James Barth


James makes pictures of himself. 
So what we’re initially seeing here is a collection of ego-stroking glamour snaps of what looks like a very handsome girl.

Oh boy, lets get confused for a minute, because when I view these works I am simultaneously aroused, repulsed, seduced, and I can feel it in my nerve endings.

James knows about surface. He uses the visual language of fashion imagery, which spreads it’s meaning cover to cover, literally and proverbially: on the surface.

James reaches for his big ol’ scalpel and cuts through this bullshit world of heteronormative surface we consume again and again and again, until we want to throw up like the models on the pages.

James interrogates gender by cutting through this glossy surface: injects humour, sincerity, you-are-beautiful-the-way-you-are sentiments, and stitches us back up.

Because James, at the end of the day, champions the right of people of all sexes to explore femininity, masculinity, and the infinite variations between- without criticism or ridicule.

by Spencer Harvie