INTRODUCTION BY BOY GEORGE ; PHOTOGRAPHS BY MAGNUS HASTINGS
"It's ICONIC, A MUST for all Drag Enthusiasts"
Starring "Trixie Mattel, Paige Turner, Bianca Del Rio, Jinkx Monsoon and Major Scales, Jackie Beat, Milk, Lady Bunny, Tammie Brown, Raja, Peaches Christ, Detox, Willam, and cover model Courtney Act."
Photographer Magnus Hastings' book Why Drag? asks this most basic question of drag queens in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe. And the answers range from cliché to surprising in this gorgeous and lush coffee table tome on this bombastic cultural phenomenon as it reaches new heights in a time of cultural change about gender identity and expression.
While there have been many photography books of drag queens, no one has given it the polish and sparkle that Hastings has with his 135 portraits, including familiar faces like Trixie Mattel, Paige Turner, Bianca Del Rio, Jinkx Monsoon and Major Scales, Jackie Beat, Milk, Lady Bunny, Tammie Brown, Raja, Peaches Christ, Detox, Willam, and cover model Courtney Act.
Hastings' photography is a visual feast, but when accompanied by an interesting survey of drag queens, the book takes on a new level of cultural importance. Whether it's Mutha Chucka from San Francisco who answers "why drag" with "To change the world, one look at a time," the Boulet Brothers from Los Angeles with "It's a natural evolution towards assuming your true form," or London's Dusty O with "To escape tedious normality...," the text in Why Drag? provides insight into the motivations of those who dedicate their lives to this imaginative art form. Sometimes it's just as basic as Willam's answer: "I really like shiny stuff."
With two compelling introductions, one by Hastings and the other by Boy George, Why Drag? also asks another question, albeit covertly. In this time of rapid progress for LGBT people in many parts of the world, what will happen to LGBT culture? Is assimilation inevitable? While drag itself may change, it's so rooted in rebellion and risk-taking that while it may influence culture-at-large it will also be an outsider art. It, at least for the moment, seems to be a sharp reminder of the culture that LGBT people created on their own to reject strict social mores and roles that seek to oppress. The sheer diversity of that expression included in Why Drag? is evidence that there are no limits to human imagination and that this example of LGBT culture is robust, dynamic, and ready for more.
Size: 10" X 12"
About Magnus : Magnus Hastings is a photographer whose work has been featured in various books and magazines and shown in several solo exhibitions. He lives in Los Angeles and London.