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
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