Perci Chester, 'Untitled 12,' 1974


In Search of the Glass Slipper, San Francisco, 1974

Every Mon., Tue., Wed., Thu., and Fri. from Sept. 9-29
9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sept. 9
6-8 p.m.
Art, Galleries, LGBTQ

Everything old is new again at Perci Chester’s “In Search of the Glass Slipper,” now on view at Traffic Zone. In more than 25 candid and vivacious photographs, the Minnesota artist showcases the larger-than-life energy, theatrical costumes, and dated decor of gay partygoers in San Francisco circa 1974. The full-color images reveal men in makeup, fashionably dressed in women’s clothing, their eyes caught in an intimate exchange with Chester’s lens. According to the artist, who took hundreds of photographs over a six-month period, these spontaneous and intense displays of sophistication, elegance, and fun were her subjects’ way of forming community and attracting love. The house parties, where most of the photos were taken, provided a safe place from the judgment, disrespect, and hurt her subjects encountered in public. These relics of a laissez faire, pre-AIDS era offer a glimpse into the private lives of people on the fringes. 

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