Boris K(arl)off in My Chest and more art by Nicholas Koski

Boris K(arl)off in My Chest, 2020
15 x 33 inch (h x w)
mixed media

At the time I’m writing this, over 260,000 people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19 and many more have been living in relative isolation for months. The people who have been most affected include those who are autistic and intellectually disabled, people of color, LGBTQ+, chronically ill, incarcerated, and elderly.
Despite the risk, many people, particularly conservative leaders and media, refuse to take proper precautions or outright deny the full reality of the COVID-19 pandemic. This blatant disregard for fellow human life seems to only be growing in the United States. While I’ve been self-isolating, and sometimes working when it's possible and needed, the reality of COVID-19 and my disposability as a Disabled and Queer person has been constantly present. My sense of myself as an autistic chronically ill person has become more apparent every day and that is reflected in my work, primarily with the use of body/box count numbers and pharmaceutical waste that I have repurposed from my immediate environment. At the same time, I have also felt the strains from the pandemic on my relationships and community as a queer and polyamorous person, which is reflected in my work with the combination of wax and distorted, chopped up bodies. Both the Disabled and Queer aspects of myself are also reflected through the classic horror cinema and trash aesthetics that I take inspiration from. My Disabled and Queer self ultimately comes together through disposability and trash.

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