‘Gorgeous Drag’, an online solo of previously unseen images of NYC Drag Queens by Moneygame photographer Elizabeth Waterman. Presented by London-based Albumen Gallery and Director Stephan Schmid. The show features photographs Waterman shot from 2014-2016, and runs July 1 through August 19.
“This body of work encompasses an eclectic range of individual artists and overlapping subcultures, and through it runs a vein of courage, defiance, tenacity, and pride,” affirms photographer Elizabeth Waterman.
Coinciding with Pride Month, “Gorgeous Drag,” an online solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based fine art photographer Elizabeth Waterman, launches with a one-hour online event on Thursday, June 30, beginning at 11:30AM PDT, 7:30PM GMT.
Waterman will unveil the artwork during the preview webcast, consisting of previously unseen images from a prescient body of work she shot in 2014-2016. The portfolio captures the New York City drag scene, particularly in the Bushwick area of Brooklyn – including the groundbreaking festival“Bushwig,” which has its 11th annual iteration this fall.
“Gorgeous Drag” is presented by London gallery Albumen, and its Director Stephan Schmid, and will be available for viewing from July 1 – August 31.
All images will be available for sale as fine art archival pigment prints (in three sizes), artist signed and edition numbered, certificate of authenticity included.
To attend the free online preview event, register here!
All event attendees will be automatically entered into a contest to win one signed, limited edition copy of the book Elizabeth Waterman: Photographs 2011-2016. The edition of 100 signed books will also be available for sale for $200 USD.
Waterman remembers how she became passionate about the subject matter: “In March, 2014, a friend gave me a heads-up about a party she thought I’d enjoy. For four years, I’d been working as a portrait photographer in Brooklyn, focusing on the millennial art community, but when I walked in this party, I knew I’d found the edge of a blade. Who were these glittering performers, these late-night habitués? Would they let me into their world? I was intrigued, enamored. I had to know more.”
That event began Waterman’s two-year exploration of the city’s fevered nightlife. From Brooklyn to Manhattan, she photographed club kids in phosphorescent costumes, drag queens in their sequined, fish-netted extravagance, and fire-breathers, burlesque dancers, can-can girls, aerialists – all in a rollicking parade of gender ambiguity and fantasy.
Of the portfolio and its inaugural showing, Gallerist Stephan Schmid says, “Almost a decade ago, Elizabeth undertook an extensive and ambitious reconnaissance of the New York City drag scene. The resulting “Gorgeous Drag”’ series marks not just one, but two departures. It was a dynamic time. An increasingly assertive drag scene came out of the shadow of its earlier underground existence – confident of its contribution towards an expanding conversation about gender and sex in the United States.
The Bushwick drag scene, once furtively played out in backroom venues, suddenly produced major stars, including Sasha Velour, Aquaria, and Scarlet Envy. It also marked a departure in Elizabeth’s career. Previously, her portrait work had taken place in the insulated environment of the studio. As a photographer, she felt increasingly restricted and held back by the roles and role-play that govern conventional portrait photography, further encumbered by unwieldy professional equipment.”
For Elizabeth, the act of looking for a new milieu – something less scripted – was coupled with the realization that she would have to take some risks herself. Reflecting on that period, Elizabeth says, ‘I set out to explore New York’s underground performance world, shadowy and slightly unhinged, where the players flutter like moths to the spotlight of spectacle – a mob of bit-part participants and high-profile personalities, people acting out and cutting loose. My equipage? A disposable point-and-shoot film camera.’”
About the artist
Elizabeth Waterman is a Los Angeles-based American fine art photographer. A through-line in her body of work is the depiction of the ongoing metamorphosis of artists and performers of many genres and sub-cultures. Her distinctive photographs explore female sexuality, sex work, porn actors, obsessions, and portraits of artists. Waterman’s style is often cinematic in feel, elegantly composed, infused with directness, and suggestive of a story behind the image. Born in Taos, New Mexico and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Waterman began her career while living in New York City. She holds a B.A. in Fine Art from the University of Southern California.
About Albumen Gallery
Under the direction of Stephan Schmid, Albumen Gallery is a London-based Fine Art Photography Dealer and Gallery Project. Albumen Gallery was set up to provide – through its online gallery space and participation in international art fairs including Photo London and Unseen Amsterdam – an international platform for original photographic art.
Elizabeth Waterman – Gorgeous Drag
An online exhibition by Albumen Gallery
From July 1st to August 31
June 30, 2022 to August 31, 2022