Michael Sharkey’s photographs are intimate testaments to his subjects’ powerful self- awareness; at once empathetic and opulent, they are the visual counterpart to the voice these young people have struggled—and lately succeeded—to find. Rooted in the long tradition of portraiture reaching back through influences as varied as Velázquez and Avedon, Sharkey’s images grant his subjects a full measure of the dignity with which they deserve to be seen. “I think I’ll always be drawn to this amazingly brave group. Their strength is a continual source of inspiration for me” says Sharkey. “It is their defiance that I want to capture in the portraits. What I hope people might also see is the delight that is the domain of a new generation: the sheer joy of being able to stand up and be seen without shame.”
M. Sharkey began Queer Kids at a moment when teenage sexual and gender identity had just begun to gain national attention in the US. Having come of age in the early Nineties, Sharkey belongs to a generation that was often hostile to the open expression and discussion of homosexual identity. The project is a celebration of the recent developments within the Gay Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community that allow today’s youth the opportunity and support to find their own voice and speak openly about their sexuality.
M. Sharkey is an award-winning photographer based in New York City. In 2000 and 2001 he traveled to Dubai, United Arab Emirates where he curated a series of exhibitions on the work of New York and Arab photographers. His work has appeared in numerous international publications and been included in various exhibitions.
Queer Kids - Michael Sharkey
August 31 – September 30, 2012
Galerie de la Main de Fer