exhibition slideshow
Beyond XY

Four Photographers Explore
The Masculine Continuum

Loren Cameron
Joshua McVeity
Trix Rosen
David Vance

On View
June 26 - August 7, 2010

Gay Pride Weekend
Saturday, June 26, 2010
7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.

PHD Gallery celebrates Gay Pride by turning the spotlight on LGBTQ photographers who specialize in the male form.

Gallery owner Philip Hitchcock selects photographers from Miami, New York, San Francisco, and Calgary whose work explores the diverse and changing meaning of "maleness," masculinity, gender, and gender identity. On view, are works by celebrated transmale photographer Loren Cameron (San Francisco), Alberta College of Art and Design graduate Joshua McVeity (Calgary), documentary photographer/ journalist Trix Rosen (New York), and widely published fashion and commercial photographer David Vance (Miami). The work is on view June 26 - August 7, 2010, with an opening reception Saturday, June 26, 7:00 - 10:00 PM.

Each artist photographs the male nude but from a decidedly personal perspective. Vance photographs the Alpha Male, focusing on the athleticism of his subjects while extolling Greco-Roman ideals of male beauty. McVeity's subjects are fresh-faced youths, boyish, lithe, spontaneous, and unspoiled. Rosen's images are culled from a ten-year study of French gender illusionist and performance artist, Frédéric Koenig, and possess a hypnotic eroticism. Cameron's award winning photographs document transmale subjects (female to male transgender), including his arresting "classic physique" self-portraits. The works of these four photographers alternately reinforce, blur, or shatter conventional boundaries about masculinity and the defining characteristics of male identity in contemporary culture.

Dr. Alexis Matza, of Washington University in St. Louis, contends that BEYOND XY transcends universal notions about masculinity: "Rather than defining male as "not female," the exhibit disrupts the idea that male has a universal meaning and instead explores the spectacular diversity of male embodiments." Read Dr. Matza's essay here.

...About the Artists...

Loren Cameron is celebrated for his seminal work of transgender self-representation in the Photographic Arts. The native Californian is self taught and began producing self portraits and images of transgendered people in 1993. By 1995, his work had been shown in solo exhibitions in San Francisco, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles. His first book Body Alchemy: Transsexual Portraits (Cleis Press) 1996, won two Lambda Literary Awards. Cameron's subsequent publications include four volumes: Man Tool: The Nuts and Bolts of Female-to-Male Surgery (Zero eBooks) 2001, Cuerpos Fotografiados Por Cameron 1 and 2 and Correspondence 1997 - 2001 (Taller Experimental Cuerpos Pintados) 2003. His publications are preserved and archived by Cornell University Library.

As an honored guest speaker, Cameron lectures extensively throughout the United States at such institutions as Smith College, Harvard, Cornell, and Brown University, University of California at Berkeley, the School of Art in Chicago, and Washington University in St. Louis.

Cameron continues to photograph the transgender nude creating comprehensive and diverse representation of transsexual body modification.

Joshua McVeity is a recent graduate of Alberta College of Art and Design in Canada. He shoots primarily on location utilizing natural light. His "hands off" approach during a shoot give his photographs and honest and spontaneous look. In his short career, he has accrued an impressive list of clients including Pref Magazine, Mode Models International, Major Models NYC, Scene Models in Sydney, Corbis, Stebnicki and Partners, Holt Renfrew, and Mainstreet Equity Corporation.

Trix Rosen is a New York based artist and photojournalist who focuses on gender identity, ambiguity and transformation for much of her fine art photography. She is the author and photographer of STRONG AND SEXY: THE NEW BODY BEAUTIFUL (Delilah Publishers, New York) 1983, which features over one hundred color and black and white photographs with eight photo-essays and accompanying profiles of women athletes and bodybuilders. Her profoundly intimate photographs of Takami Yao, a cancer survivor who underwent a double mastectomy, culminated in the solo exhibition "Changed Landscapes" at The Elsa Mott Ives Gallery in New York.

