Queer Artists in Their Own Words: Matthew Morrocco’s Technicolor Morph Suits

The month of June is a time to celebrate the LGBTQ community and reflect on the advances of queer people to strengthen civil liberties around the world, even in a moment of great political uncertainty. It’s also a good opportunity to spotlight the richness and diversity of culture we have within the community. Hyperallergic is commemorating Pride Month by featuring one contemporary queer artist per day on the website and letting them speak for themselves. Click here to participate.

Matthew Morocco, “Standing among Berries” (2017) (image courtesy the artist)

Age: 29

Location: Brooklyn, New York

Artistic Medium: Photography

Who are you and what do you do?

I am an artist and photographer. In my latest project, Orchid, I use technicolor morph suits to discuss privacy and disappearance. The work examines contemporary modes of digital viewership and looks toward the possibility of a future in which bodies aren’t fetishized but rather exist as an abstraction that negates objectification. My earlier work, Complicit, features sensual and intimate images of myself with of older men in New York.

What are the top three greatest influences on your work?

Rineke Dijkstra, existential angst, and zen rock gardens.

Describe your coffee order.

I prefer green tea.

What is your greatest accomplishment?

With thanks to a very intense elimination diet, and after many years of consuming great amounts of peanut butter regularly, I have just learned I am allergic to peanuts. Obviously, this is not life threatening, but it has contributed to many health issues which have since disappeared. This finding has changed my life, and I believe it is my most recent and greatest accomplishment.

What constitutes a perfect day?

Sitting in a zen rock garden, meditating on existential angst with Rineke Dijsktra.

What was your favorite exhibition from last year?

Maarten Baas at the Design Museum Holon.

What would your superpower be if you had one?

Invisibility.

Tell us a lie about yourself.

I enjoy crowds.

What is one question you wish somebody would ask about your work?

I don’t know if there’s a question I want to be asked but I do know that I’d rather not be asked about my personal life. Often, people see my Complicit images and ask about my sex life.

What is the greatest threat to humanity?

Climate change.

What did you make when you first started making art?

When I first started making photographs I made pictures of my friends, mostly women. I suppose I had this obsession with sensual descriptive elements — I remember always photographing hair, water, sand, and tulle. I kept a kiddy pool full of water in my bedroom in Manhattan for a little while. It was an interesting time.

Do you prefer spilling the tea or throwing shade?

Throwing tea.

What is your all-time favorite work of art?

The Venus of Willendorf.

What are your plans for pride month?

Indulgence.

What is the future of queerness?

Ka-boom.

Name one guilty pleasure.

Milano cookies. They’re so decadent.

Greatest queer icon of the internet: Babadook, Momo, or a pervading sense of existential angst?

A pervading sense of existential angst.

Is there enough support for queer artists where you live?

Too much is not enough.

How do you stay cool during the summer?

By wearing nothing.

What is your favorite type of milk?

I’m not a fan of milk.

“Queer Artists in Their Own Words” is an ongoing feature happening every day in the month of June. For prior posts in the series, please click here.

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