Robert Andy Coombs “Notions of Care”
The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum’
Robert Andy Coombs: Notions of Care presents selected works from the photographer’s series Cripfag. Coombs creates personal narratives that invite the viewer to partake in the intimate details of his life. Through this series, he documents his rich experiences at the intersection of sexuality and disability, which are rarely expressed publicly in contemporary visual culture. Coombs describes his approach as unapologetic; he presents his own body boldly and confidently. The title of the series embraces and reclaims two epithets “crip” and “fag.” In this suite of photographs, Coombs reimagines these words, producing a new context in which personal and revealing moments are carefully and sensitively laid bare. Challenging preconceptions of disability while revealing an autobiographical narrative filled with both joy and the banal, Coombs brings visitors along to relate and revel in his journey.
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.
The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum organized this exhibition to complement FIU’s Common Reading Program and First-Year Experience course. This year, FIU’s entering class and other new students read Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body by Rebekah Taussig. This book shares the author’s coming-of-age story and relates her experiences with ableism and her relationships with family and friends. Taussig desired to create a text that details a nuanced depiction of her life to augment the dearth of disability representation in popular culture.
All photographs are presented courtesy of the artist.
Banner Caption: Robert Andy Coombs, Woodland nymphs, 2019, inkjet print on metallic paper, courtesy of the artist.