Posted on October 19, 2015
PLEASE JOIN ME at the
OPENING RECEPTION: Wednesday, Oct 21, 2015, 5:30 – 7:30 PM
EVIL: A MATTER OF INTENT
Hebrew Union College –JIR Museum
One West Fourth St, New York NY
September 1, 2015- June 30, 2016
My Femme Fatale Portfolio has its roots in the shadows and violence depicted on pulp fiction book covers and film noir movie posters. At the core of these stories is an edgy morality tale. ‘Bad girl’ characters live in a place and time where good is not always rewarded or evil inevitably punished. Central to this story is the predatory femme fatale, sometimes portrayed as a character that is not all bad.
Within the mysterious mise-en-scène, gender performance artist, Fred Koenig, appropriates the dark haired, noir-heroine dripping in furs and jewels as a character of multiple and hidden identities. For SIN STREET (2013), the inner surface and the outer show are as interchangeable as the intimately linked masculine and feminine roles. Sex is the femme fatale’s weapon. She uses her attractiveness to manipulate the male protagonist. Better not to be too pretty, too aggressive or too sexual or you might be killed as the film noir heroine usually dies. The warning is well learned by generations of young girls. The film noir moral lesson is that we are all connected; that the lure of transgression makes us closer than we think.
The exhibition EVIL: A MATTER OF INTENT addresses the faces of inhumanity and explores the struggle between the acts of evil, (yetzer hara) and the acts of good (yetzer hatov).
“The artists in this exhibition as do many of us, have a vision of how to proceed. Less rhetoric. More action. It is up to each and every one of us to wage war on evil.” Laura Kruger, Curator
Monday-Thursday, 9am-5pm, Friday, 9am-3pm, Select Saturdays, 10am-2pm (call for Saturday openings)
PLEASE JOIN ME at the Opening Reception: Thursday, October 29th, 2015, 7-9 PM
ART IN THE PUBLIC EYE: What’s All the Fuss? This exhibition examines the work of artists who investigate the controversial subjects that spark public discussions today.
Pierro Gallery of South Orange
5 Mead Street, South Orange, NJ
October 29 – November 25th 2015
ART IN THE PUBLIC EYE – Panel Discussion
Thursday Oct 22 2015, 7pm, Montclair Art Museum – to discuss the issues and concerns that arise in the creation of public art installations and how they engage communities in dialogue.
From the earliest days of my career in art and photography I have photographed strong and defiant people who bravely break taboos and re-define their cultural and sexual representation. Many of my images embrace the fluidity of gender identity and explore the possibility that we each hold a myriad of alternative selves within us.
SACRED CORSET (1997)
In the eighteen years that I have been photographing the French performance artist, Fred Koenig, we have collaborated on producing images that explore a gender-fluid queer identity. My HE/SHE Portfolio reveals the spectrum of Fred’s transformations into self-affirming portraits of his myriad personas and alternative selves.
For SACRED CORSET, Koenig dares the viewer to cross over boundaries of imagination and desires. Here is a fearless man who is empowered and transformed by the ambiguity and fluidity of his sexuality.
AUTHENTIC GENDER QUEER (2013)
Dean, the photojournalist and visual artist depicted in the portrait, AUTHENTIC GENDER QUEER, self-identifies with the pronoun “they,” and says: “There is nothing more courageous than being yourself in a world that tries to render you invisible in mundane and violent ways.”
NAVE Gallery Annex
53 Chester St., Somerville, MA 02144
October 8th – 31st 2015
WHO DO YOU BELIEVE IN
Pigment print on aluminum with hand-filed edges, 12 x 18 inches
I photographed the graffiti drawing, WHO DO YOU BELIEVE IN, on a cell wall of the Women’s Wing at the abandoned Essex County State Penitentiary, in North Caldwell, NJ. Both the text and the inmate’s haunting, hand-drawn portrait poignantly illustrate one of the fundamental questions we ask about life.
For the exhibition, VISAURAL, I paired it with “Hallelujah,” written by Leonard Cohen and performed here by K.D. Lang, because the prayer-like music affirms a faith in life and love amidst doubts. Cohen has said the iconic song represents “absolute surrender in a situation you cannot fix or dominate.”
Alone, within the steel bars of her cage-like cell, I can imagine the figure in the drawing listening to the repeated one-word chorus coming through the open ceiling above her. According to the song, even those of us for whom “it all went wrong” can experience transcendence. As Cohen writes: we “stand before the Lord of Song/ with nothing on [our] lips but a cold and broken Hallelujah.”
