To tailor a garment by “rock of eye” is to rely on the drape—on experience over mathematical measurement—in the fitting process. It is a kind of drawing in space—a freehand, an intuition, a trust of materials. Rock of Eye, published on the occasion of Troy Montes-Michie’s (born 1985) solo exhibition at the California African American Museum, is a collection of the artist’s collages, drawings, and found and woven images sourced from vintage erotic magazines. These erotic materials are familiar from Montes-Michie’s recent large-scale paintings and collages that center on the Black male body and his series that traces the social history and form of the zoot suit. Troy Montes-Michie was born in El Paso and his practice reflects his experience growing up along the US/Mexico border. His works are studies in ambiguity between portraiture and landscape; his are the cuts and folds of patterning and mapping. In Rock of Eye, Montes-Michie’s stitches suture histories and geographies; they establish thresholds for crossing; his needle hits rock. Including essays by Brent Edwards, Tina Campt and editor Andrea Andersson, Rock of Eye is a tactile and sensuous artist’s book recalling the form of fabric swatch books and affirming that collage is an art of selection.

Edited by Andrea Andersson and Lisa Pearson with texts by Tina Campt, Brent Edwards, Andrea Andersson, and an afterward by Cameron Shaw.