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Female to ‘Male’: A Transgender Photographer Documents His Transition

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For Female to “Male,” Toronto-based photographer Wynne Neilly closely documents his own gender transition. Each week after receiving his testosterone shot, Neilly shot himself on instant film, preserving forever the memory of a specific moment during his evolution. In these intensely personal snapshots, Neilly’s exposed body stands alone, existing within a vacuum of white space. Sequenced and neatly aligned, these aggregate dates cease to be distinct, blurring together into a single fluid narrative of self-actualization.

Becoming a Woman: Striking Side-By-Side Portraits of Teens and Transgender Women

Charlie-White photography

As part of a multi-year project called “The Girl Studies,” Charlie White photographed teen girls between the ages of 12 and 14 side-by-side with male to female transgender adults. In each image, the paired individuals stand out against a non-descript background, making their similarities in appearance all the more evident. Ultimately, the mini-series is a comparative study of two paths toward womanhood, one biological and the other surgical/chemical in nature.

Evocative Portraits of Transgender Youth by Bettina Rheims

Bettina Rheims

Gender Studies is a portrait series by Parisian photographer Bettina Rheims exploring 25 people who evade the categorization of being male or female. Working with young transgender subjects, Rheims became fascinated by their androgyny and the transitional states of change and balance between both sexes. An exchange between the viewer and subject, the series is a study of people living beyond stereotyped classifications of gender.

Portraits of Transgender Sex Workers in Rio de Janeiro

jessica_rosen_photography

Jessica Rosen is an American portrait and fashion photographer living in Sao Paulo, Brazil. About her series, The girls from Avenida Mem de Sa, Rosen writes:

‘I have spent the past three years working closely with a community of transgender sex workers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. All of the subjects of these photos were born biologically male and have since taken steps toward feminizing their identity. These photographs are a celebration of beauty both masculine and feminine and everything in between and beyond.’

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“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as Seen Through Portraits of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Veterans

jo-ann-santangelo photography

Sergeant Jen Hogg (L) served in the New York Army National Guard from 2000-2005. She trained as a 63Y track vehicle mechanic but also worked as the HEMTT wrecker operator. Jen is co-founder of the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN), a non-profit organization dedicated to serving military women and veterans. Pictured with her partner Jackie Scalone (R)

Jo Ann Santangelo’s obsession with documenting life began as a young girl growing up in Boston’s North End. After relocating to Austin, TX in 2006, Santangelo hopped on her bike and started photographing. Over 1,500 black and white portraits of the locals became her first photo essay, ‘Austin Seen’. In August 2008, she moved to New York to attend her first formal education program at the International Center of Photography. While at ICP she was awarded The New York Times Foundation Scholarship and interned with Eugene Richards. Her photographs have been featured in publications such as: El País Semanal, The Guardian, Mother’s Jones, New York Magazine, Food & Wine, The Washington Post, Austin Monthly, The Boston Phoenix and the Austin Chronicle.

Looking back at LGBTQ life, 50 years after Stonewall

KARLA JAY, born in Brooklyn in 1947, is a distinguished professor emerita at Pace University, where she taught English and directed the women’s and gender studies program between 1974 and 2009. A pioneer in the field of lesbian and gay studies, she is widely published.

CHELLA MAN is a 20-year-old, deaf, genderqueer, queer artist currently transitioning on testosterone. “Every day left me exhausted as I performed traditional femininity.” Born in Pennsylvania, he moved to New York to study virtual reality programming at The New School, while creating art on the side. His main focus is to educate others on issues regarding being queer and disabled within a safe space.

Fifty years after the Stonewall Rebellion gave birth to the global LGBTQ Movement, generations have continued the fight for freedom and equality — knowing full well the moment we stop fighting is the moment that all hell breaks loose.

Consider the June 28 report of a Black trans woman who disrupted a drag show at the Stonewall Inn during the 50th anniversary celebration to call out how Pride has been co-opted by corporations even through Black trans women are being murdered — and was threatened with police action in an effort to silence her.

It was a cruel but telling episode of history repeating itself, half a century later at the very place where Gay Liberation began. In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, by homeless LGBTQ teens, trans women of color, lesbians, drag queens, and gay men stood up against a police raid, sparking off a multi-night uprising on the streets of New York’s Greenwich Village.

In the aftermath of Stonewall, hundreds of new LGBTQ civil rights organizations took root across the country and around the world, forcing the U.S. government to change their laws. Though the war has not been won, the battles rage on.

Collier Schorr: Stonewall at 50, currently on view at the Alice Austen House in Staten Island, New York, through September 30, honors those doing the work in a series 15 black and white portraits of intergenerational activists including native New Yorker Karla Jay, an early member of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) and the Radicalesbians who famously incited the “Lavender Menace Zap” at the Second Congress to Unite Women in 1970.

Here Jay shares her memories and lessons gleaned on the front lines, which we can use to continue to fight in the name of those who did not make it out alive.

