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What Are Your Preconceptions of Disability and Sexuality?
Robert Andy Coombs, Frustration, 2017, inkjet print on metallic paper, 40 x 53 inches, courtesy of the artist.
On Aug. 14, 2021, the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU will present the premiere of Michigan-born, Miami-based photographer, Robert Andy Coombs' first solo museum exhibition.
Coombs creates personal narratives depicting the intimate details of his life in "Robert Andy Coombs: Notions of Care," which will be on view until Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021. The photographs document his experiences at the intersection of sexuality and disability, which are rarely expressed publicly in contemporary visual culture. Coombs describes his approach as unapologetic, presenting his own body boldly and confidently. The series presents selected works from Cripfag, Coombs' photographic series that embraces and reclaims the epithets "crip" and "fag," reimagining these words to produce a new context where personal and revealing moments are delicately laid bare. The exhibition visually demonstrates notions of care and tenderness while challenging preconceptions of disability and reveals an autobiographical narrative filled with both joy and the banal. Coombs brings visitors along to relate and revel in his journey.
"In sharing details of his personal life, Robert Andy Coombs brings needed perspective to contemporary art and to our popular consciousness," explained Frost chief curator, Amy Galpin. "These photographs offer an extraordinary opportunity to rethink the notion of care. It's an honor to present Coombs's first solo exhibition at a museum."
Born in Michigan in 1987, the artist received his BFA from Kendall College of Art and Design and his MFA from Yale University. He lives and works in Miami, Florida.
"Robert Andy Coombs' photography explores the nature of spiritual generosity using imagery that can, at first, feel provocative and edgy," said Frost Museum director, Jordana Pomeroy. "Upon closer inspection, Coombs' work paints a picture about different narratives of love, which he tells boldly and tenderly. This exemplifies great photography--art that pushes, pulls, and inspires deep thought and dialogue, which is why we chose to feature him at the Frost Art Museum."