For this semester in watercolor, I’ve been researching various facets of feminine identity. For this week, I chose to paint a transgendered person we encountered on Bourbon Street, who had taken upon herself the task of directing traffic. Keep in mind, this was at around noonish on a weekday! Yes, there is always something going on in New Orleans!
It has been brought to my attention by a commenter that my paintings/descriptions of them could be construed as offensive, mocking, or exploitative. That is not at all the intention of this series and I apologize for any offense it may have caused. I intentionally chose to eliminate the background/passersby (and replace them with the subject as a triptych) because I did not want this to be about the novelty of my experience, but rather about her grace and what she sexually identified herself as – regardless of how others perceived her. I was not aiming for shock value (as for the third part of the painting, I felt like it was an important piece of information), nor was I trying to be cute or edgy. Honestly, this is one of the things I truly LOVE about New Orleans – that anyone of any gender identity could be directing traffic in fishnets and a miniskirt on a weekday, and it would be the “norm.” Now onto the images!
The painting is actually a triptych in three separate pieces, digitally collaged together here. For your reference and mine, I photographed my process!
Momo always stays up late with me on Sunday nights to watch me paint!
Some of the original photographs:
Photos by my sister, Lulu!