Jess T. Dugan
A self portrait of Jess Dugan presenting herself as masculine in a muscle shirt.

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Self-portrait (muscle shirt)
Collection of the artist, courtesy of Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago, Illinois

Jess Dugan describes her work as positioned “within a framework of queer experience and from my actively constructed sense of masculinity.” Her photographic portraits and self-portraits confront the intersection between her private self and her search for connection with others. Using a large-format camera, she portrays subjects in the intimate environments of their homes, often their bedrooms, to both heighten and sustain the level of engagement with them. “By asking others to be vulnerable with me through the act of being photographed, I am laying claim to what I find beautiful and powerful while asking larger questions about how identity is formed, desire is expressed, and intimate connection is sought.”