Nayland Blake is an artist whose mixed-media work has been variously described as disturbing, provocative, elusive, tormented, sinister, hysterical, brutal, and tender. Among his most famous pieces are a log cabin made of gingerbread squares fitted to a steel frame entitled Feeder 2 (1998). When it went on display at the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, visitors furtively nibbled off bits and pieces of the cabin’s interior walls, while the smell of the gingerbread filled the gallery.
Another well-known work is Starting Over (2000), a video of the artist dancing with taps on his shoes in a bunny suit made to weigh the same as his lover, Philip Horvitz. Blake was included in the 1991 Whitney Biennial and that museum’s infamous Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art exhibition in 1994. Maura Riley curated a retrospective of 30 years of Blake's art, “Behavior,” which was presented in late 2008-early 2009 at Location One in New York City. His work is in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Walker Art Center, and the Des Moines Art Center, among others. He is represented by the Matthew Marks Gallery, and lives and works in New York City.