WOOL ME, FEATHER ME, PELT ME, PLUME ME, STRAW ME, VELOUR ME, FAUX ME, FLEECE ME, MINK ME, DOWN ME
Drawing upon known cultural associations to consumer products, Knowles tries to link self-identity to a collective memory as a way to combine history, gender, and sexuality. In his artwork, he attempts to address the ease with which individuals pick and choose identity by examining how clothing, accessories, and fabrics approximate the externalized self.
He is fascinated by clothing’s ability to liberate or perhaps restrict the consumer: owning a multitude of outfits allows each design to convey a different
message when worn on the desired occasion. As a physical extension of the self, clothing communicates
a calculated individuality to others, revealing the theatrical nature of self-expression.
He examines how society has fetishized commodities—particularly fashion merchandise and accessories—through references to burlesque and to a lesser extent drag. His work recontextualizes the fashion accessory, not as identity liberator, but perhaps as limiter. While
the meaning of the word ‘fetish’ has changed drastically in recent years, the word’s modern usage fits well
within his work as it touches upon the nuances of gender and sexuality that he focuses on in his, at times, eroticized practice.