Blog: Self Evident Truths at The Hole
On Tuesday night at the Bowery’s ‘The Hole Gallery,’ one well-known section from our Declaration of Independence was given emboldened highlighter treatment. Since grade school we have all been taught that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” In modern society, these words of our forefathers are followed domestically, even as some wish to deny individuals the rights that we should all share. Celebrated Photographer iO Tillett Wright is dedicated to upholding these liberties in every aspect of her life. In 2010, Tillett Wright began a project titled ‘Self Evident Truths,’ photographing anyone who felt qualified to fall under some part of the LGBTQ umbrella- from bisexual to transgender.
The Hole Gallery, was the home to a one night only exhibition celebrating the ‘Self Evident Truth’ project. Each shot was displayed in simple black and white with natural light, without makeup or styling, and are intended to humanize the varied faces of gays in America today. The event was extremely well attended with lines snaking down the block. Those who were lucky enough to get inside gazed at the innovative photos and even had the opportunity to purchase them directly off the wall for just $10. Guests clamored to purchase various pieces to hang proudly in their apartments.
In theory these are simple pictures of regular people in black and white, but taking the time to pause at each photo affords the opportunity to gain feeling from each piece. The sheer variety of people Wright captured for the project is astounding. Each photo gives the viewer a brief yet revealing view as to who this person is and how our similarities are shared. The small, for sale prints were paired next to large framed versions that brilliantly showed off this marvelous work.
When not clearing the walls of prints, guests of all walks of life partied the night away in the fun, open gallery space. The early summer heat may have been sweltering, but that didn’t prevent those inside from rocking out to choice selections of ’90s era hip-hop being spun upfront. Pabst Blue Ribbon tall boys and a boozy punch was served to help event goers beat the heat while getting a solid buzz on. All of these factors worked in unison to make this exhibition unlike most of the other gallery shows that we’ve attended. Not only were all in attendance given the chance to stand up and support a worthy cause, but it had to be the most unstuffy gallery event we have had the pleasure to have been a part of.
- Jay Rubin