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Amanda Kirkhuff

Everything is Hard

Amanda Kirkhuff's large-scale figurative oil paintings explore themes of queer community, militancy, and the homosexual agenda.

Amanda Kirkhuff. Shotgun, 2018. Oil on canvas. 22 x 29 inches
  • April 5 - 26, 2018
  • Opening: Thursday, April 5

Everything is Hard portrays the beauty and endurance of the gay community, as well as its shortcomings: in particular, complicity and participation in the very structures of discrimination that serve to marginalize its members. Kirkhuff wants to be a part of a gay community that doesn’t hate women, contribute to rampant racism, or police bodies and genders. Her paintings confront these internalized oppressions.

Kirkhuff also endeavors to overcome the legacy of misattribution, suppression, and rejection that marginalized artists face in the art world. Her use of materials, scale, and representational technique seeks to mitigate the historical erasure and marginalization of women and gender non-conforming people within the cannon of portraiture.

Alongside traditionally hung paintings, a constructed set (where Kirkhuff posed models for Sauna) references the manual labor that is elemental to her studio practice. This kind of work—woodworking and construction—is socially gendered, much as painting itself has been labeled by history and industry as the work of white men.

About the Artist

Amanda Jebrón Kirkhuff was born in Seattle, WA in 1982. She attended Seattle Central Community College where she was trained in oil painting and figure drawing, and ultimately earned a scholarship to attend the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI). Kirkhuff graduated with a BFA from SFAI in 2006. For nine years, she lived in San Francisco, participating in underground queer nightlife and activism. She has worked with numerous civil rights and social justice organizations, and her working-class background, community connections, and values continue to inform her practice. Kirkhuff currently lives and works in Seattle.