Laurence Philomene

Lucky - a star is born

Here are some images from an ongoing project of mine that were published on Adolescent this week: www.adolescent.net/a/lucky-a-star-is-born


Lucky: A Star is Born is an ongoing photo project focused on my best friend, Lucky, that is part documentary, part creative outlet. I started taking pictures of Lucky in 2011 when we first met and started dating (at the time—now I just consider them family, and they are happily engaged to an amazing woman). I document everything in my life quite compulsively, so I would say it started that way, taking diary photos of this person I love. Around 2013 and 2014, Lucky was going through a lot of hardships with their mental health, so I started documenting that journey more closely with the intent to make a photo book about it. In the end, though, I realized that the work wasn’t ready yet. I decided to let it sit for a bit and continue to document them until I was ready to publish a fuller body of work. Since then, we’ve both gone through many transitions in our lives, and I’ve continued to photograph them. 


Even though most of my work tends to be conceptual fine art, I’ve always had a strong interest in documentary photography. With this project I really want to blur the lines between the two. At first, my aspiration was to document a gay relationship in a tender, loving way. Then it became about depicting mental illness, and then it became about showing what intersex bodies can look like. Right now I’d say my main motive is to show androgyny in a way that’s not “neutral” but rather the opposite—extreme masculinity mixed with extreme femininity. That’s something we’re both really interested in. Ultimately, I hope the full body of work will show the complexity of identity, all of its layers, our existence as queer, trans, working class, mentally ill, beautiful humans. This work is really about identity as an unstable force. I hope that the series can also shed a light on nonbinary trans bodies and the beauty of existing as everything all at once.

xo

Laurence


Silent retreat (iphone diary)

Here is a photo essay I shot on my iphone in May & was published in The Photographic Journal last month: http://thephotographicjournal.com/essays/silent-retreat/


I shot these images on my phone while i was on a silent retreat in May. My mom had talked about wanting to go one of these retreats for years so for her birthday this year I signed her up for one and decided to go along with her. I had been feeling really overwhelmed by technology and needed some time to be alone with my thoughts. The retreat was run in an old catholic nun’s retirement home and the second I got there I was overwhelmed with the desire to photograph everything. Even though we were instructed to only reflect on ourselves through writing, I honestly couldn’t help myself so I shot these images whenever I was alone. Spent the weekend thinking about, my body, my past, my family’s catholic past, colours, gender, the usual.

xo

Laurence


Vice photo issue + june press

Hi! June has been such a hectic month! I am in the middle of moving so life is a bit all over the place right now but I’ve had a lot of projects released this month I am excited to share <3 

The first and most exciting in my eye is that I shot the cover of the Vice photo issue which came out this month! I was approached a few months ago by Elizabeth Renstrom, the current photo editor at Vice, to participate in this year’s photo issue and could not be more excited about it. The theme of the issue is “privacy & perception”, and I got to shoot some new work from my ongoing series “me vs others” for it. The cover I shot is about being single and being queer, and how those two identities co-exist/ it’s about loving myself but also yearning for romance. You can read more about the issue here: https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/topic/the-privacy-and-perception-issue & more about my work for it here: https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/zm88xj/these-photos-explore-the-multiple-identities-we-have-online-and-off-v25n2

Here are images of my some of my spread + cover

This month I also had two archival print in the second edition of the “boys boys boys” auction on Paddle8 in collaboration with The Little Black Gallery in London, you can see the selection of works here : https://paddle8.com/auction/boys-boys-boys-pride/

In other pride news, I also had some work featured on W Mag alongside some really great contemporary queer photographers, you can check that out here: https://www.wmagazine.com/gallery/queer-photographers-pride

Some other cool press that happened this month is that I got featured on Adweek’s 100 creatives of 2018 list!! Feels very surreal to be getting this kind of mainstream recognition but I’ve been working at this for over 10 years now so, I’ll take it!! You can view the list here (& in this month’s printed issue of adweek) : https://www.adweek.com/creativity/adweeks-2018-creative-100-meet-the-multitalented-masters-behind-todays-most-innovative-work/

Last but not least, this month I got to shoot some pride-related still lives for refinery29, which was a very interesting challenge, because pride is not a product you can photograph, you know? to me pride is more than anything about history, and it’s about social change, not about partying or corporations waving pride flags in the name of consumerism. 

Anyway, more on these thoughts another day, for now here are some of the images I shot :

xoxo

Laurence


exhbition in poland!

Hi all! I’ve got so much new work coming out this month (or next month I guess; june) but first I thought I’d share this exhibition I currently have in Cracow, Poland. The exhibition is titled “no boys, no girls, no nothin” (which comes from a tattoo in a picture I shot of natalia last year for my non-binary series) and was organized by Fundacja Nosna, you can check it out on their website here: http://nosna.pl/en/laurence-philomene-no-girls-no-boys-no-nothin/ - if you’re in poland the exhibition is up until june 15 so make sure to check it out!! It feels very special to be able to show this work in a country where LGBTQ rights are being denied and simply existing as such is a very political act at the moment. 

Also big thank you to Kinga Michalska who was also a big part in making this happen, you can view her work here : https://kingamichalska.com/

Below are some images from the show, shot by Michalina Rolnik


xoxo

Laurence


Using Format