Jess T. Dugan

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. She received her MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago (2014), her Master of Liberal Arts in Museum Studies from Harvard University (2010), and her BFA in Photography from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (2007).

Dugan has exhibited at venues including the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the Aperture Foundation, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College, the Catherine Edelman Gallery, The Transformer Station, and at many colleges and universities throughout the United States.

Public collections include the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Harvard Art Museums, the Birmingham Museum of Art, the St. Louis Art Museum, the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University, the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College, the Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell Foundation, the Smith College Museum of Art, Light Work, Fidelity Investments, JP Morgan Chase, and the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction.

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). Dugan is the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, an Artist Fellowship from the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis, and was selected by the White House as a 2015 Champion of Change. In 2016, Dugan was honored as a Commended Artist by the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. for her photograph Self-Portrait (Muscle Shirt), exhibited in The Outwin 2016: American Portraiture Today. In 2018, she was an artist-in-residence at Light Work at Syracuse University and was the recipient of the Women Photograph + Nikon Grant.

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 $2400 to $7500, 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
Jess T. Dugan
Aiden, 2012
Jess T. Dugan
Alex, 2012
Jess T. Dugan
Amy, 77, Seattle, WA, 2016
Jess T. Dugan
Barbara, 70, Long Island, NY, 2016
Jess T. Dugan
Ben, 2011
Jess T. Dugan
Betsy, 2013
Jess T. Dugan
Betsy on the Bed, 2013
Jess T. Dugan
Bobbi, 83, Detroit, MI, 2014
Jess T. Dugan
Boots, 2013
Jess T. Dugan
Bucky, 2013
Jess T. Dugan
Carlos, 2013
Jess T. Dugan
Cassandra, 50, San Diego, CA, 2017
Jess T. Dugan
Colby, 2012
Jess T. Dugan
Connor Pregnant , 2012
Jess T. Dugan
Dallas Lying on the Bed , 2012
Jess T. Dugan
David, 63, Hull, MA, 2015
Jess T. Dugan
Dee Dee Ngozi, 55, Atlanta, GA, 2016
Jess T. Dugan
Devotion, 2012
Jess T. Dugan
Douglas, 2012
Jess T. Dugan
Duchess Milan, 69, Los Angeles, CA, 2017
Jess T. Dugan
Ely, 2011
Jess T. Dugan
Emmett, 2013
Jess T. Dugan
Erica and Krista, 2012
Jess T. Dugan
Esvan, 2013
Jess T. Dugan
Gaige, 2012
Jess T. Dugan
Gloria, 70, Chicago, IL, 2016
Jess T. Dugan
Hank, 76, and Samm, 67, Little Rock, AR, 2016
Jess T. Dugan
Helena, 63, Chicago, IL, 2013
Jess T. Dugan
Herb, 2013
Jess T. Dugan
Hunter, 2011
Jess T. Dugan
Hunter and Jeffry, 2012
Jess T. Dugan
Jay, 59, New York, NY, 2015
Jess T. Dugan
Jeans, 2014
Jess T. Dugan
Jess and Vanessa, 2013
Jess T. Dugan
Jet, 2013
Jess T. Dugan
Jillian , 2014
Jess T. Dugan
Joanne, 90, Long Island, NY, 2016
Jess T. Dugan
Juan, 2014

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