The Quarterly – Tribes
And here it is! I’ve uploaded the digital version to my website so you can actually read the article written by one of my favorite humans, Marisol Arteaga. I love how this concept morphed once it got to the pages of the magazine. Originally I had pitched a story about L.A.’s dance “tribes” to go along with the theme of issue three. I wanted to feature the Ladyboys, Wife and Phalanx. When I got the green light I only had one month to try and put together three separate photoshoots with three different dance groups. The difficulty of organizing 17+ people for 3 shoots, finding locations, styling, working around schedules, etc.. proved to be overwhelming at the least. I was so excited to shoot these incredibly talented dancers but as it sometimes happens.. you bite off more than you can chew. And I realized, all I could chew was one shoot. So after talking with Ryan Heffington, my head was able to relax… I was able to get 5 of the Ladyboys, 2 assistants, Janna Velasquez (who handled some wigs), and Ryan Heffington (who taught two Sweaty Sundays classes that afternoon) to spend Super Bowl Sunday at Heffington’s house in the hills of Echo Park, Los Angeles. It was Heffington’s idea to shoot a family portrait, plus I wanted to have individual portraits of each of the Ladyboys hanging out around the house.
But aside from the fact that I shot one dance tribe instead of three… the story behind the shoot morphed completely. The story wasn’t about dancing at all. For the Ladyboys article, Marisol explored what it meant to be a Ladyboy. They found it was freedom of expression, feeling genderless, and having your own version of a family where you can be yourself.
Living in Los Angeles, being a part of different creative communities, whether it’s dance, fashion, performance, art or music, I realize how lucky I am that I have such beautiful, talented and expressive people around me, in my day to day. They inspire me constantly and allow me to grow as an artist. I am grateful for the Quarterly for letting me contribute to their gorgeous publication. It’s so young, but I see it lasting and flourishing with the wealth of talent that it attracts, as well as the supporters who donated money to get this issue made! (Thanks James Coronado!)