Posted on March 12, 2014
“Photographer Trix Rosen’s work about gender ambiguity empowers the viewer to question conventional definitions of beauty and remind us it is more important to define our own personal beauty rather than being defined by others.”
Maureen Harrison and Alexsandra Simakowicz, Curators, BREAKING THROUGH TRADITION
BREAKING THROUGH TRADITION
April 3 – May 3, 2014
Opening Reception: April 3 2014, 7pm-9pm
Pierro Gallery, Baird Center, 5 Mead Street, South Orange, NJ 07079
Please join me at the Pierro Gallery in South Orange NJ for BREAKING THROUGH TRADITION, a group show celebrating the American cultural transition towards inclusivity.
My HE-SHE portfolio presents an ongoing series of portraits documenting my seventeen-year collaboration with French artist, Fred Koenig, who unselfconsciously dares the viewer to cross over boundaries of imagination and desires. Observe him in ‘The Sea Change’ and be confronted by a fearless man who is empowered and transformed by the ambiguity of his sexuality.
‘Ravaged,’ presents Fred within the decaying landscape of a New Jersey historic farmhouse. Perhaps this intimate pose and an abandoned structure lay bare a similar beauty and vulnerability.
Fred and I collaborate not just in our art, but in our political activism. Talking about his HIV/AIDS status, Fred told me that it is part of what he shows me by exposing his soul to my camera.
‘Changed Landscapes’ also reveals a figure who has dared me to look deeper because she wasn’t afraid. Here is a woman who bravely explores the physical and emotional contours of her new form after a double mastectomy.
This portrait can be viewed as a narrative about her life and as a defining moment of transfiguring change. Bald, breast-less and scarred, she is fearless and beautiful, essentially and eternally female.
These images record biographical moments, measured not as isolated fragments of time, but revealing the narrative arc of both Fred and Takami’s life. They are capturing the past, recording the present and projecting into the future. How courageous and optimistic to look inward and become stronger through the experience.
I hope to see you at opening of BREAKING THROUGH TRADITION on April 3, 7pm-9pm
Pierro Gallery, Baird Center, 5 Mead Street, South Orange, NJ 07079
Category: DOCUMENTARY, EXHIBITIONS, FINE ART, GLBTQ, Historic Preservation, Uncategorized, Vernacular Architecture Tagged: architecture, Baird Center, Deleware Water Gap National Park Endangered Houses, documentary, endangered historic sites and houses, Exhibitions, Fine Art, fine art photography, Fred Koenig, gender ambiguity, GLBTQ
Posted on January 15, 2014
Opening Reception: Sunday, January 26, 2014, 2:00-5:00 pm
Montclair State University – George Segal Gallery, Montclair NJ 07043
I can thank my parents for January being the month of my birth, and Curator, Marilyn Symmes, for choosing two of my images, Peeling Back the Layers and Endangered Oakley Stoll House to be in ‘ART Connections 10’ at the George Segal Gallery, Montclair State University in NJ. This marks the first exhibition that represents my gender fine art photography along with my architectural series of endangered houses. Both images record historical moments, measured not as isolated fragments of time, but as tangible and intangible exposures, revealing the narrative arc of my subject’s life/capturing past, recording present and projecting into the future.
Peeling Back the Layers. Montague NJ, 2012, 27H x 18W inches,
Framed 31H x 23W inches, Fine Art Digital Inkjet Paper with Archival Pigmented Inks
Endangered Oakley Stoll House. Walpack Twp. NJ, 2012, 27H x 18W inches,
Framed 31H x 23W inches, Fine Art Digital Inkjet Paper with Archival Pigmented Inks
For Peeling Back the Layers, gender performance artist, Fred Koenig, clad only in panties, stockings and high heels, is framed by the antique peeling wallpaper and decaying wood molding of the historic Hornbeck/Roberts House in Montague NJ. Owned by the National Park Service, this eighteenth century farmhouse along with the Endangered Oakley Stoll House are located within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These historically important houses are now sadly vandalized and trashed.
Whether I shoot a portrait or an endangered architectural site, what haunts me is finding the essence of the visible and invisible timeline. I look for the quintessential moment that can be revealed in the stillness of a decaying wall or in the expression of gender duality. Perhaps both Fred’s openly exposed gesture and these two endangered houses lay bare a beautiful and similar vulnerability.
