Gallery 102 Presents From the Margins Group Exhibition

By Editorial Team on September 16, 2019

Sat, 21 September 2019 - Sun, 20 October 2019

mage Credit (clockwise): Benjamin Fredrickson, John Paradiso, Luis Alberto Rodriguez, Shikeith, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Naima Green, Stanley Stellar
Opening Reception: Friday, September 20 from 6pm to 8pm

To RSVP, click here.

2019 marks thirty years since the cancellation of The Perfect Moment: Photographs of Robert Mapplethorpe at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. And in this new perfect moment, this appealing anniversary wrapped neatly in black and white, it is easy to draw a line directly from the present back to one point in the past. However, when time is compressed as such, what happens to the in-between? From the Margins aims to examine the foreclosure presented by Mapplethorpe’s legacy by pivoting towards Glenn Ligon’s response to Mapplethorpe. In this way, Ligon’s Notes On the Margins of the Black Book serves as a guide to generating critique.

In Ligon’s incisive work, photographs from Mapplethorpe’s infamous Black Book are paired with texts taken from writers such as Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, and Zora Neale Hurston, as well as quotes from everyday patrons to New York City bars and clubs. In his response to Mapplethorpe, Ligon reveals the inextricability of identity, race, sex, history, and politics. From the Margins views Ligon’s work as critique, but more specifically critique as care. Works on view such as Naima Green’s Pur·suit updates Catherine Opie’s Dyke Deck to better reflect the lived queer experience of today, with 54 card-sized portraits of queer womxn, trans, non-binary, and gender nonconforming people. Stanley Stellar, whose acclaimed photographs of New York City men spanning over four decades, continues to capture vulnerability and sensuality in all their endless manifestations.

From the Margins speaks to the function of critique, the authority of public reception, and the spectacularization of an artist into a mythos. Critique is presented without the condemnation of finality but rather as a form of care and collaboration. How can we better understand the history of representation when we re-examine Mapplethorpe’s position? The artists in the show both take up and refuse Mapplethorpe’s ethos in the service of making space. The exhibition considers the importance of filling in the gaps in our visual vocabulary, challenging the viewer to reconsider the legacy of representing those on the margins and the role of critique.

In addition to the sixteen artists on view, From the Margins includes a resource library and a fully illustrated catalog with over ten contributors.

Exhibiting Artists: Peter Clough, John Edmonds, Benjamin Fredrickson, Naima Green, Florian Hetz, Sara Lusitano, Carlos Motta, Matthew Papa, John Paradiso, Luis Alberto Rodriguez, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Stanley Stellar, Matt Storm, Gerardo Vizmanos, Shen Wei, and Shikeith.

Resource Library: Raw Meat Collective, GenderFail, Kink Magazine, Aperture, Original Plumbing, Camilo Godoy/Amigxs, and Cakeboy Magazine.

Catalog Contributors: Andy Johnson, Caitlin Chan, James Huckenpahler, Megan L. Weikel, Jessica Layton, Terence Washington, Che Gossett, Josh T Franco, Adriana Monsalve of Homie House Press, Aubrey T.A. Maslen, Martina Dodd, and Ravon Ruffin.


Peter Clough (b. 1984; Boston, MA, USA) received a BA from Grinnell College in 2006 and an MFA from NYU Steinhardt in 2009. Clough has presented work in New York at MoMA PS1, The Invisible Dog Art Center, Printed Matter, haul gallery, Fresh Window Gallery, Microscope Gallery, Southfirst Gallery, Wayfarers Gallery, LeRoy Neiman Gallery, SPRING/BREAK Art Fair, the Center for Performance Research, and Dixon Place Theater, in Pittsburg at the Andy Warhol Museum, in L.A. at Human Resources, in Nashville at Open Lot, in Berlin at Peres Projects and Space/Time at FLUTGRABEN e.V., in Seoul at Konkuk University and The House of Collections, in Antwerp at the Monty, in Ghent at Off/off Cinema and in Oslo at Kunstnernes Hus, Fotogalleriet, and SOPPEN Performance Festival at Ekebergparken. Clough’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Hyperallergic, and Time Out magazine. Clough works as the Technology Manager for Columbia University’s Visual Art program. Clough lives and works in Harlem, New York.

