Avery Mags Duff’s “Desire Paths” Opens Friday at KINK Contemporary

"Avery uses imagery from their travels and explorations as a metaphor for how the erotic is woven through their life"

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click to enlarge "Heat: Baltimore" - Courtesy KINK
Courtesy KINK
"Heat: Baltimore"


Painter, sculptor, urban farmer and experimental noise artist Avery Mags Duff brings their multifaceted creative expression to KINK Contemporary on Waterloo this Friday at 5 p.m. with Desire Paths, a new exhibition.

Akron-based, Duff has been a “lifelong artist,” attaining a B.A. in Spanish as well as a BFA in painting from The University of Akron and aims to “deepen the relationship between plants, human bodies and expression.”

The exhibition could prove to offer manifold sensory experience with Duff’s diverse investigation into multidimensional self-expression, exploiting mediums such as experimental soundscapes with their solo project NosawwasoN.

Duff is fluid in their expression, experimenting with various visual subject matters and methods such as drawing, clay, video, abstract, landscape using oil, collage ink on paper and more. They also deep dive into flora and fauna, examining their routine influence on our consciousness.

Duff investigates how horticulture weaves itself into our psyche daily. This is apropos considering Duff also manages some of Summit County's community and market gardens and is active in urban farming, fermentation, foraging. It could be expected that the viewer will be visually guided down a variety of pathways not only artistically but also emotionally, spiritually and socio-politically.

“The title, Desire Paths, refers to physical pathways that emerge as shortcuts to constructed pathways,” said Duff. “These shortcuts are carved out by people, animals, and even water or wind as alternatives to the often circuitous or non-existent routes constructed (or neglected) by the state apparatus. I have found that my queer, non-monogamous existence, and life narrative has been a process of constructing new trails (or navigating strange, alternative, hidden trails) through time, desire paths through the wild erotic. I live in gratitude for those queer elders who made my life possible and safe; and who, out of creative necessity, formed paths that I now walk on, carved by many footsteps over time.”

As KINK describes in the show preview:

“In this body of work, Avery uses imagery from their travels and explorations (as seen in 'Heat: Baltimore') as a metaphor for how the erotic is woven through their life. These liminal spaces of transition that they have found themselves in have guided their gender transition and sexual explorations. Avery also explores the erotic as it influences other deeply personal aspects of their life, such as foraging, growing food, and spending their days outside in communion with the earth (as visible in Mast Year: American Persimmon)."

This exhibition promises depth in its exploration, tapping into the eclectic and multifaceted nature of the artist. Duff delves into gender, the erotic, the body, our relationship with food consumption and nature. These also bisect with biographical moments on their life journey, geographically as well as their gender transition and sexual experimentation.

"Through drawing and painting these inherently erotic desire paths, I can access a deeper sense of belonging in my own body. Much of these works were made or conceived outside of the studio, while traveling or in motion, and later translated to finished pieces at home," they said. "Also, many of these pieces were made during preparation and recovery for a gender-affirming surgery I recently underwent.”

Desire Paths runs through Sunday, February 5th, 2023, with a public closing reception on February 5th from 12 to 3 p.m., which will coincide with the Waterloo Arts Districts new Sunday Winter Walk All Over Waterloo event.

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