James Cabanuik, 'Post Twink Pre'. Installation view, 2023.
Primarily working with large format painting, Cabaniuk’s practice uses personal and canonical histories to debunk myths of shame around trauma and queer identity. Focusing on the issues within abstract expressionism and its machismo, they navigate the complex relationship of disdaining whilst fetishising the power they hold. They employ coding, abstraction, and queer opacity – layering to construct records. With materials like confetti, glitter and soil serving as tools of celebration, resilience, and connection. Shaped through rapid creation, the paintings are all about the drama, encompassing concepts of fun, camp, sexuality, gender, self destruction, healing, and community.
James Cabaniuk (b. 1987, Carlisle, UK) is a British artist living and working between Manchester and London. They received their Bachelors of Arts from Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2015 and recently graduated with their Masters in Fine Arts from Goldsmiths University of London in 2023. Cabaniuk established and ran ‘horseshed’, a queer archive and exhibition space in a rural shed and hosted online. They were commissioned by Lesbian and Gays Support the Miners to commemorate their 30th anniversary.
Recent exhibitions include: Here, Ione & Mann, London, 2023; Des Bains presentation for Minor Attractions/Cornershop, London, 2023; UNANNOUNCED The other voices of silence, Artland Milano, Milan, 2023; LIPS 2, Men’s Toilets, Goldsmiths MFA Studios, Deptford, London; Our Body Are Portal – The Asylum Chapel, London; The Night Holds Its Breath – Queer Direct, Unit 21 Penarth Centre, London; The Cave You Fear To Enter Holds The Treasure You Seek, Lima Zulu, London; My Past is Not My Present – All Welcome, Vilnius, Lithuania.