Benjamin Fredrickson (b. 1980; Minneapolis, MN, USA) is an American photographer known for his work in portraiture and sub cultural taboos. Fredrickson trained at the Paris College of Art before earning a BFA in photography at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. His work has been included in solo and group exhibitions at the Museum of Arts and Design (NYC), Yale University, National Arts Club, and the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, among others. His work has been profiled in publications ranging from Dazed to the New Yorker. In addition, Fredrickson has been commissioned by Calvin Klein, PIN-UP magazine, BUTT magazine, apartamento magazine, Capricious, and others. He currently resides in New York City.

Naima Green (b. 1990; Brooklyn, NY, USA) is a Brooklyn-based artist and educator currently living in Mexico City. She holds an MFA from ICP-Bard, an MA from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a BA from Barnard College. Green presented two solo exhibitions in 2018—All the black language and A Collective Utterance. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at MASS MoCA, International Center of Photography, Houston Center for Photography, Bronx Museum, BRIC, Arsenal Gallery, and Macy Gallery. Green has been an artist-in-residence at the Bronx Museum, Vermont Studio Center, and recipient of the Myers Art Prize at Columbia University. Her artist books are collected by MoMA Library and International Center of Photography Library.

Florian Hetz (b. 1975; Berlin, Germany) started his professional career in opera and dance theatre in Germany. A severe encephalitis put an abrupt end to his professional life. In the process of returning to full health he picked up a camera to document daily life, in the form of a visual diary, to fight potential memory loss as part of the after-effects of the brain inflammation. From taking photos of his friends and lovers he eventually moved on to creating photos based on the imagery in his head.

Sara Lusitano (b. 1992; Lisbon, Portugal) is a self-taught photographer who was born in Lisbon, Portugal, where she resides. In her photographs, which are typically shot on film, she mostly aims to explore male vulnerability and, perhaps contradictorily, the abstractness that can be discovered in human bodies and elements from nature.

Carlos Motta (b. 1978; Bogotá, Colombia) lives and works in New York City. He received his MFA from Bard College (2003) and completed the Whitney Independent Study Program (2006). Motta has been the subject of survey exhibitions including Carlos Motta: Formas de libertad at the Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín, Colombia (2017), Matucana 100, Santiago, Chile (2018), and Carlos Motta: For Democracy There Must Be Love, Röda Sten Konsthall, Gothenburg, Sweden (2015). His work was recently acquired by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and is in the permanent collections of the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Barcelona; Museu Fundaçao Serralves, Porto; and Museo de Arte de Banco de la República, Bogotá; among others. Motta has been awarded the Vilcek Foundation’s Prize for Creative Promise (2017); the PinchukArtCentre’s Future Generation Art Prize (2014); and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2008). The Crossing, Motta’s video installation commissioned by The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam will be included in the Institute of Contemporary Art’s, Boston group exhibition, When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art, opening in the fall of 2019 and traveling to the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University. A comprehensive monograph of Motta’s work with essay contributions from Hendrik Folkerts, Andrea Giunta, Miguel A. López, and Agustín Pérez Rubio will be published by SKIRA in the spring of 2020.

Matthew Papa (b. 1967; Detroit, MI, USA) is a New York-based artist working primarily in photography. He has an MFA in Advanced Photographic Studies from ICP/Bard College, a BA in Philosophy from the University of Michigan and an AAS in Graphic Design from Parsons, The New School for Design. His undergraduate study of philosophy informs his artistic practice and he’s interested in photography’s ability to complicate meaning.

John Paradiso (b. 1962; Albany, NY, USA) earned a BFA from the State University of New York (Purchase) and his MFA from the State University of New York (Buffalo). He is a mixed media artist and describes his work as metaphorical and based upon such issues as identity, sexuality, health, and love. He has work in private and public collections including the Kinsey institute and a portfolio of seven photographs in the National Picture Collection at the Library of Congress, (AIDS portfolio). John has served as a health educator and caregiver in the HIV/AIDS community for over twenty years where he developed educational programs and provided peer-based counseling. More recently he was an Artist-in-Residence at the Washington Hospital Center working with adult cancer patients, their families and caregivers. He currently works for the Landex Corporation as their Resident Artist and Curator at Portico Gallery and Studios in Brentwood MD.

