Famed auction house Christie’s is set to place on the block artwork from 18-year-old transgender artist Victor Langlois, known as FEWOCiOUS. Entitled Hello, I’m Victor (FEWOCiOUS) and This Is My Life, the five-lot collection chronicles, year by year, the artist’s life between ages 14 and 18 as he discovered, and eventually embraced, his true gender identity. Each lot includes a short video artwork in the form of an exclusive non-fungible token (known as NFTs), a crypto asset which records the piece’s ownership and provenance on blockchain, as well as a paired original painting of the digital piece, and additional 1/1 NFTs of Langlois’s previously unseen archival drawings from the period. The auction starts online June 23.
“It’s just insane, Christie’s is such an honor,” Langlois said in a video posted to Instagram announcing the drop.
The Seattle-based artist noted the collection provided him the opportunity to not just chronicle “the most transformative years” of his life, but also inspire others to follow their dreams and embrace their own identity.
Langlois was raised in a conservative household in Las Vegas, Nev., and struggled to come to terms with not just his gender identity but the abuse he was suffering at the hands of others. He first started creating art when he was 13, and he used it to help him express himself and embrace his identity. His art also helped fund the move from his childhood home in Las Vegas to the greater artistic and personal freedom he now enjoys in the Pacific Northwest.
Each of his five lots is a story unto itself. The first, representing his 14th year, is entitled It Hurts to Hide (pictured below), and is representative of the multisensory nature of the artist’s work. The visual and auditory experience unsettles the viewer as the picture melts and evolves, while in the background the distant voice of a child calls out for help.
“I started questioning my gender identity when I was 14 years old,” Langlois writes in the text accompanying the lot. “I wished I was allowed to wear the clothes I wanted. I wished my mom would let me cut my hair the way I wanted. My mom told me it’s bad to think the way I do. My mom told me if I ever cut my hair, she’d never want to see me again. My mother told me people like me are gross and don’t belong. My mother said she wouldn’t want me in the house if I presented myself the way I felt.”
The collection vividly conveys the anguish and inner turmoil of the artist at the time. Langlois hopes the work affirms other trans kids on their own journeys of discovery, acceptance, and transformation, while showing adults just how important, or harmful, they can be in the that process.
"I hope that other trans kids or adults can see this and be like, wow, that's another person who did something cool - because I remember being little and seeing trans people succeed and feeling so seen and validated,” Langlois explained to Gadget 360.
Upon request, Langlois can personally deliver each physical painting and physical prints in a custom suitcase, whether that be in New York City or elsewhere in the world. The auction begins June 23 at 10:00 a.m. and closes June 26 at 2:00 p.m. (all times EDT).