Intimates is a collection of new portraits of his friends, often holding their babies. This installation is comprised of three large-scale colour photographs and one short 16 mm film. In keeping with many of his previous projects, this one addresses friendship and community, as they continue to play a critical role in his life and that of my child. Between artifice and archives, these highly staged portraits document real people mostly in their own spaces. They offer a counter-narrative to mainstream, capitalist, isolationist notions of family structure. A continuation of his 2016 exhibition Family, Intimates is about radically reimagining parenthood; it’s about his (sometimes fraught) relationship to the analogue photography medium and its capacity to commemorate the people whom he loves as our community transmutes to include children. He creates a dialogue between still and moving images, as well as sound, to express his ideas around intimacy and family. He hopes to contribute to visual representation of alternative, queer, and trans family structures, as he rarely finds images that reflect his life choices and those of the people around him. He wants to celebrate the ordinary and the exceptional in his reality.
JJ Levine is a Montreal-based artist working in intimate portraiture. Most known for his series Queer Portraits, Alone Time, and Switch, Levine’s photography explores gender, sexuality, self-identity, and alternative, queer family structures. Levine recently completed his masters of Fine Arts at Concordia University. He has been honoured with several portfolio awards and received grants from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Canada Council for the Arts. Levine’s work has been exhibited at galleries, art festivals, and academic conferences across Canada, the United States, and Europe. As well, Levine has guest lectured for Communications and Photography courses at Concordia University and Ottawa U and has been published in the academic journal, Photography and Culture (UK). His work has also been featured in art magazines and newspapers internationally, including CV Photo, Slate magazine, and The Guardian Observer. Levine’s artistic practice balances radical gender politics with a strong formal aesthetic.