XOXIMON I and XOXIMON II
By June Glasson
Oil and gold leaf on panel, 2020
36 x 24 in. each
June Glasson challenges how society expects women to behave and be seen in her full length, representational portraits. Her current interests began while living in Berlin in 2008, when she encouraged her models to engage in “unladylike” behavior and invited them to bring props and costuming to the session that reflected their self-identity. When Glasson moved to Laramie, Wyoming, she found her models bringing firearms, antlers, and other “western” props to the studio. This embrace of the region’s narrative led to an exploration of the myths and stories that characterize the West, including a deep dive into the Mountain Man culture. Glasson’s portraits skew and deconstruct the masculinity of the Mountain Man, employing camp, parody, and drag in portraits that feature classic costuming altered by lace beards, sequin pants, and heavy, boa-like pelts.
XOXIMON I and II are filled with traditional symbols of the Mountain Man: rifles, pelts, blankets, and Native American inspired accessories. The bearded figures distort gender identity, offering both masculine and feminine cues. The patterning of dress is highly decorative, an effect heightened by the use of gold leaf and the vibrant, monochromatic backgrounds. The figures are bold and unflinching, heroic in their presence, yet containing a sense of fun and play. XOXIMON I and XOXIMON II are currently included in the traveling exhibition Rising Voices 2: The Bennett Prize for Women Figurative Realist Artists organized by the Muskegon Museum of Art.
Glasson holds a BA/BFA from Cornell University. Now a self-employed artist, her early career included art design and window staging for multiple New York City stores. Her work has appeared in exhibitions throughout the American West as well as New York City and in Europe (at the National Portrait Gallery in London among other sites) and has been featured in various publications including The Paris Review, The Wall Street Journal, New American Paintings, Guernica Magazine, People, SAND Journal, and Domino, and in the film My Idiot Brother. Glasson is the recipient of the 2010 New York Foundation for the Arts Visual Arts Fellowship and the 2015 Wyoming Arts Council Biennial Fellowship. She is also the co-founder of the Wyoming Art Party, an artist led organization that supports and organizes Wyoming artists. Glasson is represented by Kenise Barnes and Visions Contemporary West.