Cracking The Egg by Kaiden Alford

Kaiden Alford

In this series of paintings I’ve documented moments and expressions of my trans-ness. This series went on to become my first solo show at the City Hall Gallery of Port Coquitlam. Strictly Self-portraiture, Cracking the Egg traverses a spectrum of experiences: the elusive characterization of pre-transition dysphoria, my following entry into and expression of  ‘outness’, and my open transition coinciding with my final year of studio work at Emily Carr. Chronicling both an internal and external rectification that has been set in motion by my medical transition, these portraits reveal a changing self perception. In painting a record of my first six months on HRT, I have organized the subtle physical changes occurring to my body into a realized body of work: a jolly-rancher-colorful, proportionally fluid, unapologetically queer body of work. To share my journey is innately vulnerable. However, it is in this intimate space that I frame the ever-changing experience of my identity and its varying expression beyond the binary. 

Cracking The Egg 2022
36×28″ Oil on canvas *Sold

The expression “when did your egg crack?” refers to the moment you figure out or realized you were trans. This piece represents that moment for myself and the push pull of facing that reality and accepting it within myself.

This piece also landed me a spot in the top 9 of the BC Portrait Artist Competition in 2023.

Ugh 2021
14×11″ Oil on Panel

The next 6 pieces are a series of snapshots from my first 6 months of my medical transition on Testosterone. Subtle changes are captured and rendered as I begin to change from the inside out. 

Ugh is the earliest and most frustrated moment captured. Representing the exhaustion of fighting to get on HRT to begin with.

Very Nice! 2022

14×11″ Oil on panel

One of the last pieces rendered in this series, about finding a sense of ease and humor in my discomfort and changes. This is second puberty after all.

Queer Joy 2022

18×14″ Oil on Panel

A personal favorite, Queer Joy is a celebratory painting. About three months into HRT my voice started to sound more like mine and I was granted my first solo show for the upcoming spring. This is the Joy of that moment captured.

Velvet 2022

18×14″ Oil on Panel

Finally finding confidence in my expression of gender identity and really beginning to enjoy my body – Velvet captures a moment of feeling myself.

Sad Boi 2022

14×11″ Oil on Panel

Despite all the joys and newfound comfort in my body, I was estranged from my father in the process. Sad Boi captures the loneliness and rejection felt for becoming myself.

Queer Introspection 2021

14×11 Oil on panel

I know I’m not alone in self doubt, I often check in with myself and remind myself why I’m doing this. To persevere despite what others think. Queer Introspection is about those moments of quiet doubts and not letting them get the best of me.

Dysphoria Hoodie 2020

20×16 Oil on Canvases

A pre-transition piece, this was originally titled “Unspeakables 9” during an early 2020 series where I was exploring the pain I was feeling in my body that I hadn’t yet found the language for. I’ve since realized this piece was speaking to the gender dysphoria I was feeling about my body and the disconnect or fragmentation it created between myself and my physical form at that time.

Nonbinary Realness 2022

48×40″ Oil on canvas

In a binary society that says I’m often shoved into either box by the vast majority; Nonbinary Realness is an assertion that I exist outside of the binary. In addition, as a reminder that gender is a socially constructed performance.

(A Queer) In The Studio 2022 36×28″ Oil on Canvas

Self portraiture for me is not only expressive but also documentative. This portrait is the first self-portrait I’ve brought fully to completion that includes my face and entire body, marking a wholehearted acceptance of myself embarking on my transition.

This piece landed me a spot in the top 9 finalists of the BC Portrait Artist Competition in 2022.

2023 and Beyond

Trans Angel 2023

18×14″ Oil on Canvas

Inspired by David Knight’s Into The Darkness. Reflecting on the heightened tension on trans rights and issues happening locally and globally. Grieving those that have left us too soon because of them.

We’re In This Together 2023

24×18″ Oil on canvas

Inspired by Ajar Setiadi’s iconic photograph. I was craving tenderness and feeling especially vulnerable that year’s Pride season. This piece reminds me to lean into the strength, resilience, and compassion of our togetherness as a community. We’ve been through worse before and will continue to carry through.

Gregory 2023

10×8″ Oil on canvas

Sasq’ets rides the Milky Way 2023 mentorship mural

I had the privilege to be mentored by Carrie-Lynn Victor as part of The Reach’s Emerge Mentorship program in Abbotsford, BC. I worked alongside my fellow mentee artists Nina Kroeker, Ketty Zhang, and Bella Nielson. This Mural lives on Montrose Avenue in historic downtown Abbotsford. I’m very much looking forward to doing more murals in the future!

Kaiden Alford

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Kaiden Alford (they/them, he/him) is a Queer, Non-binary Artist who was raised on the ancestral lands of the Kwikwetlem nations, known today as Coquitlam. They received a Diploma of Fine Arts from Langara College and their BFA from Emily Carr University with a focus in painting. They are the recipient of the Dogwood Excellence in Fine Arts award and the Marianna Schmidt Memorial Bursary. Building community is central to his practice; through trans visibility, they seek to build resilience and compassion, normalising diverse ways of being. After moving to the Fraser Valley last year, they coordinated the Mill Lake Music and Poetry Festival and completed their first mural as part of the CITI/Seen program through The Reach Gallery Museum in Historic Downtown Abbotsford. This year they will be co-coordinating the Jam in Jubilee festival for Abbotsford Arts Council.