Carry You With Me: Ten Years of Portraits is the result of a long-term, ongoing project by LJ Roberts, consisting of six-by-four-inch embroidered portraits of the artist’s friends, collaborators and lovers within New York City’s queer and trans communities. Stitched entirely by hand and typically completed during transit on subway trains, these textile works—culminating in Roberts’s first New York solo exhibition at Pioneer Works as well as this first ever publication—aim to illustrate how politics, culture, and identity manifest in both visible and subtle ways through everyday encounters in daily life. In this companion book, each illustration is paired with an anecdotal passage wherein the artist reflects on the deeply personal companionships and shared moments with the depicted subjects. Text contributions by Carmen Hermo, Tirza Latimer, Theodore (ted) Kerr, and TT Takemoto further contextualize the work series within Roberts’s practice.
LJ Roberts is an artist working in installation, textiles, collage, and text. Their practice addresses queer and trans politics, material deviance, alternative kinship structures, archives, and narrative. Based in Brooklyn, the artist has exhibited work at institutions such as the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Brooklyn Museum, Toledo Museum of Art, The 8th Floor, Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, Museum of the City of New York, Victoria and Albert Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Spring/Break Art Show, La Mama Galleria, and Anthology Film Archives. Roberts is a 2021 Socrates Sculpture Park Artist Fellow, and has been an artist-in-residence at IASPIS, Ox-Bow School of Art, Queenslab, Textile Arts Center, Pioneer Works, and MacDowell. They were one of nine recipients of The White House Champions of Change Award for LGBTQI+ artists in 2015, and received the Women's Caucus for Art President's Award for Art and Activism in 2019.