I am excited that my portrait of Tom Lentz, the Director of the Harvard Art Museum, is on the cover of CMC magazine (the magazine for Tom's alma mater, Claremont McKenna College). The image is one I took of him for my series A Moment Collected: Photographs at the Harvard Art Museum. I am honored that he liked the image enough to use it for the cover of the magazine as well as on the Harvard Art Museum website.
The feature article (which is quite good) focuses on Tom's leadership during a time of major transition. Various still life images of mine,
along with images of works in the collection, illustrate the article.
I am excited that three photographs (pictured above) from The (Trans)Gender Series will be exhibited at the Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation in NYC as part of the Second Great LGBT Photo Show. I am especially thrilled to be sharing the walls with photographers Lola Flash, Molly Landreth, Katie Koti, and Robert Siegelman, and can't wait to see the work by the other photographers in the show. This group photography show includes a wide range of imagery--documentary, erotic, political, romantic and more. With more than 80 photographers represented from the US and around the world, the Great LGBTQ Photo Show provides viewers with a broad survey of what contemporary queer photographers are working on today.
The Second Great LGBT Photo Show will be on display at The Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation from June 16-July 10, 2010 with an opening reception on Tuesday, June 15, from 6:00-8:00 p.m.
I have just returned from an art-packed trip to Chicago for the opening of "A New Angle: Portrait Group Show," at the Schneider Gallery, where two of my triptychs are on display along with work by Jennifer Greenburg, Ursula Sokolowska, and Jowhara AlSaud.
The opening was absolutely wonderful, and I got the chance to meet Ursula Sokolowska and Jennifer Greenburg in person, though sadly Jowhara AlSaud wasn't able to make it. I was also thrilled to meet Martha Schneider, the gallery's Director, and Jennifer DeCarlo, the Assistant Director, after many months of friendly e-mail exchanges. I also had the great privilege of meeting Dawoud Bey, whose work I greatly admire. Below are photos from the show and opening as well as photographs of each artist's work.
Outside of the gallery
My two photographs
Me at the gallery
Ursula Sokolowska's photographs
Jowhara AlSaud's photographs
Jennifer Greenburg's photographs
Me and Anna at the opening
Jennifer and I at the opening
Me and Martha at the opening
Ursula talking with guests
Kevin Malella, a photographer represented by the Schneider Gallery, at the opening
I had been so busy preparing for this show that I hadn't given a great deal of thought to just how much there is to see in Chicago. I visited the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium, and saw Anish Kapoor's "Cloud Gate" in Millennium Park. I was amazed by how much public sculpture there is around the city, especially around the park and loop area. Below are a few images from Cloud Gate as well as another shot taken in the park.
One highlight was visiting Columbia College and the Museum of Contemporary Photography. The school and museum both seem to be amazing places with a lot of great energy. At the museum, I saw Sarah Pickering's exhibition "Incident Control," which I found fascinating. I'm not scared of many things, but I am afraid of fire. Sarah's images are frightening, but my reaction to them was mixed and complicated, knowing that the fires were set intentionally for the purpose of study. Or, in the case of the explosion images, knowing that the bombs were dropped intentionally and presumably, safely. Her images of constructed cities built to train the British Police Service are equally as alarming, both in their sense of fake reality as well as their heavily imbued sense of class and socio-economic status. The museum's website says the following about Sarah's work:
"Ultimately Pickering’s photographs raise questions about the efficacy of preparedness and hint at the psychological effort needed to combat and recover from trauma—the struggle to live with the anxiety that can accompany security."
There was also an exhibit by artists Geissler/Sann called "The Real Estate," where the artists photographed foreclosed homes around Chicago, which I found intellectually interesting but not as emotionally moving.
Another major highlight was visiting the Art Institute of Chicago, where I saw the William Eggleston show as well as a great deal of the permanent collection. There was also a wonderful photography exhibit called "In the vernacular," which "presents the work of artists who chose instead to strategically use photography’s everyday forms as a source of inspiration, consciously appropriating, reworking, and interrogating the aesthetics, content, and means of distribution associated with vernacular photography. Photographs by Walker Evans, Andy Warhol, Lee Friedlander, Cindy Sherman, Martin Parr, Nikki S. Lee, and others represented in the Art Institute’s permanent collection challenge us to reevaluate the impact, value, and status of the photographs we encounter in our daily lives." (description taken from the museum's website)
And, I couldn't resist snapping a photo of these wonderful paintings:
At the Art Institute of Chicago
All in all, it was a fantastic trip full of art! I'm looking forward to going back to Chicago again soon.
