All Things Human : Desire and Tennessee Williams Revisited

In his most recent portrait series “All Things Human: Desire and Tennessee Williams Revisited”, Arthur Severio explores ways in which the richly woven visual narrative of Tennessee Williams “Southern” might look with a twist on gender. This series liberates Williams' characters from their literary constraints to explore gender, race, and social class in contemporary New Orleans.

Tennessee Williams was writing about “all things human” and how

people handle desire. He wrote that he used his family’s history and

people of New Orleans as inspirations and for his character’s traits in

his stories and plays — quoting that “writing about these people made

great drama.”

"As a New Orleanian, I’m quite aware that I’m living in holy territory for

writers and photographers. I wanted to explore ways the richly woven

visual narrative of Tennessee Williams “Southern” might look with a

twist on gender. In this series, I chose some of my friends and

colleagues who perform drag in New Orleans to interpret dramatic

scenes from Williams better-known plays. I didn’t realize when picking

the models for certain scenes, that they were very much like the

characters they portray."

- Arthur Severio