“No two people can vogue the same way, because it’s about expressing who you are on the inside,” said veteran voguer Luna Khan on Tuesday night at a preview of French artist Frédéric Nauczyciel’s first solo show, “The Fire Flies [Baltimore/Paris].” The photography exhibition, which is on view at Julie Meneret Contemporary Art until May 18th, focuses on individuals from Paris and Baltimore, where voguing—a ballroom sub-culture that gained popularity in the 1980s—is still part of a clandestine LBQT community. “At first many of them were confused as to why I wanted to shoot them in the street or in their backyards rather than in a more polished environment,” says Nauczyciel. “But the story I wanted to share was their beauty standing out in the middle of the city.”
In addition to the portraits, two videos provide a more in-depth look at the private rituals and styles of voguers like Marquis Revlon, the leader of Baltimore’s House of Revlon. “Video is the only medium that could convey their energy and their vibrancy,” explains Nauczyciel. “Video was the only way to really immerse the audience, so they could see voguing as not just a cultural phenomenon but as an art form.”
Frédéric Nauczyciel’s “The Fire Flies [Baltimore/Paris]” is on exhibition at Julie Meneret Contemporary Art until May 18th with special performances on May 3rd, 4th, and 5th.