Mark Seliger is a widely known photographer, with over 125 Rolling Stone covers to his name, yet there is something new and revelatory in On Christopher Street, his current exhibit at Von Lintel Gallery showing portraits of trans women and men. Seliger lives and works in Manhattan’s West Village, and although he is primarily a celebrity photographer, this new body of work arose from engaging with the trans people in his own neighborhood.
Seliger has the rare ability to get his subjects to open up to the lens, their deeper layers rising to the surface of the picture. The photographs are black and white, executed in the high-gloss stew of hero worship and advertising we have come to expect from images of the famous. Though the Christopher Street subjects are mostly ordinary folk, his visual style confers a measure of stardom upon them without eclipsing their human vulnerability.