Tuckand Roll

J Houston
Curated by Carl Gunhouse

252 Java Street, Brooklyn, New York
May 1 – May 30
Saturdays 2-5PM & By Appointment

There is a moment in most people’s lives when they become awarethat their body appears different than what they might have imagined. Themoment usually coincides with middle school, adolescence and a great deal ofself-consciousness. It’s a time when even adults gifted with beingconventionally attractive describe themselves as feeling different and outsideof the group. As age sets in, with some luck, people form their own familiesand communities, and the self-consciousness of defining oneself recedes intothe background of day-to-day existence. With this comfort of age, it can beeasy to forget how lonely it was growing up with the urgent desire to have aplace where one felt comfortable enough to be at home.

This desire to find a place to belong can be greatly complicatedby being a Trans or Queer person. As a photographer, J Houston has harnessedthe large-format camera’s ability to take the raw material of the world andcreate a place all their own. In the pictures, being Trans and Queer is thedefault, where there is no struggle for acceptance, just the ease with whichthe subjects welcome the camera into their intimate spaces, creating room forthe artist and by extension the viewer.

The people in Houston’s pictures exist in settings that could be anywhere, witheveryday objects like yoga balls, seat cushions and carpeting that seem tingedwith magic and heightened importance. Houston’s pictures come alive in themundaneness of the portrait subjects’ everyday emotions, romance, solitude,dignity, sadness, vulnerability, pleasure. It is the drama of a sharedhumanity, the little building blocks of experience, that create a community inthe pictures. Images, which in their making involved meeting, getting to knowand becoming part of subjects’ lives form a small Trans-Queer utopia thatmanifest from the art into the world.

JHouston was born in Kalamazoo, MI and studiedart and gender theory at Carnegie Mellon University. They were anartist-in-residence at Otis College of Art, The Growlery, and Vermont StudioCenter, and they anticipate residency at Byrdcliffe at Woodstock, Anderson Ranch,and the Elizabeth Murray Foundation next year. J has received grants fromFrank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, Adobe, Brooklyn Arts Council,Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, and Carnegie Mellon University, and theirimages made with the trans community have been a finalist for Duke CDS EssayPrize, Robert Giard Grant, and Silver Eye Center for Photography's Fellowship.Their work has been shown at Houston Center for Photography, TurnerContemporary, Aviary Gallery, Amos Eno Gallery, Transmitter Gallery, CONTACTGallery, Miller Institute of Contemporary Art, Siena Heights University, andNew York Photo Festival, among others. J teaches photography to youth andcommunity members in Brooklyn, NY, and they are currently a print fellow at theEFA Robert Blackburn Printshop.

CarlGunhouse is an Adjunct Faculty member atMontclair State University. He received his M.F.A. from Yale University andB.F.A. from Fordham University. Carl’s work has exhibited at Photoville, SpringBreak Art Show, the Center for Photography at Woodstock, the Rhode IslandSchool of Design Museum of Modern Art, the Foto Galería FCE-UNC, Córdoba,Argentina, as well as shows in England, Russia, Sweden, Netherlands, Iceland,Finland and New Zealand. His pictures have been featured in Vice, The New YorkTimes and Maximum Rocknroll. He has had monographs published by Halfmoon Pressand Arts & Sciences Press. He is a co-founder and director of TransmitterGallery. He is director of Waal-boght Press. Carl has been working on a projecton men that includes professional wrestling, punk rock and Downtown Brooklyn.

For press, general inquiries and Appointments, please contact Carl Gunhouse at newxschool@msn.com or917.881.3576

252 Java Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222
ph: 917 773 8248
e: thejavaproj@gmail.com | thejavaproj.com

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