Artist Spotlight: Ashley Kolodner
BY Christopher Harrity
May 04 2013 4:04 AM ET
"GayFace" is a current collection of works by New York City photographer and artist Ashley Kolodner (pictured at left). Gay rights, as human rights, have long been thrown aside by American society. Sexuality cannot be defined as black and white for all. There are many LGBTQ people who do not identify with just one label. Queer culture is most often portrayed as radical, quirky, offbeat, even unserious or detrimental to social and familiar norms. The goal of this project is to break barriers that LGBTQ people have lived under. The purpose is to give them the voice they deserve and the power to speak their truth. This collection of works is done to portray the innovative, personal, and participatory face of the gay movement and American culture at large and in the home.
Each subject is photographed with their eyes closed, then eyes open. The images are meant to be seen side by side. Closing their eyes gives the viewer a sense of the subjects’ vulnerability. The eyes open allows the subject to look the viewer directly in the eye. Once the photographs have been taken, each subject participates in a short interview, stating their name and their label of choice.
The work will then be projected onto buildings and landmarks, to superimpose this true-to-life image of the gay community and further the aims of the movement in light of the current marriage court cases. Kolodner has and will continue to tour the United States to shoot individuals who overtly or covertly identify themselves within the LGBTQ population. Her work has already contributed to the self-identity and empowerment of these individuals, producing a massive support system. This work will also be contributed to book projects, street art, and gallery exhibitions. Kolodner continues to work to unify others in her movement in celebration of sex, freedom of identity, freedom of association, and culture.
Click through for the images from "GayFaces">>>