- Vera Comploj & Kathleen Hayes
Gallery: 213 Bond St. Brooklyn, NY 11217
Contact: Martina Secondo Russo (917)446-8681 or info@MFgallery.net
is a two-woman exhibit that unites the work of photographers Vera Comploj
and Kathleen Hayes.
Drag Queens in smoky bars, masked bikini girls on a hot beach, transsexuals,
surfers and misfits in glitter and costumes… The characters in
“Controvisual” live in a fringe society where psychedelia
meets film noir.
These captivating images complement each other, bringing black and white
in contrast with bright color.
latest photographic project is the result of 4 years of research in
the submerged drag queen night scene of New York, Washington D.C. and
San Francisco, and the transsexual day scene of the community "Le
Princese" in Genova, Italy.
The pictures capture the magic of the “in-between” states
that transform men into queens. These are moments when male and female,
fantasy and fiction and day and night coexist. The uniqueness of her
look comes from the personal relationships that the photographer builds
with her subjects over time. Driven by her anthropological and sociological
curiosity, Comploj introduces herself as an attentive listener. The
final click is the outcome of a long process of trust when, after many
meetings and talks, the subjects open up and unveil incredible personal
stories. To truly document her subjects, Comploj has not intervened
on the pictures with any post-production. The result is an arrestingly
raw and honest portrayal of a world that is often glamorous, sometimes
melancholic and always in-between.
Hayes’ ongoing beach noir series, Flamingo Social Club, portrays
a kitsch and colorful world at the seashore; an askew dream escape on
a hot day at the beach. Plastic flamingos, melting ice pops, inflatables,
and speedos fill the landscape under a canopy of beach umbrellas and
It is a community of eccentrics. They are young and old, gay and straight,
artists, designers, former club kids, surfers, skaters, geeks and scenesters.
FSC is a place to play, rest, recover, recharge and worship the sun
and the sea. The members of FSC are can be seen posing on the mussel
shell encrusted Long Island shoreline slathered in coppertone, drinking
exotic tropical cocktails and eating canned seafood. They are donned
in flashy bikinis and creepy masks, which add a macabre twist to a garish
Kathleen captures her sea shrines and off kilter portraits with an old
twin lens reflex camera on a plot of sand in Long Beach, NYC
a 2-woman photography exhibit will open on Saturday March 8th in honor
of International Women’s Day. Both artists will be in attendance
from 7 to 10 pm. The show will run until the end of April 2014 and will
be open by appointment by contacting Martina Secondo Russo at 917-446-8681
or info@MFgallery.net . The entire show will also be available for viewing
and purchasing online at: www.MFgallery.net/Controvisual/Controvisual.html
Vera Comploj grew up in Selva Val Gardena, in the Italian Alps. After
having studied in Bolzano at the Kunstlyzeum (high school with focus
on visual arts), Vera graduated in product design from Politecnico di
Milano and concluded her studies with a photography program at the CFP
Bauer of Milan. She has lived and worked in Milan, London, Paris and
New York City – where she currently resides.
In 2012, Vera was selected by Vogue US as one of the 10 finalists of
the New Exposure competition. After the nomination, her series of photographs
“Persona” was exhibited at Milk Gallery, in New York City.
The same year, Vera’s work was also displayed at the Liverpool
From January to April 2013 her first solo show, “In Between”,
was exhibited at The Museion Contemporary Art Museum in Bolzano, Italy
and was also presented during the festival "La Storia in Piazza"
at Palazzo Ducale in Gennova, Italy, with an extended exhibition at
The Villa Croce Contemporary Art Museum of Genova.
In Summer 2013, Vera conceived, planned, and hosted the Alter Ego workshop
for 11-14 year olds at Museion.
Kathleen Hayes was born in Long Island, New York. She received her BFA
from School of Visual Arts in 1997, where she majored in Photography.
She draws inspiration for her photography, performance art and mixed
media creations from her suburban roots, Halloween, death, her love
of the sea, surf and skate culture, and her relationships within the
She participated in the I.P.F. Independent Photography Festival in Melbourne,
Australia in both 2012 and 2013. Kathleen was selected by juror Sarah
Stolfa, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, for
inclusion in the Newspace Center for Photography, 9th Annual Juried
Exhibition in Portland, OR in July of 2013. That same month her work
was chosen by editor of F-Stop Magazine, Christy Karpinski, for a show
about summer titled “July” at A. Smith Gallery in Johnson
City, TX. Earlier in summer 2013, she exhibited alongside skateboard
legends and artists Steve Caballero and Christian Hosoi for the Monofilamental
Art Show during Dew Tour in Ocean City, MD at Punk Rock Fish Studio.
Kathleen won the title of Best Mermaid in the 2012 Coney Island Mermaid
Parade, painted as a Mexican, Dia De Los Muertos mermaid. A mini documentary
about Kathleen’s parade victory was featured on the art and pop
culture blog, Laughingsquid.
Kathleen’s photography has been featured online by Fototazo, F-stop
Magazine, Feature Shoot, and The Photographer’s Room.
For more information, to request high resolution images or to set up
interviews with the artists, contact Martina Secondo Russo at 917-446-8681