Viewing Record 3 of 16 Portraiture and the Human Subject
About the Photographer
Dugan, Jess T.
American, b. 1986
Jess T. Dugan is interested in representations of identity, particularly as they apply to LGBTQ communities. Their series "To Survive on this Shore" (2013-2018) started from the recognition that, in representations of transgender and gender-nonconforming people in the media and the arts, older people feature very rarely in comparison with younger individuals. Dugan seeks to remedy this absence by photographing trans people aged fifty or older. They produced over eighty works for the series in collaboration with Dr. Vanessa Fabbre, assistant professor at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, who conducted interviews of Dugan’s subjects. The paths of their subjects range widely and reveal the complexities of living a gender that doesn’t suit one’s identity.
In a similar manner, in their “Every Breath We Drew” (2011-2015) series, Dugan creates self-portraits and photographs other masculine presenting queer individuals in intimate and vulnerable spaces to capture the more personal experiences of these individuals and their desire to be truly seen. These large format photographs contrast with the often hyperpolitical mainstream view of this community by showing a more inclusive way of defining masculinity.
Dugan received their MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago and a Masters in Liberal Studies at Harvard University. They have exhibited both projects, among others, in over 50 solo shows. They have lectured, exhibited and published with Harvard University and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, among many others, and in 2015 was named a White House Champion of Change.