Avram Finkelstein

Silver War Storm

Avram Finkelstein, Silver War Storm, 2019
Avram Finkelstein, Silver War Storm, 2019 (Detail)
Avram Finkelstein, Silver War Storm, 2019 (Detail)

Artist Statement

My practice re-imagines information technologies as an ecosystem of narratives bridging egalitarian fantasias about social spaces at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries, exploring tensions between identity and colonization, access and limitation, agency and refusal. While waiting for fabrication tests for a recent commission, I started sketching my source material, a photo manipulated iPhone image of a transgendered friend—the first drawings I’d attempted since recovering from a stroke. I was surprised to find my hand no longer “belongs” to me, and dictates its own vernacular. These arduous gesture drawings, involving graphite held with both hands, evolved into detailed pencil renderings. The resulting mural-sized drawings document a reacquaintance with my disobedient body, raising questions that exceeded my explorations of gender representation, into personal inquiries about corporeality as a system in flux.

Avram Finkelstein is a founding member of the Silence=Death and Gran Fury collectives. His work is in the permanent collections of MoMA, The Whitney, The New Museum and The Brooklyn Museum. He is featured in the artist oral history at the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art, and his book, “After Silence: A History of AIDS Through its Images” was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award in Nonfiction, and an ICP Infinity Award in Critical Writing.