About the Book
In its most basic form, drag refers to the clothes one wears. If you are an executive at a high profile Wall Street firm, it is assumed you will be in a suit and tie. A punk rocker may sport a Mohican. If at any point in the day from one "uniform" to another, you are exchanging one drag form for another.
Modern interpretation of the word "drag" is misunderstood and has a negative connotation, yet in reality, remains of the same genre and definition as it has for over a thousand years.
Through out cinematic history many male actors portrayed women. During 1914 - 1915, silent-film comic Charlie Chaplin went femme in The Masquerader, A Busy Day, and A Woman. In 1959, Some Like it Hot was released to the public; featuring Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon (as Daphne) in another “drag” film. Other cross-dressing comedies have come close to approximating the film's daring hilarity: Tootsie (1982), La Cage Aux Folles (1978) and Victor/Victoria (1982). From Charlie Chaplin to John Travolta in Hairspray (2007), drag has been an art form reflecting fringe cultures.
The above references are merely modern examples of gender manipulation. However many drag queens do not attempt to pass as women, but use the art form for the entertainment value.
Men have been dressing as women on stage for hundreds of years, dating back to the thirteenth century when the church forbade the appearance of female actors but condoned that of men and boys disguised as the opposite sex. Forms of transvestism can be traced back to the dawn of the theater and are found in all corners of the world, notably in China and Japan.
The “Ladies” of Ohio represent some of the best contemporary Female illusionists in Ohio.
I photographed the illusionists in the middle of their performance; with wide-open mouths, and eyes reflecting the bar signs around them. Other than cropping the image and removing all background distractions, it was important to capture the subject matter in their raw unedited form.
Please enjoy this tome as much as I have enjoyed creating it.
~ John Sherman Lathram lll ~
Features & Details
- Primary Category: Fine Art Photography
Project Option: Standard Landscape, 10×8 in, 25×20 cm
# of Pages: 110
- Publish Date: Dec 13, 2010
- Keywords Samantha Rollins, Maria Garrison, Virginia West, Nina West, Gay Studies, Female Illusion, Ohio Gay Pride, U Cafe, Havanna Bar, Inn Rehab, Paige Passion, Gay, Drag
John Sherman Lathram lll (b. 1962- Lexington KY) is a mixed-media artist whose work incorporates many aspects of technology: digital photography, video, robotics, biological systems and computer software. His work incorporates and exaggerates the poetic juxtaposition of the social expectations between perceived reality, and “real” reality, one that exists and one we are taught or have faith in its notion. His current photographic studies explore perceived body image of fringe subcultures as defined by historical essays and articles as well as current socio-political events. Mr. Lathram’s works discuss the complexities current social issues and expected perceptions of “normal, versus our own inner visual identity. His photo-essay book, The “Ladies” of Columbus, - Digital Diva’s (2010), documents the female illusion culture in Columbus, Ohio.