KINGS & QUEENS began in 2015 when Leon created a portrait of Micha and his drag queen alter ego Snorella WC. Two personalities of the same individual laid bare; portrayed in juxtaposition, as if each has his or 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, a world which is usually restricted to the clichés 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 subjects 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.’
KINGS & QUEENS is now conquering the world. Berlin, Madrid, New York have already experienced the power of drag, with Cape Town. Tokyo, Los Angeles and Rio De Janeiro to follow soon. Exhibitions are accompanied with debates and discussions around gender, sex and identity conventions.
Ultimately the KINGS & QUEENS portraits will be collected, internationally exhibited and eventually published in a book that captures the magic and reality of what it means to be a drag queen.