Gerard Gaskin: Legendary



Artist Talk & Book Signing

3pm Saturday, March 29, 2014
at the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center, 300 Wall St, Kingston, NY

Join CPW and the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center for this special artist talk and book signing with Gerard Gaskin for his publication Legendary: Inside the House Ballroom Scene.

Gaskin’s color and black-and-white photographs take us inside the culture of house balls, underground events where gay and transgender men and women, mostly African American and Latino, come together to see and be seen. At balls, high-spirited late-night pageants, members of particular “houses” “walk,” competing for trophies in categories based on costume, attitude, dance moves, and “realness.” In this exuberant world of artistry and self-fashioning, people often marginalized for being who they are can flaunt and celebrate their most vibrant, spectacular selves. From the quiet backstage, to the shimmering energies of the runway, to the electricity of the crowd, Gaskin’s photographs take us to the ball. Legendary, composed of photos taken at events in the New York area, Philadelphia, Richmond, and Washington, D.C., is a collaboration between Gaskin, a camera-laden outsider who has been attending balls for twenty years, and the house members who let him enter the intimate world of ball culture.

Gaskin’s work for Legendary was selected from two hundred entries in the sixth biennial First Book Prize competition. Sponsored by the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and the Honickman Foundation in Philadelphia, this prestigious prize honors work that is visually compelling, that bears witness, and that has integrity of purpose. For more information about the CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography, click here.

This event is free and open to the public. Signed copies of Legendary: Inside the House Ballroom Scene will be available for purchase.

Gerard H. Gaskin, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, earned a B.A. from Hunter College in 1994. As a freelance photographer based in the greater New York City area, his work has been widely published in such publications as the New York Times, Newsday, Black Enterprise, OneWorld, Teen People, Caribbean Beat, and DownBeat; other clientele include record companies Island, Sony, Def Jam, and Mercury. His work has also been included in the books Committed to the Image: Contemporary Black Photographers (2001) and New York: A State of Mind (2000). His photographs have been exhibited across the country including at the Brooklyn Museum and Queens Museum of Art, and abroad in Goethe-Institute Accra (Accra, Ghana) and Fototeca de Cuba Habana (Vieja, Cuba) among others. Additionally his photographs are included in the collections of the Museum of the City of New York and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, amongst others. He was a 2002 recipient of a NYFA Fellowship in Photography and a 2005 Queen Council on the Arts Individual Artists Award. He was an Artist-in-Residence at Light Work (Syracuse, NY) in 2010, and here at the Center for Photography at Woodstock in 2011.