Drag Queens Show Off Dual Identities
Jessica Payge Daye
Check out a modern day Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde! Jessica Payge Daye took a razor to only part of his face to achieve his half-drag look for the Leland Bobbe portrait. It also looks like he shaved only half his chest to fully demonstrate his double personality.
These drag queens aren't afraid to showcase their dual identities, and they're getting a little help thanks to New York photographer Leland Bobbe. In a project entitled "Half-Drag ... A Different Kind of Beauty," Bobbe sets out to capture both the female and male sides of New York City drag queens, having his subjects pose only halfway in drag. Check out the amazing series of photos ... With half of his face done up in dramatic makeup and the other half showing off his natural-born male state, Crystal Demure poses for the photographer to showcase what's underneath his drag queen persona.
Capturing drag queens, like the fiery Vivienne Pinay, in their dual state allowed the photographer to "explore the cross over between males and females and to break down the physical barriers that separate them," he said.
Vikki Villianese is one heck of a chameleon. With just a little hair and makeup, the drag queen transforms into a purple-haired, green-eyed prima donna!
Epiphany Get Paid
No editing here! Though it may look like each photo is made up of two images digitally placed together, the portraits are actually composed in front of the camera, making the distinction between the drag queens' male and alter-ego female sides all the more impressive. The men, including Epiphany Get Paid, also did their own transformative makeup for the shoot.
"Through the power of hair and makeup these men are able to completely transform themselves and find their female side while showing their male side simultaneously," said Leland Bobbe. In some cases, the makeup went even beyond the face. Drag queen Miss Fame went all out in silver body makeup on a portion of his chest.
Is Heidi Glum trying to channel the "Project Runway" star? With his ironically chosen moniker, this drag queen went into full-on supermodel mode, finishing off his half-diva half-average Joe look with a sheer black glove.
Kittin Withawhip looks like he could be a glamorous drag queen one minute, and a regular looking man walking the streets of New York City the next.
Though a bespectacled Magnolia Aplpebottom poses for the portrait in minimal makeup -- at least compared to the other drag queens -- the point that photographer Bobbe tries to make is still evident. "[The photos] in turn questions the normative ideas about gender and gender fluidity," Bobbe said in his artist statement about the project.
This is one drag queen diva! Maddelyne Hatter's male and female sides are so extreme, it's hard to comprehend that one person could actually look so different.
Working it for the lens sporting lengthy gold nail claws, drag queen Pattaya hams it up in his half-drag photo.
The half-drag series isn't the only piece of work that Bobbe has been recognized for. The native New Yorker has been working as a professional photographer for over 30 years and has won countless photography awards in recent years. Here, Roxy Brooks goes heavy on the pink eye shadow for his half-drag portrait.
The "Half-Drag ... A Different Kind of Beauty" project has been garnering a lot of attention lately, with Leland Bobbe's work going viral. The portraits, like this one of Sherry Vine, have now appeared on thousands of blogs, websites and online magazines.
Bobbe first came up with his idea after meeting drag queen Sabel Scities at a carnival-themed Workbook party. This shot was the first in his series of half-drag photos, and the response to the photo caused the photographer to delve further into the idea. "I got great feedback on the image so I decided to reach out to other drag queens using Facebook as my main means of communication," he wrote on his blog.
Drag queens are known for their over-the-top complexions and personalities. As his blue lipstick and yellow-tinted hair can attest to, Azraea is a natural when it comes to dressing up, though he did leave his beard and hairy chest intact.