Transgender Artist Reclaims Lost Boyhood in New Kids on the Block Paintings

New Kids on the Block — singers Jordan and Jonathan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg, and Danny Wood — were the boy band heartthrobs who ruled the late ‘80s and early ‘90s with cheesy ballads and pop tracks, many of which had “girl” in the title. Artist Cobi Moules, who is totally not a Danny fan, had a childhood obsession with the group. But as a late-blooming transgender guy, Moules’ childhood perspective was more complicated than the average teen.

The artist is reclaiming his love for New Kids on the Block with a series of paintings that reconstruct his desires (wanting to be with the guys of the group, and wanting to be a guy in the group) by inserting himself into images of the band. Recreating posters, trading cards, and magazine clippings, Moules appears in place of Danny.

“What seemed to be unrealizable for my young and confused childhood self has been made possible in adulthood. Perhaps I will never have that actual love affair with Jordan Knight, but living in the world as a queer boy has,” the artist said of the series in a press release. “Through this project I am realizing those wonderful and absurd childhood fantasies. . . . I have become the ‘new kid’ that I desired to be.” New Kids is on view at New York City’s Lyons Wier Gallery from February 4 to March 5.