Brett Bell

"Brett grew up in Sullivan, Missouri, where he said this morning, there weren't any visible gay people. His early and untitled series of photographs shot in 2005 and 2006 in Missouri consists of portraits Brett constructed using his friends as raw material to create fictitious characters based on his own memories, longings and fantasies. With careful and sometimes campy staging and evocative uses of light and a sense of place, Brett creates a group of adolescent outcasts such a transgender teenager lounging on a bed in a pink room, a lonely overgrown tomboy with a tough and vulnerable scowl, and a number of sultry young men whose appeal is unmistakably homoerotic. Brett's cast of characters is simultaneously autobiographical and iconic of freak kids in small towns everywhere. His images look almost like film stills for a film that doesn't actually exist, but might be something like The Outsiders meets Mysterious Skin meets Hairspray"  (...)