Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Hey all, I just completed work on an issue of GAYHOUSE, a french zine that collaborates with a different queer artist for each issue. It will debut at the NY Art Book Fair. I think it looks really beautiful. It is dedicated to three of my great, recent loves (platonic and otherwise)—Mark, Doug, and Roberto. I am excited for folks to see it. Blurb below. For more information about the project, go here.

GAYHOUSE is a graphic and visual review that invites artists to share their personal, singular and affirmative vision of gay identity— whether this vision by joyful, poetic, worried, ironic, humorous, pornographic, modest…Taking over the review is similar to inhabiting a house. The invited artist is free to select a layout, its decoration, and the guests. Ultimately, the review will present an image of his or her world.

“For the issue of GAYHOUSE, I wanted to combine colored pencil and ink drawings with photographs related to my daily life. The tensions I wanted to explore were between abstraction and representation; real and imagined; depicted and actual; whole and part; the world I yearn for and the one I move through on a daily basis. Desire is also key: the sigils are abstractions of desire, of course. The other thread of the issue is that it is very much a meditation on death, symbolized by the Aztec god of death, Mictlantecuhtlian, and an act of mourning for my friend Mark Aguhar—a young, genderqueer artist who committed suicide this past spring—who makes an appearance on the back cover. Altogether, you could say that the issue’s subject is the intertwining of desire and loss in daily life.” Elijah Burgher

Elijah Burgher (b. 1978, lives and works in Chicago) aims to contribute to the strain of countercultural queer mysticism exemplified by figures such as Jean Genet, Kenneth Anger, and Hakim Bey. His works, mostly drawings, have their sources in imagination, found stories, historical artworks, but take root into the artist’s daily life and personal history. Beside figurative drawings, where men are engaged in ritual activities, he creates sigils, magical emblems conceived after an historical method of spell casting developed by early 20th century occultist Austin Osman Spare, in which the letters spelling out a wish are combined into a new symbol. Thus he creates icons that utilize the language and history of abstraction.

Elijah Burgher’s GAYHOUSE #5 will be available on the booth of Septembre ├ęditions at THE NY ART BOOK FAIR, 28 – 30 September, MoMA PS1, Long Island City, Queens.Signature: Saturday 29 September, 5 P.M., official book-signing table in the lobby of MoMA PS1.

About: 210 x 297 mm; 3 colors printing; 200 copies numbered and signed; each copy comes in a blue aluminum envelope with a b&w silkscreen sticker. Price: 25 € / 32 US$

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Build better human beings

Ghost vomit

Black mirror

The Werewolf of Hannover

Black Thorns in the White Cube + Elijah Burgher at Western Exhibitions

I will be opening a solo show in the project room at Western Exhibitions on Friday, March 6. Eight drawings from the past six months, and a large painting on a drop cloth. Info here. A group show, Black Thorns in the White Cube, featuring artists influenced by the sounds and imagery of black metal, will be opening in the main space.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


I will be showing drawings, paintings, and a collaborative video in a two-person show with Steve Reinke at Lump in Raleigh, NC. Info below. Lots of love to Bill Thelen for inviting us for this project.

Lump is pleased to present 
Anal Swastika vs. Genital Holocaust 
by Chicago artists Elijah Burgher and Steve Reinke. Lump will host an opening reception on Friday, February 3rd from 7 – 10pm during the First Friday Gallery Walk in downtown Raleigh. The exhibition will run from February 3 – 25 and is on view Saturdays from 1 - 5pm and by appointment during the week.

Anal Swastika vs. Genital Holocaust

Elijah Burgher vs. Steve Reinke

Drawing vs. Needlepoint

Video vs. Video

Personal Shit! 

The bachelor machine, from behind and below (studies)

Untitled (charged sigil)

Little Boris's suicide

Desire cut up 1 & 2

Desire 1, 2 & 3