In celebration of Keith Haring’s legacy, we partnered with Billie Black (@billiexblack). Billie is a queer film photographer based in LA, with a portfolio full of evocative portraiture. We sent them a Keith Haring edition Now camera and film. In the resulting photo series, Billie pays homage to the late artist and activist with a series of portraits featuring artists of today from the LGBTQIA+ community.
Words and photos by Billie Black.
With this photo project I really wanted to give representation to as many different queer artists as I could. My queer community means the most to me as they are my chosen family and the people that I am able to be my most authentic self around. Especially through art, queer representation is so important because we are often overlooked as artists and people. Queer people exist in many different forms and express themselves so differently. This project was a way for me to highlight some amazing queer artists that I have around me that are creating beautiful and authentic work for our community.
Asher Cano (@asherrcano) [is] a queer framer in LA. Asher makes the most interesting photo frames as well as being a great wood worker. This is a landscape for queer people that may not often be explored as this space tends to be filled with cis straight men. But Asher is here to show us that queer people can succeed at any passion they have.
Maxwell Poth (@maxwellpoth) [is] an insanely talented photographer who specializes in stunning portrait work and intimate photographs of the naked male body. He is also the founder of Project Contrast, a non profit amplifying queer youth voices around the entire USA. His work for the queer community is so special and needed.
“My work is a fun outward expression of my mind and perspective. It's kind of all over the place because I'm inspired by everything and constantly experimenting.”
Maeve (@maevellisullivan) [is] a non-binary/queer model. Maeve is one of the most unique looking models I have ever had the privilege to photograph. Their fluid look allows them to be so versatile while also being able to express their gender however they want to! They are an incredible influence in my life as I learn to express myself through my appearance.
“I just like to make honest photographs of interesting people. I love to capture people through the emotion they evoke and the story they have to tell.”
Luna Lovebad (@lunalovebad) [is] a trans latinx artist based in LA. Through getting to know Luna, she has allowed me to accept more of myself. Her love and compassion for the trans community has made me feel so accepted within my skin. Her radiance shines through every time you see her on instagram or listen to her music.
Kyla Rain (@kyla.rain) [is the] Co-founder of Pure Nowhere Magazine, an online publication for screaming into the void, a diary. Kyla has created a space for everyone to showcase their artistry through emotion, experience, and especially their youth. Pure Nowhere has always felt like a safe space for queer artistry and I owe so much of my journey to her and Pure Nowhere. Kyla also specializes in handmade collage photo work.
McCall Olsen (@mccall_olsen) [is] a dancer, photographer, multi-media artist in LA. McCall and I actually went to high school together in Las Vegas. She has always been a huge influence in my life with her creative outlets. Watching her dance, viewing her photographs, it’s always such a treat to see what she has up her sleeve. Before the pandemic, McCall toured with Madonna for her “Madame X” tour. When that ended she settled in LA to focus on her art.
Margaret Leyva (@las.margaritaville) [is] a Los Angeles based film photographer. Her work evokes so much emotion and oftentimes portrays a very soft and luscious queer narrative. I also wanted Margaret to be a part of this project because she is also a mother! Queer parents are still a topic of taboo, however I want the idea of having a queer mother to be normalized.
“Representation is so important. I wouldn't be creating without the influence of other queer creatives and them showing me that the things I want are possible.”
Miggy Gomez (@miggygomez) [is] a non-binary and queer makeup artist in San Diego. Miggy creates art that continues to blow me away. Their face is their canvas and it pours over with queer energy. The self expression that Miggy exudes is so important because, just like drag, their art allows no binary to exist when you can transform yourself into anything you want.
This piece is part of a two artist series celebrating Keith Haring’s legacy with photo essays featuring the Keith Haring special edition film and Now camera. Our next artist feature is Atlanta based image maker, Chinedu Nwakudu (@dumoarles). Explore Chinedu’s stunning photo essay and learn how Keith Haring inspires his artistic approach. Read more