Denim on Denim
used denim, sequins, fringe, vinyl, studs, suede, grommets, paracord, paint
24" x 24" each shield
DescriptionDenim on Denim (Collaboration with Frankie Toan) Denim on Denim Draws inspiration from queer denim fashion histories where the fabric was worn to signal membership in certain queer subcultures. Frost and Toan collected used denim from their own wardrobes, their friends, family, and thrift stores to create a rainbow of denim shades. These articles of clothing were then deconstructed and reconstructed into “shield” forms. This process mirrors the use of fashion as armor within queer communities and the use of coded materials, accessories, and embellishments deployed strategically to recognize and be recognizable to other queer folks. Frost and Toan traded compositions back and forth, working together and separately on the individual compositions. The collection of shields resulting from this process recalls individuals in a crowd coming together to give each other strength. Each denim shield has its own sensibility, yet there are small visual through lines tying them together in community, providing collective protection. They are arranged in a formation that mimics a Viking shield wall where according to legend, overlapping shields provided better protection for soldiers than when they were used alone.
About this Artist
Steven Frost (pronouns: they/them) is an assistant professor in the Department of Media Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. They are an interdisciplinary fiber artist, and the Faculty Director of the B2 Center for Media, Arts, and Performance at the Roser Atlas Institute. Their research focuses on textiles, memes, queer history, pop culture, and community development in DIY spaces and libraries. In their work, they often use textiles — these material’s associations with the body and garments evoke tactile memories. Using weaving, Frost combines traditional materials like yarn and cotton with non-traditional materials from a range of sources, exploring the ways history and time are embedded in materials. Frost has been featured in solo and two-person exhibitions at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (Boulder, CO), CU Boulder Art Museum (Boulder, CO), Platte Forum Gallery (Denver, CO), The Store Room (Denver, CO), Robert Bills Contemporary (Chicago, IL), Coop…View Full Artist Bio