BEYOND QUEER’S LENS, JJ LEVINE
Posted on November 13, 2012 by Isabella Cecconi
“As a queer artist whose work deals with self-representation, the categories queer and art are inextricably linked for me. My work is so connected to my queer identity that my own gender and sexuality influence every aspect of my art practice.”
JJ Levine is a photographer from Montreal who explores gender and sexuality in her work. In her series Queer Portraits she shot large-scale color photographs of her community capturing the complex emotional relationships she has with friends, lovers, siblings. Gender issues, sexuality, queer space in each portrait within a domestic setting, every pic is characterized by saturated colors and often discursive backgrounds. JJ Levine uses a medium format film camera, creating a studio in each home environment. The settings are intended to raise questions regarding private queer space as a realm and expression of gender, which is often marginalized in the public sphere. Through her portraits of queer and trans people she explores her own identity as a gender queer artist where fierceness meets beauty through the confrontational gaze of her subjects and the collective cultural aesthetic. In her Switch series, JJ Levine takes two subjects, one male and one female and dresses them in fancy prom-like clothing, she takes the photo and then has each of them portray the other gender. The results are fantastic.