Kenneth Guthrie is an Arkansas native. In 2016, He obtained his BFA in Studio Art with a Photography emphasis from the University of Arkansas in Little Rock. He is currently a MFA Photography candidate at Columbia College Chicago. Guthrie’s work explores notions of personal identity and gender expression through the lens of his queer relationship. It has been exhibited nationally at Colorado Photographic Arts Center (CPAC), LATITUDE | Chicago, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) Gallery 51, among others. He has also been published in Communication Arts and Photographer’s Forum. Guthrie also works as a Curatorial Assistant at the Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP).
The Way You Look at Me
Throughout history, LGBTQIA individuals have hidden their identities and sexualities, not by choice, however more often by necessity. In fear of criminalization, being coerced into undergoing conversion therapy or marrying for social pretense, queer men developed a specific language or coding so that they could coexist in the world unrecognized. Subsequently, this language has lived on, still used as a personal tool for navigating love and sex, but also as public weapons of education and reclamation.
The Way You Look at Me reflects upon notions of personal identity, gender expression, and performativity through contemporary and historical queer vernacular. Utilizing my partner as a conduit for vulnerability and desire, I construct self portraits and still lifes that allude to personal narratives from my upbringing. Through this, my work challenges traditional representations and perceptions of queer men – how those perceptions influence the way one looks at another and the way we look at ourselves. Juxtaposing images of my partner and myself, I question the nature of personal identity within intimate relationships and how representation can change with cultural or personal expectations. Implementing shifting gaze and point-of-view, I call the audience to embody my relationship thus my own narrative, resulting in an empathetic experience that is tenderly unique.
To view more of Kenneth Guthrie’s work please visit their website.