This portfolio appears in VICE Magazine's 2019 Photo Issue. With this issue we wanted to celebrate the absurd, the lighthearted, and the humorous. It’s important to take a break from the real world. As much as we need to be informed, engaged, and aware, we also need to laugh. We wanted to champion the people making art with a sense of humor. In today’s climate, there’s something nicely subversive about that. You can read more about our theme in the letter from our editor.
For this year’s photo issue we were thrilled to be able to include images from the recently released book April Dawn Alison. Beginning in the 70s and spanning 30 years, the series of self-portraits captures the many looks of April Dawn Alison, the feminine persona of a California-based photographer who lived in the world as a man.
The book, published by MACK this month, features essays by writer and critic Hilton Als, artist and television producer Zackery Drucker, and Erin O’Toole, an associate curator of photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. As O’Toole explains, Alison’s photos “reveal a rich inner life filled with as much humor as pathos, as much joy as loneliness. In them she embodies a wide range of female types drawn from advertising, motion pictures, and pornography. She moves effortlessly from Hollywood screen sirens in tight sweaters to frumpy aunties in high-necked blouses, from pin-up models in string bikinis to dishwashing housewives in rubber gloves, from efficient French maids in starched white aprons to docile BDSM submissives in bras and panties.”
April Dawn Alison, published by MACK, is out now.