"He-She," the work on view at PHD Gallery, is part of an ongoing series of portraits of French visual and performance artist, Frédéric Koenig:

"In my friendship and collaboration with Fred, I found a kindred spirit and a powerful embodiment of the melding of male and female imagery. He is a fearless man who is empowered and transformed by the dual nature of his sexualityand dares the viewer to cross over boundaries and taste the apple of real and imagined desires."

~Trix Rosen

Rosen spent a decade documenting the civil war in the Philippine Cordillera Mountains and its effects on the tribal culture transitioning into the 21st century. Her many published photo-essays have ranged from portraits of Aung San Suu Kyi, the imprisoned Burmese Nobel Laureate, rock and roll star Deborah Harry, musician Bobby McFerrin and author Michael Crichton. Rosen now specializes in documenting restoration and historic preservation projects for the Library of Congress, and has produced a series of large-format fine art prints, "Urban Archeology" and Bet Hayyim (The House of Life) .

David Vance has enjoyed a successful career photographing advertising and editorial assignments for Cosmopolitan, Entertainment Weekly, Interview, Men's Health, and Rolling Stone Magazine. His clients include Revlon, Rolex, Sony, Atlantic, Arista and Island Records, Time-Life, Doubleday, Coca-Cola, Kodak, Lion's Gate and Miramax Films. His celebrity portraits include Bea Arthur, William Baldwin, Steven Bauer, Toni Braxton, Gloria Estefan, Andy Garcia, Hal Holbrook, L'il Wayne, Sophia Loren, Ricky Martin, Johnny Mathis, Luciano Pavarotti, Dionne Warwick, Greg Louganis and Dan Marino.

His nude photographs resonate with a dynamic tranquility and quiet passion. Sensual, strong, haunting and inspiring, they reflect a deep appreciation of classic painting and sculpture. Vance boasts eight books to his credit including Visions, (Visions/Merrill Enterprises) 1973, The Ultimate Book Of Nudes, (U.B.O.N./Greenleaf/Dupont Corp.) 1976, and The Woods, (Pohlmann Press) 1996. Five books of his male photography have been published by Bruno Gmunder Verlag including David Vance/Photographs, 1998, Attractions, 2001, Timeless, 2006, and Heavenly Bodies, 2009. Erotic Dreams becomes available in October 2010.

Vance is an alumnus of Rochester Institute of Technology and maintains his studio in his hometown of Miami, Florida.

Menaissance Art

In the contemporary United States, we generally rely on three different systems of sexing bodies: Chromosomes (XX/ XY), Genitals (Penis/ Vagina) and Hormones (Testosterone/ Estrogen). Through the diversity of male nudes in this show, we can see that these systems are at best crude instruments. Rather than defining male as "not female," the exhibit disrupts the idea that male has a universal meaning and instead explores the spectacular diversity of male embodiments. The variety of bodily archetypes represented reminds the viewer that neither chromosomes, genitals, and hormones (nor gendered garments), make the man. Instead, these images suggest that the time is ripe for a "Menaissance," a rebirth in how we perceive maleness and masculinity.

In Loren Cameron's compelling portraits of transgender men, we see hairy, muscular men with XX chromosomes, vaginas, and a variety of hormonal admixtures circulating in their bodies. David Vance provides images of rugged, intensely muscular men, their chiseled bodies evocative of both classical sculpture and the intensive body work required by these men to create and maintain these physiques. Both Vance and Cameron study men who work on their bodies like a project, chiseling their appearance from the rough material of their biological body.

In Joshua McVeity's work, young, boyish subjects - hairless and lithe- have a particular immediacy to them which reminds us that this stage of innocent youth is transient. In Trix Rosen's gender ambiguous portraits of Frederic Koenig, we can see that not only do men have different gendered embodiments from each other, but an individual's gender performance can shift and sway. McVeity's and Rosen's subjects, taken together, remind the viewer that an individual's gender embodiment is not stable or fixed, and can change throughout one's life span, or even throughout the day.

As you walk around this show, consider the following questions: What is a man? What is masculine? What are the ways that a man can live through and with his body? Beyond XY compels the viewer to go beyond their preconceived notions of male and masculine bodies to see the incredible beauty of real men's bodies.

Alexis Ruth Matza, Ph.D.
Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Washington University in St. Louis

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