Jess T. Dugan

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Dugan

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. I photograph people in their homes, often in their bedrooms, using medium and large format cameras to create a deep, sustained engagement, resulting in an intimate and detailed portrait.

I combine formal portraits, images of couples, self-portraits, and photographs of my own romantic relationship to investigate broader themes of identity and connection while also speaking to my private, individual experience. The photographs of men and masculine individuals act as a kind of mirror; they depict the type of gentle masculinity I am attracted to, yet also the kind I want to embody. Similarly, the photographs of relationships speak to a drive to be seen, understood, desired through the eyes of a another person; a reflection of the self as the ultimate intimate connection.

By asking others to be vulnerable with me through the act of being photographed, I am laying claim to what I find beautiful and powerful while asking larger questions about how identity is formed, desire is expressed, and intimate connection is sought.

 

To Survive on this Shore

Representations of older transgender people are nearly absent from our culture and those that do exist are often one-dimensional. For over five years, photographer Jess T. Dugan and social worker Vanessa Fabbre traveled throughout the United States creating To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults. Seeking subjects whose lived experiences exist within the complex intersections of gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, sexuality, socioeconomic class, and geographic location, they traveled from coast to coast, to big cities and small towns, documenting the life stories of this important but largely underrepresented group of older adults. The featured individuals share a wide variety of life narratives spanning the last ninety years, offering an important historical record of transgender experience and activism in the United States. The resulting portraits and narratives offer a nuanced view into the struggles and joys of growing older as a transgender person and offer a poignant reflection on what it means to live authentically despite seemingly insurmountable odds. 

Jess T. Dugan (American, b. 1986 Biloxi, MS) is an artist whose work explores issues of identity, gender, sexuality, and community 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 the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the International Center of Photography, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Library of Congress, and many others throughout the United States.

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 Artist Collective to highlight work made by women, people of color, and LGBTQ artists. They are represented by the Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago, IL.

All images are available as 20 x 24" and 32 x 40" pigment prints made in editions of 10 with 3 AP's and 5 with 2 AP's. Pieces range in price from $3200 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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Aiden, 2012
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Alex, 2012
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Alix (Dock), 2017
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Amy, 77, Seattle, WA, 2016
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Apolo (lying in the grass), 2019
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Barbara, 70, Long Island, NY, 2016
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Ben, 2011
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Betsy, 2013
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Betsy on the Bed, 2013
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Bobbi, 83, Detroit, MI, 2014
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Boots, 2013
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Bucky, 2013
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Carlos, 2013
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Cassandra, 50, San Diego, CA, 2017
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Colby, 2012
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Connor Pregnant , 2012
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Dallas Lying on the Bed , 2012
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David, 63, Hull, MA, 2015
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Davion, 2018
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Dee Dee Ngozi, 55, Atlanta, GA, 2016
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Devotion, 2012
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Douglas, 2012
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Duchess Milan, 69, Los Angeles, CA, 2017
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Ely, 2011
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Emmett, 2013
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Erica and Krista, 2012
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Esvan, 2013
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Gaige, 2012
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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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Helena, 63, Chicago, IL, 2013
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Herb, 2013
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Hunter, 2011
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Hunter and Jeffry, 2012
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Jamie (Bath), 2016
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Jamie and Ann, 2016
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Jay, 59, New York, NY, 2015
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Jess T. Dugan
Jeans, 2014
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Jess (bedroom), 2018
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Jess and Vanessa, 2013
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Jet, 2013
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Jillian , 2014
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Joanne, 90, Long Island, NY, 2016
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Jon, 2014
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Juan, 2014

Jess T. Dugan
Juli, 62, New York, NY, 2016
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Kim, 2014
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Korrie, 2012
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Laurel , 2014
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Louis, 54, Springfield, MA, 2014
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Luis , 2012
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Michael, 2014
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Nino , 2012
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Oskar, 2019
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Oskar at Sunset, 2019
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Pillows, 2013
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Rachel, 86, St. Louis, MO, 2015
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Jess T. Dugan
Ryan and Josh (Window), 2013
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Self Portrait, 2014
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Jess T. Dugan
Self-Portrait (Bath), 2012
Jess T. Dugan
Self-Portrait (Bed), 2011
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Self-Portrait (Hotel), 2012
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Self-Portrait (Muscle Shirt) , 2013
Jess T. Dugan
Sky, 64, Palm Springs, CA, 2016
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Jess T. Dugan
Taan, 2012
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Table, 2013
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Tim, 2014
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Tracie, 65, San Diego, CA, 2017
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Jess T. Dugan
Vanessa, 2013
Jess T. Dugan
Zach and Oskar, 2019