Shooting Men – a photographic journey of erotica, sexuality and gender

“Shooting Men – a photographic journey of erotica, sexuality and gender”
opens with reception at AxD Gallery, in Philadelphia, on Friday, October 9 from 5p.m. to 8p.m.

Shooting Men is survey of over 30 years of photographic work by Vivienne Maricevic, extending from her early seminal work documenting the pre-AIDS sex industry of Times Square, to her intimate portraits of transgendered individuals, through present-day male nude photography.

Vivienne Maricevic began her lifelong journey photographing naked men in New York City in the late 1970’s, a time when Times Square marquees advertising nudity and sex thrived alongside mainstream Broadway theatres. A self-taught photographer, Vivienne was one of the first women to document the unique world of Time Square’s sex industry of the 1980’s New York City, a world now lost – purged and displaced by the family tourism industry.

Vivienne’s frustration with the lack of serious male nude photography in publication and the art world led her to take an ad out in The Village Voice: “Male nudes by female photographer”. Her approach to photographing the men who responded to the ad was one of non-judgmental ease with a healthy amount of positive reinforcement. This approach would help define her career. A year after placing that ad Vivienne had her first New York exhibition, “Naked Men”, in 1979.

After her first solo gallery show she began documenting male “burlesk”, featuring the exotic male dancers at such clubs as “The Ramrod”, “Big Top”, and “Eros”. With the consent of owners and performers Vivienne was granted rare access to the live sex clubs of Times Square. Many of those performers allowed Vivienne to accompany them offstage, enabling her to produce a subsequent portfolio entitled “Porn Stars”, featuring a more personal glimpse into their lives.

In 1986, while in the dressing room at one the Times Square clubs, Vivienne met her first transsexual. Vivienne was amazed at how naturally feminine this person was and instantly wanted to meet others to photograph.

Her subsequent work with transvestites and drag queens often took the form of triptyches, documenting the metamorphosis from male-to-female persona. She went on to photograph female-to-male transsexuals, male impersonators and androgynous women. Vivienne stayed in touch with many of her transgendered subjects, keeping tabs on them for years after the initial photo shoot. (Note: at the opening reception on October 9 Vivienne will be autographing remaining copies of her book of transgender portrait photography, “La Cage aux Folles: Male to Female”.)

Vivienne’s most recent work, a continuation of her lifelong exploration of the male nude, captures moments ranging from pensive introspection to displays of potent virility.

Visit Vivienne’s website at She Shoots Men

AlwaysbyDesign (AxD) is a venue for architecture + art. The award-winning Philadelphia studio/gallery houses both AlwaysbyDesign, an architectural design practice, and AxD Gallery, a contemporary visual arts and performance space. Incorporating sustainable design strategies into their architectural projects, Always by Design is currently working on projects from Maine to Pennsylvania, encompassing residential, commercial, cultural, and educational institutions. In the gallery, new artists’ works are featured each month as well as periodic musical and theatrical performances.

AxD Gallery
Address: 265 S 10th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Hours: Wed – Sat, Noon – 6p.m.
Web: AXD Gallery