Trans Artist Juliana Huxtable’s Fight for Acceptance
Juliana Huxtable’s penis and breasts are both triumphantly on display in Frank Benson’s new 3D-scanned plastic sculpture, which is simply titled Juliana. I saw the statue in late February at the opening of the New Museum Triennial—the prestigious New York exhibition that focuses on emerging artists. Exhibited with Huxtable’s poems and futuristic photographs, the presentation offered an intimate look into the sexual and creative evolution the downtown DJ and internet it-girl underwent to become a local trans icon. But, on a personal level, it also served as an intimate message from the artist to her estranged Southern Baptist mother, whom she hadn’t spoken to in five years.
“It was intense for her, as a mother, who was still processing me as I exist in the world,” explains Huxtable. “It has been a journey. But to be in a room with people looking at an object of me, as me—that’s why I invited her.”