ART Connections 10
Montclair State University – George Segal Gallery
1 Normal Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07043
Gallery Hours: T, W, F, Sat 10:00 – 5:00 pm & Thurs 12:30 – 7:30 pm
Opening Reception: Sunday, January 26, 2014, 2:00-500 pm
Exhibition Dates: January 26- February 22 2014
Category: Architectural Restoration, DOCUMENTARY, EXHIBITIONS, FINE ART, GLBTQ, Historic Preservation, PRESERVATION Tagged: architecture, Deleware Water Gap National Park Endangered Houses, documentary, endangered historic sites and houses, Exhibitions, Fine Art, fine art photography, GBLTQ, gender ambiguity, GLBTQ, historic preservation, New Jersey Historic Houses, vernacular architecture
Posted on November 20, 2013
Autumn has become a time for reminiscence. Two of my older art works that have captured profound biographical moments are in exhibitions on the East and West Coasts.
‘CHILDHOOD MEMORIES’ opened on October 19 at the historic Mills Pond House Gallery in St James, New York. ‘Thoughtful Eyes, Fanciful Dreams’ is based on a 1979 iconic photograph of my niece, Jaimie, when she was six-years-old and staying overnight at my NYC studio. Jaimie, her sister Lani and their brother Scott, spent many weekends with me in my downtown loft as they were growing up.
‘Thoughtful Eyes, Fanciful Dreams’ records a moment, measured not as an isolated fragment of time, but suggesting the narrative arc of childhood/ capturing past, recording present and projecting into the future. Jaimie, cocoon-wrapped in a feathered cape, appears like a chrysalis emerging in the moment of becoming. Her wide-eye gaze draws the viewer into the enigma of childhood dreams.
The presentation of the printed image on cotton voile adds to the fluidity of the work. It can appear as a tangible portrait of a young girl, or depending on where one is standing in relationship to the piece, the image can become intangible, and disappear into the back light. ‘Thoughtful Eyes, Fanciful Dreams’ reflects not just the fleetingness of memory, but the evanescence of childhood itself.
My brother, Al and his children, Sean and Amanda came to the reception. The Rosen Clan also included my brother, Michael, his wife Roberta and my nephew Scott with his wife, Laura, and their baby Nico, attending his first art exhibition.
My second art work, ‘Syd and Jacki at Summer Camp’ was included in the exhibition, ‘EARLY WORKS’ at the RayKo Photo Center in San Francisco, California that opened on October 17th. The entire gallery of early photos can be viewed online .
This photograph dates back to 1961 when I was 14-years old at Cejwin, a summer camp in Port Jervis, New York. ‘EARLY WORKS’ is an exhibition that examines the naive imagery made by contemporary photographers when they were children.
The curators asked for “early images that often reveal surprising talent, visual intuition, and honesty. Kept for many decades in shoeboxes and faded albums, the images are often cherished belongings that play a key role in defining the self as artist. This exhibition,” they said “will be a close look at photographers’ earliest works, paired with personal narratives about the images and their role in each photographers’ development as an artist.”
The photograph of Syd and Jacki, my two best friends that summer, was taken with a plastic Brownie Starmite camera. I had been in the same bunk with these girls for five summers. I was lucky to have had a camera, and took pictures of my bunk mates during our days and nights together. This was the summer when I began to realize that while some of them were showing a big interest in boys, I was thinking more about girls. I was also very serious about my drawing and dreamed about living in NYC and becoming an ‘artist.’
In the photo ‘Syd and Jacki,’ I can see how aware I was of Syd’s gesture in her body language as she is lying down and looking at me, and how I also captured Jacki in the background obliviously looking into a mirror and doing her hair. This picture depicts a naïve eroticism and reveals what was both hidden and suggestive in our first bloom of teenage sexuality. I also remember how much I didn’t understand about myself and what I was feeling, other than I seemed different than the other girls in my interests and desires.
This picture reminds me how scary it was to not have the support of family and friends, or the vocabulary to be able to speak the words that became one of the defining elements of my life, my fine-art photography and my future career as a socially concerned photo-journalist.
On the night ‘EARLY WORKS’ opened, I decided to try to locate the girls in this cherished photograph. Thanks to FB, I found Syd within 30 minutes and we were soon excitedly chatting and recollecting our adventures as old friends do. In the next week, Sydell located Jacki and the rest of our 1961 summer bunkmates. We are planning a reunion in NYC.
So, find some of your own old photographic images and perhaps rediscover what they mean to you now!
My photography has been driven by a life-long desire to make a difference through projects that address vital social justice issues and have a positive and transformative effect on the world.
For over thirty-five years, my career has embraced the fields of fine art, photojournalism, portraiture and historic architectural preservation. With an instinct to find the story at the heart of every project, I look to the deeply etched memories in the stones and structures with the same passion that I look to the defining gesture and moment of truth in my portraits and documentary essays.
Compassion, respect and a generosity of spirit are essential components to creating tools of visual advocacy.