Photography by Elle Perez

Close-ups of the loving and the political

Elle Pérez is a photographer and filmmaker from The Bronx, New York. Their work is known for fragmentation of the body. As they explain in an interview with América Latina the art is a reflection of the way that they look at someone they love, saying “At first, when they’re new to you, and then how you look at them when you’ve known them for a long time.”

“And I’m thinking about how much imagery of bodies has been made for the purpose of subjugating people. That history’s relationship to contemporary imagery is what I strive toward, being wholly aware of and in some kind in control of my work” they elaborate.

Speaking to the collaborative relationship they share with their partner Ian, they express that there are a number of “negotiated layers” of creation within every image –“..such as how he feels about the photograph, how I feel about it, whether or not it works simply as a photograph, and the different ways that power is negotiated.”

Speaking to notions surrounding identity they share the following with América Latina, “Puerto Rican citizenship is problematic and raises compacted feelings about what citizenship is. There’s an endless oscillation between these identities, they’re the same today and I don’t know what I’ll be in three years’ time. I’ve become very fond of the ‘and’ instead of the ‘or’. That space is how identity is born and a way to remain expansive and, simultaneously, acknowledge there are some facts about my experience in the world and I don’t want to act as if they don’t exist, because they do.”

Frank in their honest depiction. Fragmental yet loving. “A nipple is more than a nipple.”

To keep up with Elle’s work, check out their website.

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