab, now on view through October 27, 2018 at Western Exhibitions in Chicago. It is Fake's second solo show with the gallery. As the gallery notes, "Fake’s paintings start as self-portraits, and from there, they make a break for it, referencing elements of the trans and non-binary body through pattern, color and architectural metaphor. His precise, intimately scaled, gouache-and-ink paintings on panel are structured around the physical aspects of transition and adaptation as well as mental and sexual health.

"Since moving from first Chicago, then to Los Angeles while briefly attending grad school at USC, to now the high desert of Joshua Tree in California, Fake’s work has evolved from his acclaimed Memory Palaces series — reimagined facades of urban lesbian bars and gay nightclubs — to a new feeling of vulnerability due to shifts in the U.S. social and political climate. The work blurs lines between architecture and body with structures adorned by elements that seem to be both decorative and protective.  Architectural components are used as visual metaphors for the ways in which definition and validation elude trans identities. Says Fake, 'More and more I’m trying to bring an anarchy into that architecture, or a fantasy and ecstasy of what queer space is and can be'.”

Read our interview with Edie Fake in the new Fall 2018 issue, on newsstands now. 

All images courtesy of Western Exhibitions.