Rock of Eye Short Sleeve Tee
Rock of Eye Short Sleeve Tee
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston Shop

Rock of Eye Short Sleeve Tee

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To tailor a garment by “rock of eye” is to rely on the drape in the fitting process—that is, to rely on experience over mathematical measurement. Draping is a kind of drawing in space: a freehand, an intuition, a trust of materials. Troy Montes Michie: Rock of Eye, the El Paso-born artist’s first museum solo exhibition, brings together collages, drawings, sculptures, and installations that draw the contours of body and place, and is heavily informed by his experience growing up along the United States and Mexico border. The exhibition combines Montes Michie’s previous collages and assemblages that center magazine images of the Black male body with sculptural works that trace the social history of the zoot suit, a garment at the center of the 1943 attacks primarily on Mexican American, African American, and Filipino American youth in Los Angeles known as the Zoot Suit Riots.

CAMH’s presentation of the exhibition will feature a new addition: a 2022 collage piece that spans forty feet in length titled Was the Beautiful Woman in the Mirror of the Water You or Me?. The work stitches together disparate elements including catalogue pages, wire hangers, garment bags, and articles of clothing, all of which are overlaid with images of women donning zoot suits. This monumental piece is an ode to the Chicana matriarchs and blends the artist’s tailoring and collage skills.

Montes Michie subverts dominant narratives and investigates the ways in which bodies of marginalized communities are frequently erased, fetishized, idealized, and criminalized. With Rock of Eye, Montes-Michie’s stitches suture histories and geographies; they establish thresholds for crossing. His needle hits rock.