|Internationally-acclaimed, Montreal-based Canadian transgender country and indie singer-songwriter and author Rae Spoon (above) is one of the subjects in photographer JJ Levine's Queer Portraits exhibit (All photos by JJ Levine, courtesy JJ Levine)|
I first came across the photographs of Montreal photographer JJ Levine in the pages of Maisonneuve’s Summer 2012 issue, where Levine parodied prom-style portraits, and then again just days later in the 10×10 Photography Project: 100 Portraits Celebrating LGBT People in the Arts, during Gay Pride at Toronto’s Gladstone Hotel last summer.
|Montreal photographer JJ Levine|
The Queer Portraits press release states, “Each portrait is taken in a different domestic setting, characterized by saturated colours and often discursive backgrounds. Using professional lighting and a medium format film camera, Levine creates a studio within each home environment, and intentionally places every piece of furniture and object that appears within the frame. These settings are intended to raise questions regarding private queer space as a realm for the development of community and the expression of genders and sexualities that are often marginalized within the public sphere.”
“I’ve been taking these [portraits] since 2006 and I’ve probably taken over 100 [portraits] in this series by this point,” Levine says. “I photograph my friends and people around me, so there really is no decision-making process [about who to photograph]. It just comes to me when I’m interacting [with others] in my daily life.”
Queer Portraits runs at Toronto's Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography from May 3 to June 16. More images from Queer Portraits will be on display at Gladstone Hotel's Art Bar from May 1 - 31. Click here for more info.
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