Ryan Van Der Hout: Drag (Online Feature)

23 June - 31 July 2022

In celebration of Pride 2022, we are delighted to present an online exhibition by Ryan Van Der Hout.


Drag, is a black and white series of photographs that engages with the art of drag performance and its ambiguous relationship to masquerade, public and private identity, and the project of self-making. Through his portraiture, and the patterned surface of his photographs, Van Der Hout explores the space between the mask of the performed self and the mask of the everyday. Informed by his own coming-out journey, Van Der Hout turns the camera on himself, creating self-portraits in drag. By donning the persona of drag queens, the artist explores the layers of imitation involved in the formation of self identity, including the stereotypes that exist on gender and sexuality.


Drag reveals the paradox that taking on alter-egos and donning the personas of others may allow one to become their truest self. However, while drag offers a portrait of power and projected confidence, Van Der Hout explores aspects of queer embodiment that are hidden and obscured. Each print is overlaid with rhinestones, creating a glittery veil that the viewer must look through to access the subject matter. Glamour is also a veil, and a shield that can be donned for self-protection. While the photographs are intimate portraits of vulnerability, the rhinestones create a shiny veneer that obscures and distracts from what lies beneath.


Installation Views