Jess T. Dugan

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Dugan

My creative practice centers around an exploration of identity – particularly gender and sexuality – through photographic portraiture. Drawing from my experience as a queer, non-binary person, my work is motivated by an existential need to understand and express myself and to connect with others. My intention is to create work that facilitates intimacy and encourages empathy, understanding, and critical conversations about identity and contemporary social life. As I pursue these aims, I continually explore what it means to live authentically and how visual representation – particularly photographic portraiture – plays a powerful role in that process. 

Formally, I use a medium-format camera, natural light, and a slow working method to combine a traditional style of photographing with contemporary subject matter. My work does not attempt to provide definitive answers; rather, it invites viewers to engage with others in an intimate, meaningful way, requiring them to reflect on their own identities in the process.

Every Breath We Drew explores the power of identity, desire, and connection through portraits of myself and others. Working within the framework of queer experience and from my actively constructed sense of masculinity, my portraits examine the intersection between private, individual identity and the search for intimate connection with others. Rather than attempting to describe a specific identity or group – the gender identity and sexual orientation of the individuals varies – Every Breath We Drew asks larger questions about how identity is formed, desire is expressed, and intimate connection is sought.

 

Jess T. Dugan (American, b. 1986 Biloxi, MS) is an artist whose work explores issues of identity through photographic portraiture. They received their MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago (2014), their Master of Liberal Arts in Museum Studies from Harvard University (2010), and their BFA in Photography from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (2007).

Dugan’s work has been widely exhibited and is in the permanent collections of over 35 museums, including the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the International Center of Photography, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the St. Louis Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, and the Library of Congress.

Dugan’s monographs include To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults (Kehrer Verlag, 2018) and Every Breath We Drew (Daylight Books, 2015). They are the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, an ICP Infinity Award, and were selected by the Obama White House as an LGBT Artist Champion of Change. 

Dugan teaches workshops at venues including the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, CO, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA, and Filter Photo in Chicago, IL. In 2015, they founded the Strange Fire Collective to highlight work made by women, people of color, and LGBTQ artists. Currently, Dugan is the 2020-2021 Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Teaching Fellow at Washington University in St. Louis. They are represented by the Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago, IL.

 

All images are available as 18 x 24"/19 x 24"" and 30 x 40"/32 x 40" pigment prints made in editions of 10 with 3 AP's and 5 with 2 AP's respectively. Pieces range in price from $3600 to $8500, depending on size and availability. 
 
Please call: (312) 266-2350 for prices of specific pieces.
Prices are print only unless otherwise indicated.
Jess T. Dugan
Aidan, 52, Burien, WA, 2016
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Jess T. Dugan
Alix (Dock), 2017
Jess T. Dugan
Amy, 77, Seattle, WA, 2016
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Jess T. Dugan
Andre, 2019
Jess T. Dugan
Apolo, 2017
Jess T. Dugan
Barbara, 70, Long Island, NY, 2016
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Jess T. Dugan
Betsy, 2013
Jess T. Dugan
Bobbi, 83, Detroit, MI, 2014
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Jess T. Dugan
Cai , 2019
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Cai at Sunrise, 2019
Jess T. Dugan
Candles, 2020
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Cassandra, 50, San Diego, CA, 2017
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Jess T. Dugan
Collin , 2017
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Collin (bathtub), 2019
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Collin (red room), 2020
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Collin at sunset, 2020
Jess T. Dugan
D'Angelo, 2018
Jess T. Dugan
David, 63, Hull, MA, 2015
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Jess T. Dugan
Davion, 2018
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Dee Dee Ngozi, 55, Atlanta, GA, 2016
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Jess T. Dugan
Duchess Milan, 69, Los Angeles, CA, 2017
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Jess T. Dugan
Early morning light, Boston, 2020
Jess T. Dugan
Erica and Krista, 2012
Jess T. Dugan
Finja, 2017
Jess T. Dugan
Gloria, 70, Chicago, IL, 2016
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Jess T. Dugan
Hank, 76, and Samm, 67, Little Rock, AR, 2016
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Jess T. Dugan
Helena, 63, Chicago, IL, 2013
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Jess T. Dugan
Jamie (pool), 2017
Jess T. Dugan
Jamie and Ann, 2016
Jess T. Dugan
Jay, 59, New York, NY, 2015
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Jess T. Dugan
JD , 2019
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JD and Steve, 2020
Jess T. Dugan
Jess, 2018
Jess T. Dugan
Jo (sunset), 2020
Jess T. Dugan
Joanne, 90, Long Island, NY, 2016
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Jess T. Dugan
Juli, 62, New York, NY, 2016
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Jess T. Dugan
Kelli and Jen, 2017
Jess T. Dugan
Lindsay (back), 2019
Jess T. Dugan
Lindsay by the Mississippi, 2020
Jess T. Dugan
Louis, 54, Springfield, MA, 2014
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Jess T. Dugan
Micky, 2018
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Natti, 2017
Jess T. Dugan
Oskar and Zach (bed), 2020
Jess T. Dugan
Quaysi, 2017
Jess T. Dugan
Rachel, 86, St. Louis, MO, 2015
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Jess T. Dugan
Rafael , 2017
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Rafael (flowers), 2018
Jess T. Dugan
Red tulips, 2020
Jess T. Dugan
Roses, 2020
Jess T. Dugan
Self Portrait, 2014
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Jess T. Dugan
Self-portrait (blue room), 2021
Jess T. Dugan
Self-portrait (mirror) 2, 2020
Jess T. Dugan
Self-Portrait (Muscle Shirt) , 2013
Jess T. Dugan
Shabez (bed), 2019
Jess T. Dugan
Shira (hot tub), 2020
Jess T. Dugan
Shira (pool), 2019
Jess T. Dugan
Shira after swimming, 2019
Jess T. Dugan
Shira amd Sarah, 2020
Jess T. Dugan
Shira at sunrise (from behind), 2020
Jess T. Dugan
Sky, 64, and Mike, 55, Palm Springs, CA, 2017
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Jess T. Dugan
Sky, 64, Palm Springs, CA, 2016
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Jess T. Dugan
Tracie, 65, San Diego, CA, 2017
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Jess T. Dugan
Tulips, 2020
Jess T. Dugan
Yellow rose, 2020
Jess T. Dugan
Zach and Oskar, 2019
Jess T. Dugan
Zach and Oskar at sunset (grass), 2020