Love Story: Opie Robinson

Opie wears the Baserange black apron dress in raw silk.

Trans-masculine artist Opie Robinson has established a quietly confident practice drawing on their personal experiences to explore the presence and influence of gender in our lives and culture. Dilettante took a moment to chat with Opie on set for Ashley Brockman's Love Story.

You seem much more drawn to abstraction in your work than to figuration. Why is this?
I’m drawn to it currently because it’s teaching me a lot about figurative work. I’ve found it’s a great technical exercise in colour theory and several other practical pillars.

Opie wears jacket and trousers in inside-out and back-to-front denim by MM6 Maison Margiela. Necklace by Jean-François Mimilla.

You mentioned that you're itching to get out into the world and explore art opportunities in new places. Where would you most like to travel, and why?
Right now, China. When I visited Shanghai in 2019 I saw unapologetic contestations of the western art canon and I loved it. I’d really like to explore those ideas and collaborate on something alongside the friends I made there.

You've spoken to me about your interest in "queering" tropes, both in your work and with your own presence/clothing. Tell us about what that means.
Queering hyper-masculine tropes, yeah. I’m privileged enough to do that safely, for the most part anyway. I enjoy presenting myself in ways that align with groups of men who have either historically or currently reject queerness or gate-keep cultures and activities they believe belong to them. By placing these tropes (so to speak) on a queer body, it changes the context of the look. I believe that doing this not only helps to slowly remove the fear or aversion some have of those appearances but it taints and spoils them for others. In some cases in disgusts and offends certain men and I enjoy making them squirm. I could write a book trying to answer this.

Left: Opie wears the Baserange black apron dress with Jean-François Mimilla's beaded black necklace. Cooper wears the honey-toned tie top by Rick Owens and Baserange apron dress in brown. Stryker wears tank top and coat by Rick Owens with Jaga chiffon skirt. Right: Opie wears the Baserange black apron dress with stone and brass earring by Atelier Inscrire. Boots Opie's own.

How do you use fashion and clothing to mediate your identity and relationship to the world?
In part the answer I gave you to the previous question answers this - I use it as a form of protest. I also use to as a means of foreplay or celebration - to frame my difference in appealing and attractive ways. Other times I use it for its functionality, to assist me while I work and move. Again I could spend a long time trying to unpack this question.


See the full Love Story with Ashley Brockman here.

Photography: Tülay Dinçel.
Creative Direction: Ashley Brockman.
Hair: Pauline McCabe for Rock, Paper, Scissors.
Makeup: Ashley Brockman and Shana MacKinnon for Artists@Play.
Models: Opie Robinson, Cooper Cooper, and Stykermeyer.
Production assistant: Stuart Williamson.
Hair assistants: Jodie Woodhall, Jasmin Montaut, Elle Rose Corby, Halle Crawford.

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