Over the weekend, I saw the newly-released documentary Play in the Gray at the Brattle Theatre as part of the Boston LGBT Film Festival. First-time filmmaker Kaitlin Meelia spent several years filming the members of the Boston-based drag and cabaret inspired theatre troupe All the Kings Men (ATKM), and beautifully combined many years worth of footage into a stunning documentary.
I have been a fan of ATKM for many years, have known some of the members personally, and have photographed them for my own work as well as for their press materials. I walked into the theatre excited to see them on the big screen, but I wasn't expecting to be as moved as I was by the documentary. The film does an excellent job capturing their full story, both on stage and off. I was struck by the intense amount of emotion with which they live their lives, emotion which they intelligently and artfully pour into their work. Even as an artist whose work deals with gender and someone with my own personal struggles to live within a gray area, as the film's title implies about ATKM, I sometimes forget how challenging, moving, and ultimately rewarding it can be to wholeheartedly embrace who you are despite the lack of understanding within the world at large. Art is such a powerful tool for social change and challenging and exploring and re-shaping traditional ideas of gender issues and identity.
On stage, ATKM is a great variety of things: as a troupe, they offer so many different talents and types of performance that it's impossible to describe what they do in a simple tagline, word, or phrase (and not so coincidentally, the same can be said about the ambiguity and fluidity of gender expressions present in their work and their lives). They are incredible performers who make you laugh, cry, and think. After hearing more about their personal stories and their absolute passion for and commitment to making their mark on the world through their performance, I walked out of the theatre with tears in my eyes.
I would absolutely recommend this film to anyone. Do everything you can to see it and help this wonderful filmmaker and amazing performance troupe rise to the top, where they rightfully belong. They are having another Boston screening on June 3rd at the Stuart Street Playhouse. More info can be found at Play in the Gray and on the ATKM website.
Below is information about the film from Play in the Gray's website:
Play in the Gray is a penetrating, and at times vulnerably raw, portrait of the work, art, and emotional lives of the members of All the Kings Men.
All the Kings Men is a drag and cabaret inspired theater troupe based out of Boston. The troupe intrigues— on stage they perform as old ladies or appear to be women dressed as men or men dressed as women. Their electrifying, award-winning show makes audiences laugh while also questioning themselves and the world. Behind the scenes, Katie, Maria, Julee, Karin, Jill and Leighsa, the members of All the Kings Men, practice hard, spend long hours on the road, and struggle to “make it”—they want All the Kings Men to be a household name.
Personally, they struggle to discover who they are, who they want to be, and who they are afraid of being. Play in the Gray travels with the troupe members as they visit their hometowns, have difficult conversations with family, work their day jobs, maintain relationships, and share their stories of personal struggle and identity.The troupe members challenge the notion of what it means to “be a man” or “be a woman”, shedding light on what happens when the answer is not that easy.
On its face, Play in the Gray is a simple dismantling of the “man-woman” binary that pervades popular culture. But this film is more than just an exploration of gender theory. Play in the Gray is a tiny, yet profoundly intimate, glimpse into the human experience. This film is about the complications of loving, being loved, getting hurt, suffering disappointment, questing for approval and being courageous.
I think it's fair to say I have the best mom in the world, and in honor of mother's day, here is a photo of my mom and her partner Chris- two of the most amazing women I know. I have plans to make a triptych of them soon, so new photos will be on the way, but for the time being here is a photo I took of them at home last fall with our (late) kitty Abby.
Two of my new photos are on their way to Chicago for the show opening next week at the Schneider Gallery. I can't wait to meet the amazing gallery folks I've had the pleasure to work with thus far and the 3 other artists in the show. I'm looking forward to checking out a new city and all of the art, food, and entertainment it has to provide. If any of you have good Chicago recommendations, send them my way!
And for anyone in the Chicago area, I'd love to see you at the opening:
I am excited that one of my newer images, Anna in her childhood room, will be included in the next show at Carroll and Sons Gallery. Familiar Bodies is a show of photographers who photograph the people in their lives and those who they are close to.
I took this image last fall while visiting Maine with Anna, and this is the first time I've enlarged it to full-scale. I can't wait to see it in the context of the other wonderful photographs in the show.