Luis Alberto Rodriguez (b. 1980; New York, New York, USA) studied dance at the Juilliard School, New York where he received his BFA. He is a self-taught photographer and has exhibited in Sweden at Wanås Konst. His work has been published in various art and fashion publications. He is a two time Life Framer competition award recipient. In 2017, he was awarded both the Public Prize and the American Vintage prize at 32nd Festival of Fashion and Photography Hyères, France. In the Spring of 2018, he was shortlisted for Document Journal’s The New Vanguard Prize and was one of Red Hook Labs New Artists. In the fall of 2018 he was in residence at CowHouse Studios, Wexford, Ireland in correlation with FUTURES and in collaboration with PhotoIreland. Most recently, he has been invited to a forthcoming international group project by the International Olympic Committee entitled Olympism Made Visible featuring original work by ten artists working at the intersection of fine art and documentary photography.

Paul Mpagi Sepuya (b. 1982; San Bernardino, CA, USA) is a Los Angeles-based artist working in photography. His work is in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney and Guggenheim Museums, The Studio Museum in Harlem and MOCA Los Angeles, among others. Sepuya’s most recent gallery exhibition “The Conditions” at team (gallery, inc.), New York, was reviewed in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Art in America, and he was recently featured on the cover of ARTFORUM’s March 2019 issue. A survey of work from 2008 – 2019 is currently on view at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, and Sepuya is included in the Whitney Biennial 2019. Upcoming exhibitions at the Guggenheim and Getty museums both open in July. Recent exhibitions include “Being: New Photography 2018” at the Museum of Modern Art “Double Enclosure,” Sepuya’s first museum exhibition in Europe, also in 2018. He is Acting Associate Professor in Media Arts at the University of California San Diego.

Stanley Stellar (b. 1945; Brooklyn, New York, USA) was educated at Parsons School of Design where he focused on graphic design and photography.  Stellar’s photography has been exhibited in gallery shows in the U.S. and Europe, presented and discussed in over a dozen anthologies, and has been on the covers of 26 international magazines.  The Beauty of All Men, Photographs 1976-2011, a monograph, was published by All Saints Press. Stellar photographs men and their visual culture. There’s a depth and humanity in his photographs, one senses the person and not just the body. Being one of “the” photographers of the early period of “gay liberation”, many of his images have become icons of that history.  He lives and works in New York City.

Matt Storm (b. 1991; New Jersey, USA) is a photo-based artist in Washington, D.C., and shows work in solo & group shows across the U.S. His work engages with the theme of identity and the question “who are we, and how do we know?” He approaches this through portraiture, and his imagery includes transgender and queer issues, family, and community.  Storm graduated Dartmouth College cum laude with a BA in Studio Art, and with the Perspectives on Design Award. Storm has worked in Dartmouth College’s art department, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and the Marpha Foundation in Nepal. Storm serves on the leadership team of the LGBTQ Caucus of the Society for Photographic Education, and he is one of the inaugural artists at STABLE Arts in D.C. Highly involved in Washington D.C.’s transgender community, Storm recently curated a large, extended show of work from artists in the community, as part of May Is All About Trans, a monthlong celebration of the trans and non-binary communities in DC.

Gerardo Vizmanos (b. 1975; Bilbao, Spain), after several years in corporate law practice in Spain and in the United States, was awarded on photography at the International Talent Support contest in Italy and studied at the School of Visual Arts. He moved to New York in 2012. Over the past few years he has been working in New York and Europe. His work has become known for capturing movement and bodies, especially in the male form. He’s been exhibiting and working in the dance and fashion industries. His work is featured in several international magazines focused on contemporary photography and fashion and has been exhibited in galleries in Europe and in The United States. He currently lives between New York and London, where he combines his commercial and personal work.

