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Episode 51: In Conversation with Texas Isaiah


Texas Isaiah exists and breathes in this world as a visual narrator. He takes pictures and gets to know the world and other people through photography, building his narrative and reflecting it back into the world through his work. Texas is a magic being inside of a skin suit. Through documentation and portraiture, he is working to rebuild the problematic relationship between POC and photographic representation, and creating a new archive of these unique narratives. His self-portraiture focuses on showing the complexity of being a non-binary trans person, and visually capturing this narrative in a beautiful way.

Marlee and Texas talk about taking a break from posting work on instagram while making work in peaceful silence, how gender doesn’t exist, finding inspiration across creative genres, finding the small things that make one at ease while living on the road, and communicating with ancestors in dream spaces. Texas shares how he sustains as a professional photographer- selecting those corporations to capitalize on and get a paycheck, which enables his ability to work within the community on a sliding scale.


Words of wisdom:

“I think that a lot of the work that I’ve received within the past two years, and I can see it’s really growing, has been because I’ve been doing a lot more personal work. I think that people, especially within the commercial industry, they’re finding this huge importance within narratives. And I think that’s really awesome.”

“In those self portraits that I took, that was the beginning of trying to insert myself in my work in a way that was very abstract, in a way that embodies my spirit more than the physical attributes that I have.”

“I think we have this prototype for what a powerful person should look like, and I think that’s just total bullshit- we are all powerful in our own ways.”


Current Projects:

Texas has work in the group show, Torrent Tea: Queer Space and Photographic Futures, at Newspace Center for Photography in Portland. The show is on view January 13th through February 25th. He is also working on an upcoming book of his photography and thinking about the places and spaces where his work is shown. Thanks to a friend naming a topic he has always explored, Texas is doing research around topophilia- the relationship between people and places, and reading a bunch of books on the subject.


Things to be excited about:

  • Frank Ocean! The visual album Blond has been a huge inspiration to Texas, informing much of his own work, and Frank Ocean’ sounds and choices in self-management have been an ongoing inspiration.
  • Decluttering your life! There’s the Minimalism documentary on Netflix that might help us all cleanse a little… 
  • Being an informed artist! Texas is reading a book called ART/WORK, it offers advice for artists on gallery relationships and how to be prepared for dealing professionally and protecting yourself.
  • Making music! Texas is headed back into music-making and reading song lyrics from many sources as research to writing his own lyrics.
  • The future! Texas is on a path to living in LA, finding a new West Coast home base, while keeping a transient lifestyle.
  • Gilmore girls is also cool!
marlee cook-parrott