© Jess Dugan
© Jess Dugan
In his photographic portraits, Jess Dugan explores the transgender and gender variant community.
"In our society, it is assumed that there are only two genders, both of which come with specific expectations and roles," he says. "I aim to challenge that assumption by portraying people whose identity falls outside of these preconceived notions."
A series of his photographs, Transcendence, is featured in the Atelier Gallery of the Griffin Museum September 27 through December 2. An opening reception with the artist is September 27, 7-8:30 p.m. The exhibit is courtesy of Gallery Kayafas and sponsored in part by GLAD and the Richards Family Trust.
"These photographs show that there are an endless number of gender identities, specific to each person, while illustrating that gender identity and biological sex are two distinct constructs," says Dugan, who is transgendered himself. "More broadly, they call into question societal expectations about gender roles and how these expectations affect everyone, including those who are not a part of the transgender community."
Dugan says that through sharing individual experiences, his work "honestly and openly portrays a community that is often overlooked, fetishized, or misrepresented. It raises a dialogue about the fluidity of gender and the ways in which our current societal structure does not allow for variations outside of the mainstream.
"In an effort to increasing understanding, these images portray issues unique to the transgender community while also highlighting the shared experience of being human."
Dugan earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in photography from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and an ALM in museum studies from Harvard University.
His photographs are regularly exhibited nationwide and are in the permanent collections of the Harvard Art Museums, the Michele and Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts, and the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction.
Prior to the public reception, at 6:15 p.m., Dugan gives a gallery talk for museum members about his exhibit Transcendence.
A catalog of Transcendence Is available in the museum shop and can be purchased on-line.
The Griffin Museum of Photography is open Tuesday through Thursday, 11 am - 5 pm; Friday 11 am - 4
pm; and Saturday and Sunday, noon - 4 pm. The Museum is closed on Monday. Admission is $7 for
adults; $3 for seniors. Members and children under 12 are admitted free. Admission is free to all
every Thursday. For more information, call 781-729-1158.