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by Jeong Ho Kang
Savannah College of Art and Design

"Guise" Drag Queen Portraits

David Ayllon

Savannah College of Art and Design, United States

Fine Art - Photography
Category Semifinalist
An exhibition of photo portraits highlighting LGBTQ nightlife performers.
The "Guise" gallery exhibit ran from February 3 - March 10, 2018 at PO’P Gallery in Baldwin, New York. The exhibit featured portraits of noted nightlife & drag entertainers such as Sasha Velour (RuPaul’s Drag Race winner, Season 9), Bob The Drag Queen (RuPaul’s Drag Race winner, Season 8), Alaska, Peaches Christ, and more.

David Ayllon is a photographer, graphic designer, and superhero aficionado. Ayllon first discovered his love of larger than life characters during his childhood on Long Island, where he found himself preoccupied with fantastical worlds served up by comic books & professional wrestling. As a queer Latino, Ayllon’s fascination with persona grew from adolescent escapism into a process of examining gender, personal history, and self-expression through his photography & design. By collaborating with noted personalities from the drag community, Ayllon creates dynamic narrative portraits that explore nostalgia and identity through the lens of artifice, urban fantasy, and pop-culture.   

When asked to define narrative portraiture, Ayllon responded, “I would define the term as portraiture that reinforces a fantasy, as opposed to deconstructing reality. I’ve always been drawn to larger than life characters, real or fictitious, and my goal with this work is to create worlds and situations for these drag personas to embody that are as exaggerated and strange and beautiful as they are.”

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