Shen Wei (b. 1977; Shanghai, China) is a visual artist based in New York City and Shanghai. He is known for his intimate self-portraits and portraits of others, as well as his poetic images of contemporary China.  His work has been exhibited internationally, with venues including the Museum of the City of New York, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Power Station of Art in Shanghai, La Triennale di Milano, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, and the Moscow Museum of Modern Art. His work has been featured in The New Yorker, The Guardian, CNN, Aperture, ARTnews, American Photo, The Wall Street Journal, The Paris Review, and Financial Times.  Shen Wei’s work is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Library of Congress, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Museum of Chinese in America, and the Ringling Museum of Art, among others. Shen Wei is a recipient of the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Arts Residency, the Asian Cultural Council Arts & Religion Fellowship, the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Arts Grant.  He holds an MFA in photography, video, and related media from the School of Visual Arts, New York; and a BFA in photography from Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Shikeith (b. 1989; Philadelphia, PA, USA), originally from Philadelphia, PA, now lives and works in Pittsburgh, PA. He received his BA from The Pennsylvania State University (2010) and his MFA in Sculpture from The Yale School of Art(2018). Within overlapping practices of visual art and filmmaking, he investigates the psychological landscape of black manhood. He has shared his work nationally and internationally with recent exhibitions and screenings that include The Langauge Must Not Sweat, Locust Projects, Miami, FL ; Notes Towards Becoming A Spill’, Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta, GA ; Shikeith: This was his body/His body finally his, MAK Gallery, London, UK; Go Tell It: Civil Rights Photography, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA; A Drop of Sun Under The Earth, MOCA LA, Los Angelos, CA; Labor Relations, Wroclaw Contemporary Museum, Poland; Race, Sex, & Cinema: The World of Marlon Riggs, BAM, Brooklyn, NY; and Black Intimacy: An Evening With Shikeith and Rickey Laurentiis, MoMA, New York, NY.


Raw Meat Collective is a Queer & Femme artist collective created, designed and curated by artist Kyle Quinn. Established in 2015, we work with a wide range of contemporary artists in all types of mediums, primarily in publication, print and fine art objects. Concepts of our published titles include struggles with the body, challenging sexuality and current political struggles as a Queer/Femme person. All items within the shop are produced once and only available here, through the involved artist independently or through our limited stock listings presented below. Projects range from books, zines, apparel to sexual objects, prints and more.

GenderFail Press is a publishing and programming initiative that seeks to encourage projects that foster an intersectional queer subjectivity. For GenderFail, a queer subjectivity is one that pushes against a capitalist, racist, ableist, xenophobic, transphobic, homophobic, misogynistic, and anti-environmental ideology. Our projects look at various forms of failure – from personal, public, and political perspectives – as a boundless form of creative potential. GenderFail is fueled by the messiness of collaboration, education, and community to continue to push our goals of failing forward. GenderFail embraces failure as a site of cultural production. GenderFail has been apart of exhibitions, programs and events at MoMA PS1, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Williams College Museum of Art, The International Center of Photography, Wendy’s Subway, Sediment Arts, Vox Populi, EFA Project Space, Book culture (apart of the Contemporary Artists’ Books Conference), Washington Center for the Arts, Ulises Books, Anderson Gallery, and After School Special. GenderFail publications can be found in the library collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Center for Book Arts and many others.

Amigxs is a zine of photographs by Camilo Godoy of his friends and lovers. This title is a gender-neutral alternative to the Spanish word for “friends.” The centerfold of Amigxs, No. 1 also took the form of a billboard located at the Southeast corner of Ninth Avenue and 37th Street in Manhattan, presented from November 27–December 24, 2017 and produced by the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP), New York. Amigxs, No. 1 was launched on November 28, 2017 at ISCP with a reading by artists Ella Boureau, Susie Day, Michael Funk, Jorge Sánchez, Pamela Sneed, and Aldrin Valdez. Amigxs, No. 2 was published in May 2018. Spreads from Amigxs, No. 1 and Amigxs, No. 2 are currently on view through December 8, 2019 in the group exhibition “Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall” at the Brooklyn Museum.

Aperture, a not-for-profit foundation, connects the photo community and its audiences with the most inspiring work, the sharpest ideas, and with each other—in print, in person, and online.

Original Plumbing magazine was born in San Francisco in 2009 as a theme-based print publication dedicated to trans male culture and expanded to include apparel and events for the trans masculine community and beyond. We are a small team consisting of two owners (co-editors) and currently ship out of Los Angeles, CA. OP was published for ten years and twenty issues between 2009-2019. 

