On Christopher Street is a portrait series of transgender individuals shot between 2013 and 2016 with a medium format camera in the West Village of New York City. Bree Benz is statuesque in a black shift dress posed calmly in the center of the road. M. David Soliven’s business casual cardigan catches a few rain drops outside a row of walk-up apartments. Next to the Hudson River, Vickyana Torres cocks her head and stares straight into the lens; a burning cigarette nestled between her lacquered fingernails. Adrian Torres and Carmen Carrera stand with their two children on a curved sidewalk. Tony Zosherafatain’s curly chest hair tucks into his tight-white Fruit of the Looms.
Christopher Street is a known safe-haven for all sexual orientations and gender identities. It is home to Stonewall Inn —site of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising—recently designated by President Obama as the first national monument to honor the L.G.B.T.Q. civil rights movement.
The project comprises 72 portraits and accompanying stories published in its totality in On Christopher Street: Transgender Stories (Rizzoli, New York). Janet Mock writes in the book’s foreword, “It was in the Village, on Christopher Street and the nearby piers, where many trans and queer people first shared space with others like them. For generations, these places provided mirrors for those who rarely saw reflections of themselves. On Christopher Street, there were multitudes of potential selves: transgender, transsexual, non-binary, genderqueer, femme, butch, cross-dresser, drag king or queen, and other gender identities and sexual orientations that challenge social norms.”
Mark Seliger is the recipient of multiple awards including: Alfred Eisenstaedt, Lucie, Clio, Cannes Lions and the ASME. As Chief Photographer of Rolling Stone, he produced over 125 covers. His work has appeared in L’Uomo Vogue, Vogue Italia, Elle, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar, Time and GQ Magazine. Seliger lives and works in New York City.
On Christopher Street: Portraits
January 14th – February 25th, 2017