Arthur Severio's story is one of artistic exploration and self-discovery in rural Louisiana during the 1970s. Growing up as an outsider in Livingston Parish, Severio found solace in the works of Tennessee Williams and the power of photography to reveal the harsh realities of Southern culture. However, it was not until he joined the vibrant LGBTQ+ community of New Orleans' French Quarter during the 1984 World's Fair that Severio fully embraced his identity as a performer and photographer.
Inspired by his older brother, a famous drag performer, Severio began performing as Reba Douglas, captivating audiences around the Crescent City. As he continued to explore his passion for photography, he studied classic techniques and the writings of Tennessee Williams to inform his work. Recently, he attended the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, studying with masters like Kurt Mangum and Norman Maskopf, as well as celebrity portrait photographers Greg Gorman and Joshua Smith, to refine his cinematic and environmental photography.
Severio's photography has been exhibited and published in various shows and collections, including Straight Outta New Orleans, Street Meat (Chicago), and Framed (San Francisco). Notably, his work was featured in the 2016 Louisiana Contemporary exhibition, sponsored by the Helis Foundation, at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Severio's artistry and journey serve as a testament to the power of artistic expression and the importance of embracing one's identity in the face of adversity.
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