The Gender Portraiture Project is inspired by my need to participate in conversations about gender structuring and reflections on being femele. I personally identify as gender queer, although this is a very recent development. The reason being – I never realized there was a term to describe the way I feel and the way I am often treated, misunderstood, and stereotyped (usually misjudged) because people don’t know how to categorize me. I guess gender queer is the closest resemblence to my personality although, I am not certain I even want to fit into a category.
Gender portraits will be publicly presented as fine art. I am interesting in including stories as text in book form or as audio as well as the visual portrait. The stories will not be linked to the image nor to the individual. My motives are to get us out there – to be seen – to be recognized as dignified humin beings – to be familiar. More about public exhibition later….
When I work with an individual to visually construct a gender persona, we talk about personal identity. Often examples are given of times when a connection is made in a positive and meaningful way when we are recognized by those who are more inimately familiar with us. Other times we were scorned, or mistreated. The goal is to find and share personal expression; to leave a place of self condemnation and enter celebration and dignity. I offer a safe non-judgemental environment to explore personal identity and ideas. The next step is to develop a costume or outfit and think about props that may give further context to a scenario and/or identity. The mood of each portrait may vary depending on each individual – they can be comic, ironic, celebratory, beautiful, happy and more…. Although we may talk about times of suffereing the visual portrait tends to be on a positive note.
During our initial conversation, the individual may explore body image rather than a decorated or costumed image. For this reason I have developed a new series titled the Gender Body.
The photography studio will open for initial inquiries and individual meetings beginning Sept. 17th at 4013 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, PA. I will be on location Tuesdays and Thursdays 1-5PM and by appointment. If you are interested, please contact me by email. To view examples of select portraits view Gender Portraits and Gender Bodies.
I look forward to hearing from you!