Gerard H. Gaskin, 2012 winner of the Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography, will present and discuss work from his forthcoming book, Legendary: Inside the House Ballroom Scene.
Presenters: Gerard H. Gaskin
Moderators: Edgar Rivera Colón Jennifer Pritheeva Samuel
Location: Brooklyn Bridge Park – Pier 5 Uplands
Gerard H. Gaskin, 2012 winner of the Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography, will present and discuss work from his forthcoming book, Legendary: Inside the House Ballroom Scene. This body of work, eighteen years in the making, is full of radiant color and black-and-white photographs which take us inside the culture of house balls, underground events where gay and transgender men and women, mostly African American and Latino, come together to see and be seen. In this exuberant world of artistry and self-fashioning, people often marginalized for being who they are can flaunt and celebrate their most vibrant, spectacular selves. From the quiet backstage to the shimmering energies of the runway to the electricity of the crowd, Gaskin’s photographs take us to the ball.
Gaskin, in discussion with scholar, Edgar Rivera Colon and Visionaries founder and curator, Jennifer Pritheeva Samuel, will contextualize his photographs within the ballroom scene and talk about why he was first drawn to photograph the intimate world of ball culture, the challenges of making beautiful work that is also representative of the history of a movement and the process of editing eighteen years of work into a first book.
Legendary: Inside the House Ballroom Scene will be released in November, you can pre-order through Amazon to reserve your copy!
Gerard H. Gaskin, born in Trinidad and Tobago and raised in New York City, earned his B.A. from Hunter College in 1994 and is a freelance photographer based in New York. His photos have appeared in the New York Times, Newsday, Black Enterprise, OneWorld, Teen People, Caribbean Beat, and DownBeat. Gaskin’s photographs have been featured in solo and group exhibitions across the United States and abroad, and his work is held in the collections of such institutions as the Museum of the City of New York and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
Edgar Rivera Colón is a Lecturer at Columbia University’s Narrative Medicine Program. He is also Visiting Professor of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies at Sarah Lawrence College. His dissertation, Getting Life in Two Worlds: Power and Prevention in the New York City House Ball Community, is an ethnographic study of House Ball community leaders who are preventionists and their efforts to fashion meaningful lives out of the material and symbolic resources afforded by both an autonomous African American and Latino/a LGBT alternative kinship system and dance performance circuit and the world of HIV/AIDS prevention and intervention not-for-profit organizations.
Jennifer Pritheeva Samuel is a photo editor at National Geographic, where she commissions and produces stories for the History and Culture desk. She edited many of the stories in the magazine’s 2019-2020 series highlighting women and the 2018 series on race and diversity. In 2019, Samuel received second place as POYI’s magazine media visual editor of the year. Prior to joining National Geographic, she oversaw public programming for Photoville and managed Anastasia Photo gallery and Hank Willis Thomas’ studio. She was a co-founder and curator of the Brooklyn Photo Salon.
After studying anthropology and photography at New York University, Jennifer was a Peace Corps volunteer on the Caribbean island of Dominica. She received her Master of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs, with a focus on economic development and media. Brooklyn, NY will always be home but Jennifer currently resides in Washington, D.C.