One person, two personalities, and a photographer. KINGS & QUEENS started in 2015 when photographer Léon Hendrickx created a portrait of drag artist Micha and his female alter ego Snorella WC. Two personalities of the same individual laid bare; portrayed in juxtaposition, as if each has his and her own life. The blueprint for an international photo project had been formed: KINGS & QUEENS — guys besides the girl they are inside.
The KINGS & QUEENS portraits invite the viewer to enter into the exotic phenomenon of drag artistry which is usually restricted to the worlds of spectacle, fantasy and entertainment. By gazing upon the fierce drag queen, accompanied by her soberly dressed male half, the viewer is asked to consider the relationship between the two personalities: whose desire is satisfied with the transformation back and forth? What does one ‘get’ from the other? And how do they react when meeting each other for the first time? Do they embrace, flirt or argue with each other?
One thing is sure, the portrait subject were stunned when seeing the images for the first time. On seeing her portrait, drag queen Extasis Liquuid cried out: ‘Finally my two hearts beat in the same rhythm.’
The global reception for KINGS & QUEENS was equally overwhelming. Several exhibitions have been held in the project’s spiritual home of Amsterdam, at locations including the prestigious FOAM (Museum of Photography) and the project has been officially endorsed by the City of Amsterdam.
KINGS & QUEENS is now conquering the world. Berlin, Madrid, New York have already experienced the power of drag, with Tokio, Los Angeles and Rio De Janeiro to follow soon. Exhibitions are accompanied with debates and discussions around gender, sex and identity conventions.
All The KINGS & QUEENS portraits will be collected, internationally exhibited and published in a book that captures the magic and reality of what it means to be a drag queen. Please get in touch if you would like to help the project fulfil its potential and reach an even bigger audience.