Leland Bobbé, a native New Yorker, has been a professional photographer for over 30 years. His work spans both the fine art and commercial worlds and has been shown in galleries and utilized by advertising agencies around the world.
Clients include American Express, Bell South, Bravo, Citibank, DuPont, Humana Healthcare, Hyatt Hotels, Key Bank, MCI, Met Life, Pfizer Inc., Sprint, Tecate Beer, Toshiba, UPS and Visa.
His Half-Drag series went viral and has appeared on website all over the world including Italian Vogue, ABC News, MSN, AOL and The Huffington Post.
A fan of photographers like Steve Pyke, Garry Winogrand, Richard Avedon, and Harry Callahan and painters like Mark Rothko, George Tooker and Edward Hopper, Bobbé contends that his greatest influences lie elsewhere:
“I find my influences come more from a state of mind fueled by my taste in music and great films. There is boldness and simplicity that runs through my work that I believe reflects my personality. New York City has been a huge influence on my photography and much of my work revolves around its people and its uniqueness. Photography to me is all about seeing, my eyes are always open.”
These images are a series of portraits of drag queens in half-drag. With these images my intention is to capture both the male and the alter ego female side of these subjects in one image in order to explore the cross over between males and females and to break down the physical barriers that separate them.
This in turn questions the normative ideas about gender and gender fluidity. Through the power of hair and makeup these men are able to completely transform themselves and find their female side while showing their male side simultaneously. These are composed in camera and are not two separate images digitally composed.