Photos of 65 Iconic Artists In Their Bathtubs

Keith Haring, 1982. Photo © Don Herron, courtesy Estate of Don Herron and Daniel Cooney Fine Art

Phoebe Legere, 1988. Photo © Don Herron, courtesy Estate of Don Herron and Daniel Cooney Fine Art

The East Village, 1988: Phoebe Legere was preparing to pose in her bathtub for photographer Don Herron. The 25-year-old songwriter had signed to Epic Records—one of the most powerful in the world back then—and they poised to make her into some combination of Madonna, Barbra Streisand, and Liberace. At the same time, Legere says, Michael Jackson had reached huge commercial success, Cindy Lauper was past her prime, and few female singers or artists were depicted as strong or powerful figures in stardom. Not to mention there was a booming yet wholly male-dominated art renaissance emerging quite literally around the corner in New York, according to Legere. Even Keith Haring was showing at the now-iconic FUN Gallery just half a block away from Legere’s apartment, where she still resides today. “It was a boys club, no question about it,” Legere tells me. “Girls were not welcome, except as maybe a muse or a drug dealer.”

A few days before her photo shoot with Herron, however, Legere had an idea. The up-and-coming musician could use the session to reveal another one of her talents: painting. Using black bathtub glaze, she adorned her bathtub in paintings of fish—which she calls her “totem animal”—and voluptuous women. She didn’t think her beauty alone was enough to would hold anyone’s attention. By the time Herron arrived, after he climbed 80 stairs to Legere’s fifth floor walk up, the paint on the tub had not yet dried and the water had turned black.

This New Award Is Exactly What The Photo Industry Needs

Taken April 27, 2016 during a rally in West Baltimore. As protestors and supporters march through the street, two young boys on bicycles raise their fists as a police car drives away from them. This image was taken around the one-year anniversary of the death of Freddie Gray and the 2015 uprising. © Shan Wallace

© Rhynna M. Santos

Bryan Stevenson, founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama, stands among memorial pillars at The National Memorial for Peace and Justice of those lynched in various counties and states. Photographed for NPR. © Lynsey Weatherspoon

The history of photography has been written primarily by white, cis-gendered, heterosexual men. “Culture is driven by creatives of color, but so often mainstream media removes the cultural significance, voice, and tone and seemingly co-opts our brain power,” the Atlanta-based photographer Lynsey Weatherspoon writes. Lifting up and centering stories of color is critical, as is making space for women and creatives of color to tell their own stories.” Weatherspoon is one of 30 photographers selected to be part of The Lit List, a new award devoted to doing exactly that. 

The Lit List, launched by the photographer and writer Oriana Koren of the Authority Collective in collaboration with Diversify.Photo, amplifies the voices of marginalized and underrepresented lens-based artists. This includes but is not limited to womxn, transgender, and non-binary photographers and filmmakers of color. This year’s superstar jury included the photographer and professor Zora J Murff, California Sunday‘s Paloma Shutes, The New Yorker‘s Siobhan Bohnacker, the Magnum Foundation’s Noelle Flores Theard, Wired‘s Sara Urbaez, the visual historian Renata Charlise of Blvck Vrchives, the art director and illustrator Jaya Nicely, the photographer and photo editor Danielle Scruggs, and Hannah Kuo of Lucky88.

A Joyful, Fearless Exhibition About Women Photographing Women

Isabel Bateman in the Character of Queen Henrietta Maria, 1874 © Julia Margaret Cameron

Self-Portrait, Canal Saint Martin, Paris, 1930’s © Ilse Bing

American Girl in Italy, 1951 © Ruth Orkin

In 1865, The Photographic Journal published a review of the work of Julia Margaret Cameron. It ended with the line, “We are sorry to have to speak thus severely on the works of a lady, but we feel compelled to do so in the interest of the art.” On more than one occasion, she was dismissed, belittled, and even mocked, and in some cases, critics made special reference to her gender.

Now, a century and a half later, we recognize Cameron as a pioneer who left an indelible mark on the history of photography. “In many ways, Julia Margaret Cameron was a feminist even if there wasn’t a word for it,” Daniel Cooney, the gallerist behind Daniel Cooney Fine Art, tells me. “She was one of the first female practitioners of photography, and she was making images that revealed women as complex, intelligent people, even though they had very few rights.”

Beginning with that brilliant Victorian lady and extending through the Second, Third, and Fourth Wave, Cooney’s exhibition Into the Light honors generations of women behind–and in front of–the camera.

15 Exhibitions, Panels, & Events You Shouldn’t Miss at Photoville 2017

Now in its sixth year, Photoville by United Photo Industries opens Wednesday, September 13th, at Brooklyn Bridge Park. The massive (and free) event will include more than 55 of the signature Photoville gallery exhibitions, all beautifully installed in recycled shipping containers.

As always, your favorite food vendors will return, along with a community book store by Red Hook Editions. Penumbra Foundation will once again be making tintype portraits. There is an abundance of exhibitions, workshops, and panels scheduled this year– and many opportunities to discuss some of the world’s most pressing issues: climate change, immigration, poverty, incarceration.

Whether you’re looking to escape the world’s headlines or confront them headfirst, Photoville 2017 promises to deliver. Here are just a few of the exhibitions and panels we’re most excited to see. Be sure to check out the full line-up here.

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