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photo by Max Knight

Please do not send unsolicited press releases. huang has retired from public art reviews.

stephanie mei 玫 huang 黄丹妮 (they/them/it/TA/也) / Skaitor_m00n ︎︎︎ is an (inter)disciplinary artist and musician (huang is [inter]sex and autistic). They use a diverse range of media and strategies including sound, film/video, installation, social interventions, sculpture, writing, and painting. They see slippery, chameleonic identity as a form of mimetic infiltration: a soft power reversal within hard architectures of power. Born and raised by a family of mechanical engineers, an auto-industry baby, huang is particularly dedicated to analog forms of mechanics, refusing haptic loss, vision, and supervision, and stressing the intimacy, imperfection, tactility, and functionality of objects, vehicles, and machination.

They completed their MFA in Art at the California Institute of the Arts (2020), and they received their BA from Scripps College (2016). Select solo and group exhibitions include the Autry Museum of the American West, Sargent’s Daughters (Los Angeles), Jeffrey Deitch Gallery (Los Angeles), Artists Space (New York), Eli Klein Gallery (New York), Hauser and Wirth (Los Angeles), Contemporary Calgary (Calgary), the MAK Center for Art and Architecture (West Hollywood), 4th Ward Project Space (Chicago), Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (Los Angeles), the New Wight Biennial at the University of California Los Angeles (Los Angeles), Cerritos Gallery (Norwalk), and the Arizona State University Art Museum (Tempe).

huang has been featured in the New York Times, South China Morning Post, CNN, Tokyo Shimbun, PBS Artbound, ABC7 Eyewitness News, and Artsy. Their writing has been published with Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas, Artsy, and Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles.

They have taught at non-profits such as the Marfa Studio of Arts and Venice Arts. They were a participant at the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program (2022). huang is a horizontalist at their core, preferring to serve others rather than honor their own practice. They have lectured at the California Institute of the Arts, Pratt Institute of Design, University of California San Diego, Otis College of Design, Pitzer College, Scripps College, and Hampshire College.

CV available upon request.

(indefinitely) Imagined Wests, The Autry Museum of the American West, Los Angeles, CA, curated by Joshua Garrett Davis

huang’s work finds its roots in globalization, absence, and the role of displacement in changing perceptions of transnationalism, memory, subjecthood, dis//ability, temporal “drag,” chronic//illness, mimicry, and animality. A core examination of their work is bearing witness to the aftereffects of globalization through inhabiting new embodied and synthetic configurations––parafictional avatars: extended myths both woven together and ruptured by autobiography.

How does an avatar’s presence have the capacity to disarrange systems of prediction based upon alterity and threat? huang is an inherent “gamer,” having brought their mouse to school since 15, to game in study-hall against boys. OTL, the kowtow, a sign of worship or defeat, not, “one true love,” is their forever favorite acronym from gamer-sp34k. Though a “Zillenial,” exactly on the cusp of gen Z and millenialism, huang is very much the former, growing up influenced by Steve Jobs (macbook-enforced since 12), AIM, then MSN, then Skype. In the era of Motorola Razrs, they were a devout tiny Nokia-user. In the early era of iPhones, they used their father’s hand-me-down blackberry. 

Avatarism, alter-egoism, self-alteration, (reverse) digitization, and “drag” are their prime modalities of unadulterated self-expression. Rather than attempting to rectify the impossibilities of subjecthood, huang’s work seeks to complicate it and its temporalities.

They draw from fields of study such as affect theory, queer theory, psychoanalysis, Chinese medicine, biology, environmental science, mimesis, racial discourse, BD$M, and anthropology. huang’s recent work includes the embodiment of huang’s cowboy avatar “Stirrup Steph,” stemming from Stirrup Steph’s parafictional VHS-c inauguration into the Cowboy Artists of America, a contemporary white society of artists founded in 1965 dedicated to upholding western frontier mythology. In order to re-script their avatar as a Cowboy Artist, huang took on a performative oil painting practice to borrow the visual language of 1940s and 1950s western pulp fantasy dime novels, casting themselves repeatedly as both damsel and cowboy savior on unstretched canvas hogtied by sisal rope. huang is a self-taught-painter, having only been oil painting regularly for two years as an adult. Living by Marshall McLuhan’s statement in 1964, “The Medium is the Message,” huang does not enjoy oil painting, but engages in the medium as vehicle for the concept. huang’s various adventures and social “stunts” / misbehaviors as Stirrup Steph are also enacted through media such as a drag-cowboy tutorial on “how to hobble a young (animatronic) horse,” an animatronic rocking horse powered by a windshield wiper attached to a miniature resin cowboy boot, the artist’s former actual Texas driver’s license, an auto-theory essay-poem, and a life-sized roping dummy comprised of a faux hay bail and an ornamentalized ceramic “steer” head.

Recent research includes historical swordfighting practice, bloodwork, Tiktok, writing and recording their first musical project (Skaitor_m00n), improvisational public dance, revisiting poetry after a seven year-hiatus, and a reconsideration of the unicorn as a repository of East-West geographies.

Smith, Roberta, et al. “What to See in N.Y.C. Galleries Right Now.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 18 May 2022,https://www.nytimes.com/article/new-york-art-galleries.html.

Wu, Danielle. “Why Is Being an Asian-American Woman in the US Still a Danger?” South China Morning Post, 19 Apr. 2022,https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/article/3174667/why-being-asian-american-woman-us-still-danger-art.

Kaur, Harmeet. “The Art Gallery Where Christina Yuna Lee Once Worked Honors Her Life and Legacy.” CNN, Cable News Network, 18 Apr. 2022,https://www.cnn.com/style/article/christina-yuna-lee-art-exhibition-cec/index.html.

Wong, Harley. “A Moving New Exhibition Pays Tribute to Christina Yuna Lee's Start in the Art World.” Artsy, 11 Apr. 2022, https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-moving-new-exhibition-pays-tribute-christina-yuna-lees-start-art.

“6 AAPI Artists Reflect on the Spike in Anti-Asian Violence.” Artsy, 30 Mar. 2021. https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-6-aapi-artists-reflect-spike-anti-asian-violence

Waxman, Lori. “stephanie mei huang.” 60 Wrd/Min Art Critic, 2 Oct. 2020. https://60wrdmin.org/artwork/4801840_Stephanie_Mei_Huang.html.