Jess T. Dugan: Coupled
Jess T. Dugan (b. 1986) is a queer, nonbinary artist who explores issues of identity, attraction, representation, and community in their work. Drawn to portraiture as a way to interact with people on an intimate level and to examine their own sense of self, Dugan created the Coupled series in the years after the 2004 legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, during and just after their time as an undergraduate at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
Dugan made the striking, nearly life-size photographs of LGBTQ couples—depicting friends, acquaintances, and family members—using a rare and massive Polaroid camera, so each print is unique, processed in the camera without a negative. These couples share the shallow space and gesture or touch each other in emotionally subtle ways, drawing attention to their romantic relationships but never overpowering a sense of them as proud individuals.
- Frances Vrachos Gallery / Mary Stamas Gallery (Gallery 148)