Since the late 1980s, Nayland Blake has constructed an influential body of work exploring play, eroticism, and the subjective experiences of desire, power, and loss. Inspired by feminist theory and queer subcultures, Blake addresses the contradictions of representation in sculptures, drawings, performances, and videos, particularly as it relates to their own identity as a nonbinary multiracial artist.
Nayland Blake (b. 1960) is an interdisciplinary artist living in New York. Their work has been shown extensively and was included in the 1991 Whitney Biennial, the 1993 Venice Biennale, and the landmark exhibition “Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art” at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1994. In 2003 a retrospective of their video work was organized by the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York. Surveys of their work have been organized by Location One in New York and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. “Nayland Blake: No Wrong Holes,” a full-scale retrospective organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles opened in 2019 before traveling to the MIT List Visual Arts Center, where it is currently on view through February 14, 2021.