When transgender models strike poses beside landmarks in Texas’ most conservative metroplex, the results can be exquisitely photogenic yet ideologically conflicting. But the creative team of Daniel Kusner and Bryan Amann hasn’t shied away from the challenge.
“214 Trans4m” is a photo series that aims to capture Dallas’ history, architecture and stereotypes, all while straddling the invisible divide that separates the feminine and masculine.
Kusner and Amann construct each image as if they’re producing a small movie. Each project involves casting characters, choosing wardrobe, scouting locations, styling and building props.
Some images from the Kusner+Amann portfolio include:
• Jacqueline Kennedy in a cascade of right-wing leaflets “welcoming” her husband to Dallas in November 1963.
• Tina Turner bolting from the Statler Hilton, finally leaving an abusive Ike.
• Mary Kay Ash beckons her ambitious “pyramid of friends” at Ash’s signature-pink Addison headquarters.
Some regard Dallas (now that George and Laura Bush are our neighbors) as the Lone Star State’s cradle for reactionaries and traditionalists — where men are men, and women are women. But Big D is too big to surrender to such narrow definitions. Highlighting places of interest for the average visiting tourist, “214 Trans4m” invites Dallasites to look at their own city — but in a different light.
WHO: Daniel Kusner and Bryan Amann
WHAT: “214 Trans4m”
WHERE: CentralTrak’s Arcade Gallery, 800 Exposition Ave. Dallas,TX 75226. 214-824-9302.
WHEN: June 1-July 27, 2013.
OPENING RECEPTION: Sat., Jun. 1, 2013. 7-10 p.m.
ARTIST CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org, 214-499-0926.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Daniel Kusner is a former editor of Dallas Voice and publisher of Spread magazine. He blogs at SnipersLoveNest.com. His fascination with drag artistry began when the KISS Army recruited him at the age of seven.
Bryan Amann’s photos have appeared in Elle Décor: Germany, Elle Dé- cor: Czech Republic, Out Traveler and Dallas Voice. Amann’s work has been exhibited at Dallas City Hall, Baylor’s Chas. A Sammons Cancer Center, The African- American Museum in Fair Park and The Trinity River Audubon Center. Amann’s photos can be seen at BryanAmann.com.