For Transportraits, I have created a series of unlikely heroic portraits that examine representations of American masculinity, using transgender men set against a created environment. Following the path of 19th century portrait and landscape artists such as John Singer Sargent and Alfred Jacob Miller, I simultaneously reference classic and contemporary photographic portraiture and consider the origination of American male identity.
For this project I created oil-painted landscapes using instructions from Bob Ross', "The Joy of Painting." The backdrop sets the stage for a series of portraits focusing on a population that is rarely celebrated in a laudable manner. The photographs represent my personal relationship to gender and photography, drawing a parallel between the (mis)perception of the 'photographic record' devoid of social construct and gender as an unchanging truth. In Transportraits I invite the viewer to question the construct of portraiture (and masculinity) while simultaneously depicting a sincere heroism.