Alexis Ruiseco is a New York–based artist, actor, director. He just received his BFA from Parson’s this year. His work includes self-portraits that play with notions of gender. The shots below are of queer culture in Miami and New York that show his eye for the spontaneous. This series is called Reinas, which is Spanish for “queens,”.
“I started photographing queer performers back in January 2013 in Miami; Azucar Nightclub was the venue that gave me my first access, and through TP Lords, the performer I worked with every Thursday, I met Erika Norel and Daisy Deadpetals. Because of them I was able to connect with the queer community of south Florida. For five months, I was coming in and out of Azucar and Off the Hookah photographing backstage and performances. During that time, the approach I took on was of a sensitive voyeur, looking for moments that resonated with my sensibilities and the ideas of dominance that were circling my head.
When I moved to New York in July of the same year, I sought to investigate how performance carried over into more personal settings, so I became interested in making portraits in the homes of the people I was meeting. I’m still working through understanding the psychology of transformation, and at the time, I was looking at the way others were expressing similar ideas. The most important thing for me when I asked for a sitting was to be aware of how each person wanted to represent themselves, because underrepresented communities aren’t given that consideration. The portraits had to have an element of collaboration to give each queer voice a depth and volume.“
(Photos, Alexis Ruiseco; via Vice)