Tonight's queer artist feature is @michaelbirch
Michael-Birch Pierce is a fiber artist and fashion designer. They received a B.F.A. in fashion design from VCU where they now teach Fashion Design and Arts Foundation. They also studied at the Savannah College of Art and Design for an M.F.A. in fibers with a focus on embroidery and embellishment. Pierce has interned for Diane von Furstenberg, designed and embroidered Christmas decorations for the Obama White House, and served as stylist for André Leon Talley's Little Black Dress costume exhibition. They have completed artist residencies in Hong Kong and Lacoste, France and exhibited in numerous galleries and museums both domestically and abroad. They has performed their embroidered portraits at Design/Miami, SXSW, and NY Fashion Week and worked with clients such as Visa, Target, Amazon, Delta, NBCUniversal, and Airbnb. The recipient of the 2015 Pollak Prize in Applied Arts, Pierce is represented by Quirk Gallery.
An artifice is not simply made; it is meticulously crafted through a lifetime of careful decisions. Michael-Birch Pierce's work is an intimate study of the self we choose to share and the authenticity of interaction. Couched in the superficiality of high fashion and costume, they use traditional embroidery techniques to elevate cheap and gaudy materials into precious, tenuous structures. Each piece has a personality and through hours of obsessive stitching, he helps construct its identity. Covered in paint or draped in sequins, they exist in layers that demand an intimate relationship with the viewer, concealing and revealing amalgams of plastic and purities of light and space.