Brian James Spies (they / them) has a BA in Studio Art from Lycoming College (2002), a Post Baccalaureate Certificate from The Maryland Institute College of Art (2010) and an MFA from The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (2012) where they were awarded the Faculty Award. They work primarily in large format photographic portraiture. Their work has been featured in exhibitions around the United States, including at Eastern State Penitentiary and Wanderlife Gallery in Philadelphia. They have curated exhibitions throughout Pennsylvania and is currently the director of The Factory Works Photo Lab, a non-profit community darkroom at The Pajama Factory in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

DELFINO 1 (2020), gelatin silver fiber print

The images submitted are from an ongoing body of work documenting my exploration of my identity as a non-binary person living in a rural community. These photographs are a sort of diary of a language with which I’m still finding a way to express. Shot with a large format film camera (4×5) in a studio setting these tableaux explore the theatrical nature of self-presentation. This performance, although always there, is magnified in the lived experiences of queer individuals like myself. Influenced by the writings of the late queer theorist José Esteban Muñoz, this body of work is a sort of record of the theatre that for queer people is our lives.

BETE ROUGE 4 (2020), dip dyed gelatin silver fiber print
COWGIRL 1 (2020), gelatin silver fiber print
BLUE PICTURES 1 (2020), dip dyed gelatin silver fiber print
TAKES A QUEEN TO BE A KING 1 (2020), gelatin silver fiber print

To explore Spies’s work further please visit and Instagram.

To explore more queer contemporary art please visit Balaclava.Q >>> CLICK HERE TO ENTER.

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