Exhibitions Louis Chavez
September 6 - October 4, 2023 Project Space Studio
- Untitled, inkjet print, 2022. © Louis Chavez. Courtesy of the artist.
Project Space Residency
Open Studio: September 21, 6pm
Louis Chavez is a photographer based in Rochester, NY. Chavez uses photography to explore queer intimacy, social histories, and geographies of desire. Their solo exhibition, New Intimacies, was exhibited at the University of Rochester’s Hartnett Gallery in 2021 and at PeepSpace in Tarrytown, NY in 2023. In addition to their visual arts practice, Chavez is a curatorial assistant at the George Eastman Museum. They were a guest curator at Visual Studies Workshop in 2020 and studio assistant to photographer Joshua Rashaad McFadden in 2021. Chavez holds an M.F.A. in Photography and Related Media from the Rochester Institute of Technology and a B.S. from SUNY Brockport.
New Intimacies is a photographic study situated in environments known for gay cruising and public sex. Taking influence from Peter Hujar and the photographs he created in the cruising areas around Manhattan’s meatpacking district, I create experimental images that seek to envision the intangible and fleeting qualities of these geographic spaces. The inclusion of various photographic strategies (such as landscapes, portraits, and abstraction) implores the audience to consider the social and cultural elements that contributed to the formation of these sites as spaces of community and public intimacy. This project contributes to visual representations of cruising culture by examining the development of these geographies of desire and liberation. My work is also influenced by queer zines, experimental cinema, and other ephemeral elements of this subculture. During my residency at VSW, I plan to develop this work into a book project and to create a series of experimental video works.
VSW Project Space Residencies are supported by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the New York State Legislature, Monroe County, and Joy of Giving Something. Photography artists participating in the program receive support from the Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation.
- Louis' main objective for his VSW Project Space Residency was to determine a layout for a photobook project.
- Pulling from years of his photographic work, Louis displayed dozens of images to create dialogue with and response from visitors to his residency studio.
- A potential spread for Louis Chavez' upcoming photobook New Intimacies.
- Louis envisioned his layout by taping up (and rearranging) photo spreads and white spaces on the wall.