Cakeboy Magazine is a bi-annual print publication & 24/7 breeding ground for disruptive faggotry. We’re addictive like lip kits and authentic like the liner notes from an imagined Amanda Bynes album dedicated to queer love

Kink Magazine. Thirteen years ago we edited the first issue of Kink (an art & erotic magazine). Sixty-four pages filled mostly with black and white photographs of our friends that we had been compiling throughout the years. As portrait photographers for different magazines and newspapers we hadn’t had the opportunity yet to show this type of work that we had been doing since a long time ago. Soon after the third issue of Kink came out with Bruce LaBruce as guest portfolio, other artists started sending us their work to be published in Kink. We’ll never forget how excited we were to receive e-mails from Jack Pierson, Slava Mogutin, the Bob Mizer Foundation, Dean Sameshima, Ryan Pfluger… We are currently working in the 31th issue of Kink. Since the 20th issue, Kink comes accompanied with “Cuaderno,” a magazine dedicated to painting, drawing and illustration.


Caitlin Chan is in her third year at GW. She is majoring in art history and international affairs.

Jessica Layton is a curatorial intern with Gallery 102 and studying Art History and Sustainability at The George Washington University.

James Huckenpahler is an artist, educator, curator and lifelong Washingtonian. His laptop is his studio, and his practice is firmly grounded in the digital realm. He received his BFA from the Corcoran School of Art in 1990.

Megan Weikel is an artist and musician. Early studies were in the history of the arts at Gettysburg College. She holds a B.F.A. from the Corcoran and an M.A. in Critical Studies from Maryland Institute College of Art where she currently teaches.

Andy Johnson is a DC-based art historian, curator, arts writer, and Director of Gallery 102 at the Corcoran School.

Che Gossett is a Black trans femme writer and critic.  They are finishing their PhD in Trans/Gender Studies at Rutgers University, tentatively titled “Abolitionist Entanglements” and they are a 2019-2020 Helena Rubenstein Critical Studies Fellow in the Whitney Independent Study Program.

Josh T. Franco is an artist and art historian based in Hyattsville, Maryland.

Adriana Monsalve is an artist and collaborative publisher working in the photobook medium. Along with Caterina Ragg, Monsalve is co-founder of Homie House Press, a radical cooperative platform that challenges the ever-changing forms of storytelling with image and text. The works of Homie House Press, have been collected in the Library of Congress, the Thomas J. Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Maryland Institute College of Art, among other private collections. Within her photographic practice, Monsalve is a storyteller and visual communicator that produces in-depth stories on identity through the nuances in between. As a daughter of immigrants from the Caribbean Republic of Colombia, she has struggled with the concept of ‘home.’ “I am documenting to show you something I’ve found and ultimately, something I am. I’m documenting so you know I was here.” Adriana Monsalve earned a Masters in Photojournalism from the University of Westminster. She was awarded the Lucie Independent Photo Book Prize for her collaborative photo book, Femme Frontera, a project which was funded by the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures and was part of the Master Artist Grant for 2017.

Aubrey Maslen (he/his/him), is a queer black cultural critic and scholar whose research investigates the intersection of queer theory, critical race studies, and computer-mediated communication. Aubrey’s most recent publication titled, “White for White: An Exploration of Gay Racism on the World’s Most Popular Platform for Gay and Bisexual Men”, critically examines the way in which Grindr users draw upon, reinforce, and/or reject white identity, with respect to articulations of erotic capital via self-representation. Born in New Mexico, Aubrey currently resides in Washington, DC where he works in management consulting and actively advocates on behalf of LGBTQ communities.

Terence Washington is the curatorial liaison for public programs in modern art at the National Gallery of Art. His writing, which often focuses on blackness and contemporary art, has been published by the Studio Museum in Harlem, the DC Arts Center, the Clark Art Institute, and, most recently, Dais Books in At No Point in Between, a photo book by Zora Murff.

Martina Dodd is an Atlanta based art historian and curator.  Dodd holds a MA in the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas from the University of East Anglia and a BA in Anthropology and International Studies from Johns Hopkins University.  She is currently the Museum Education Curator for the Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums (GLAM) Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning at the Robert W. Woodruff Library, Atlanta University Center and a founding editor of DIRT, an online independent platform and resource for accessible critical arts discourse within the DC, Maryland and Virginia (DMV) area.

Ravon Ruffin is a DC-based museum practitioner, community arts organizer, public arts educator, and digital strategist. She strives to make art + culture accessible for and by women and communities of color, both online and IRL. Currently, she is the co-founder and community manager at Brown Art Ink. She also is a Digital Engagement Producer at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Gallery Hours

  • Monday through Friday: 9am to 5pm

Gallery 102 is located at 801 22nd St. NW.