Multimedia artist Heyd Fontenot is drawn to subjects precisely for their discomforting qualities. His drawn and painted portraits of unclothed subjects coax the revelation of delicate idiosyncratic expression and heightened humanity. Fontenot’s film and video work tends to narcotize and disorient. He’s chosen to renounce commonplace narrative conventions in an effort to destabilize and divulge elusive higher truths. Fontenot has been creating environments that serve as spaces for exhibition, improvisational performance, and as location for video production. The informality and accommodating quality of such permeable spaces makes them queer by definition. Borrowing themes and images from fraternal secret societies, rodeos, brothels, places of worship and design showrooms, Fontenot works with a rotating cast to fabricate ceremonial dramas and consumer indoctrinations. Toying with respectability and classist middle-class fears, Fontenot slyly undermines all that is good and holy to reveal mythical America as both oppressive and alluring. His on-going video project Flaming Critters follows the adventures of a fictitious social club who dabble in Luciferianism. Fontenot’s mid-career survey exhibition “The Very Queer Portraits of Heyd Fontenot,” traveled to the University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland), Rollins College (Winter Park, Florida), and Allegheny College (Meadville, Pennsylvania).
He is represented by Conduit Gallery in Dallas. Heyd Fontenot was born Lake Charles, Louisiana, 1964. He spent the majority of his adult life in Texas, working as a designer for film & theater.