Arts + Culture 0

Interview: King Texas / Photography + Transition

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We interviewed photographer and visual artist King Texas, for we love his intimate, stark black and white portraits of Black diasporic heritage. His unnerving use of shadows, blurs and close ups, draws us into these subjects. As a trans artist, his evolving body of work is a metaphor for his evolving body. Each portrait is an artifact that tells the story of his personal transition and the community he holds close.

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KING TEXAS, 2014, from BLACKNESS

I was dealing with grief on top of gender dysphoria. It was extremely important for me to find safety.  I believe at that moment, my art drastically changed.

Your use of black and white creates this stark yet intimate feeling–what’s behind this series of black and white photography? Have you been visually documenting your transition? Or through any other medium? Has your art altered as your experience shifts and transforms?

These photos are from two separate projects.  The portraits are from BLACKNESS, a series that highlights the spectrum within masculinity, gender, sexuality, and diasporic heritage through the formal glamorization of people of color.  The self-portraits of myself are from a new project called, DYSPHORIA.  It is a way for me to document certain aspects of my transition that I am unable to verbally communicate.  All my projects are based around my transition and my evolving perspective of myself and the world around me.

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KING TEXAS, 2014, DYSPHORIA

I created BLACKNESS because I had a significant amount of people pass away.  I was dealing with grief on top of gender dysphoria. It was extremely important for me to find safety.  I believe at that moment, my art drastically changed.  I wasn’t concerned about fear and insecurity, because I knew I was taking a huge step in becoming who I am. When you do that, your art does nothing but evolve.  And, I decided that I will create what I want to create and it will all be meaningful.

The self-portraits of myself are from a new project called, DYSPHORIA.  It is a way for me to document certain aspects of my transition that I am unable to verbally communicate.  All my projects are based around my transition and my evolving perspective of myself and the world around me.  

What are your favorite moments of the last month?

My favorite moments of this month has been creating with my partner.  Intimately, I’ve never experienced the love and respect that we have towards each other, life and our own work.

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 KING TEXAS, 2014, BLACKNESS

What inspires your portraiture? Do you utilize subjects you know? Do you ever approach and work with strangers?

Connection is what inspires my portraiture.  I love photographing people and witnessing how open they can be with me.  None of my shoots are filled with actual shooting; they are immersed in conversation.  A person has to instill enough trust in you in order for them to give you their soul (temporarily).  I don’t see how it can work any other way.  Sometimes, I do approach “strangers” but they aren’t strangers to begin with. I’m reacquainting myself with them.

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KING TEXAS, 2014, BLACKNESS 

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KING TEXAS, 2014, BLACKNESS

Photos courtesy of King Texas

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