SoMad has been thrilled to host artists Lorenzo Triburgo & Sarah Van Dyck in residence, participating at SPRING/BREAK Art Fair and Shimmer Shimmer.

SPRING/BREAK Art Fair 2022

Featuring Lorenzo Triburgo & Sarah Van Dyck

625 Madison Avenue

September 7 - 12

11am - 8pm

Shimmer Shimmer

SoMad Gallery

February - Present

By Appointment

Shimmer Shimmer

February - April 2023


Shimmer Shimmer cleverly pushes against the confines of self-portraiture, and disrupts the capitalist, patriarchal narrative of the sole artistic genius or “master” – a notion that is perhaps exemplified best in the figures we associate with the Italian Renaissance.

The shimmer of glitter on Triburgo’s figure conjures queerness through camp and the political importance of queer joy, but glitter in Shimmer Shimmer is also used to suggest a mythical, celestial presence and hint at a connection to queering astrology. Portrayals and myths of Greco-Roman gods and goddesses inform the visual framing of the images, but glitter, camp, and Triburgo’s trans*queer body itself, rework these gendered interpretations and shift the viewer towards a trans*queer, astrological interpretation. When we recognize their visual references to familiar, art historical representations, such as in Venus, the glitter on both the figure and as “constellations” work to signal a connection to queer astrology, an important mode of spiritual connection for Triburgo, Van Dyck and their queer community.

In light of the theme of Naked Lunch, it makes perfect sense that Triburgo and Van Dyck drew upon the paintings and sculptures in the Uffizi and Boboli Gardens for their gestural and compositional decisions.

“After 10 years of transgender “hormone therapy” I stopped taking testosterone in an attempt to embody gender abolition. My body's metamorphoses, and how my behaviors and gestures are perceived in relation to my visual presentation is an ongoing, durational performance taking place on and off camera that is rooted in a rejection of the pathologization of trans embodiment and a desire to forge new subjective space.” Lorenzo Triburgo

Photographed at the People’s Beach at Jacob Riis Park in Queens, (known as Riis Beach), now a haven during the summer months for NYC queers, Shimmer Shimmer reminds us that the queer section of Riis Beach is specifically anti-assimilationist—it is a political space, it is queer. The broken glass and barbed wire allow gender abolitionist queers to remain unbothered—they/we are there precisely because those who occupy dominant identities do not want to be there.

As of 2022, the buildings that back the queer section of Riis Beach are slated to be demolished and this area of the beach will be shutdown for the construction of a parking lot. Despite the impending displacement from a space that Shimmer Shimmer preemptively pays homage to, these photographs of a trans*queer figure shimmering with glitter, taking up metaphorical and literal space, evoke a sense of hope and resilience.

Lorenzo Triburgo was a 2019 Workspace Resident at Baxter St/CCNY and an AIM Fellow at the Bronx Museum of the Arts in 2020. Permanent collections include the Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago, IL) and Portland Art Museum (Portland, OR). Select exhibition venues include Bruce Silverstein, NYC; Photoforum Pasquart, Biel, Switzerland; Dutch Trading Post, Nagasaki, Japan; Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA; Magazzini del Sale, Siena, Italy; and Oude Kerk, Amsterdam, the Netherlands as a winner of the international Pride Photo Award. Triburgo is a full-time Instructor at Oregon State University’s College of Liberal Arts online campus who teaches critical theory, photography, and gender studies with a focus on expanding liberatory learning practices in online environments. Triburgo features "Venus" and "Mars" from their series "Shimmer Shimmer."

Sarah Van Dyck is an Industrial-Organizational (I/O) psychologist who specializes in mixed methods research, blending and translating quantitative data with qualitative audio, visual, and narrative sources. Her research centers on gender and identity at work, occupational health psychology and disparities in underrepresented populations, and LGBTQIA research in applied settings. Sarah earned her PhD in Applied Psychology from Portland State University in 2021 and has conducted research with organizations such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care System, and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Center on Work-Family Health and Stress.

In past and current collaborations with her partner, Lorenzo Triburgo, she created For Love Understood In Desire, Monumental Resistance: Stonewall, and Shimmer Shimmer—video, performance, and photographic projects that represent a call to action to fight for the issues she addresses in her research and life’s work. Sarah and Lorenzo live and work in Brooklyn, New York.

Their co-authored essay “Representational Refusal and the Embodiment of Gender Abolition” was published in the peer-reviewed journal GLQ for the spring 2022 special issue, Queer Fire and Liberation.

Many thanks to Victoria Mussi, Chris Rodriguez, and Luis Gutierrez for their hard work and support in producing this exhibition.