Culture Watch: Beyond XY
Only three weeks left to see this poignant PHD Gallery exhibit that delves into the male identity.
On the culminating eve of Pride Weekend, PHD Gallery on Cherokee debuted “Beyond XY,” an exhibit by four progressive photographers defining masculinity in new and unusual terms.
In “Beyond XY,” which runs through August 7th, artists Loren Cameron, Joshua McVeity, Trix Rosen and David Vance display male subjects in non-traditional roles, ranging from innocent and endearing, to transsexual and proud. In the gallery, the four artists’ works are spaced out in a continuous line, with a portrait from each photographer presented in sets of four; this arrangement provides a stark contrast between the styles. Each picture shows the subject as they are in a basic, natural sense, while simultaneously showing something that the viewer would not expect.
The exhibit’s best-kept secret may be the hate-mail binder filled with oppositions to the exhibit from religious zealots and short-spoken critics alike. A quick read-through these letters instantly sheds light on how males who fall outside the skirt-chasing, heteronormative identity are still misunderstood in this country. So far, though, reactions have been overwhelmingly positive, and viewers enjoy contemplating the different takes on male world. “It’s gratifying when a show is both critically and commercially viable,” says PHD owner Philip Hitchcock. It’s hard not to criticize and celebrate sexual identity at “Beyond XY,” available for viewing noon to 4PM, Thursday through Sunday.
A transmale photographer out of San Francisco, Loren Cameron explores the nude form of transgendered individuals in an obvious and unavoidable way. To see more of Cameron’s work, click here.
Joshua McVeity’s style provides an immediate foil to Cameron. His use of soft lighting and angelic male subjects turns masculinity vulnerable. The last photograph by the door, hanging over the piano, is McVeity’s; a haunting photo titled Mitch Smoking. For more work by Joshua, click here.
Trix Rosen’s work focused on one subject in succession, the French performance artist Frédéric Koenig. In toe with her muse at the opening, Trix’s portraits immediately stand out as the most feminine in a sea of male subjects, thus striking the most obvious contrast to what’s typically defined as manly. To see more work by Trix, click here.
David Vance’s work focuses on the human form, paying tribute to Greek sculpture with a modern twist. Vance’s pieces stand out for their simplicity and elegance, exploring in the most basic terms what it means to be male. For more photography from David Vance, click here.
2300 Cherokee St.
Thurs.-Sun., Noon to 4pm