MAD will be open on Mon, May 6.

Identity Is…

Michael Sylvan Robinson

Currently on view in the Museum’s lobby, Identity Is… was created for multi-faceted creator, tastemaker,  and theater impresario Jordan Roth to wear at The Metropolitan Museum's Costume  Institute Gala in 2021. A maximalist composition in which identity is a multifaceted creative act, the coat and its sweeping train are crafted from a textile collage of elaborately patterned fabric overworked with labor-intensive machine and handstitched beadwork. Layers of queer imagery and poetic text fragments are key elements in the work of the artist Michael Sylvan Robinson, who says “[they]… name intentions, offer reminders of the fragility of our world, and provoke a call to healing, to action, to remembrance.”

About the artist

An internationally exhibited genderqueer fiber artist, activist, and leader in arts education, Michael Sylvan Robinson earned an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College (2008) and a BA from Bennington College (1989) with an emphasis in dance and drama. With a background in costume design and as a performance artist, their contemporary fiber art has been shown in galleries and museum exhibitions including Rome Art Week, SPRING / BREAK Art Show, the National Queer Arts Festival in San Francisco, and the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts. Sylvan’s fashion art was photographed for Vogue Germany, commissioned and worn at the Met Gala in 2021 by theater producer and fashion enthusiast Jordan Roth; and featured in an interview for Vogue and Vogue France. Sylvan was interviewed on fashion art and activism for Dressed: The History of Fashion Podcast (Episode 239: April, 2022).

Image: Michael Sylvan Robinson, Identity Is… (detail), 2021.

Get Updates from MAD

* indicates required
Let us know if you're interested in: