Artist Blog

Every week an artist whose single image was published by Der Greif is given a platform in which to blog about contemporary photography.

Billy, Vincent, Kwasi

Nov 08, 2019 - Bryson Rand

Persistence is a quality I admire in the people I surround myself with¬†and see take shape in many forms within Queer communities. When I photographed Billy in July of 2016, it was the first time I had picked up my camera to make work since the shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando almost a month earlier, where almost fifty¬†people were murdered, and more than fifty others were shot. Witnessing from afar a targeted attack against Queer people, and seeing other bigots emboldened by the attack locally, left me reeling. I questioned how far ‘we’ had come, as people so often say when discussing the lives of Queers in the United States, and how to fight back in the face of violence and hatred. Billy and I talked about the sadness and fear the shooting brought up in us and our friends, but we also spoke about the immense strength and perseverance Queer people have shown throughout history. When I first made this picture of him, I thought if it as an expression of frustration and desperation; literally climbing up the walls. But over time I began to see it as an image of hope and persistence. He is reaching for something that is almost within grasp, the stampede of horses representing a surge of activism and rebellion. The photos of Vincent and Kwasi contain the same spirit of tenacity and life force that runs through the Queer spirit and allows us to flourish in the face of hostility