Jess T. Dugan
My creative practice centers around an exploration of identity—particularly gender and sexuality—through photography, video, and writing. Drawing from my experience as a queer, non-binary person, my work is motivated by an existential need to understand and express myself and to connect with others. My intention is to create work that facilitates intimacy and encourages empathy, understanding, and critical conversations about identity and contemporary social life. As I pursue these aims, I continually explore what it means to live authentically and how visual representation—particularly photographic portraiture—plays a powerful role in that process.
Formally, I use a medium-format camera, natural light, and a slow working method to combine a traditional style of photographing with contemporary subject matter. My work does not attempt to provide definitive answers; rather, it invites viewers to engage with others in an intimate, meaningful way, requiring them to reflect on their own identities in the process.