"The Real Thing" Group Show With Juno Calypso, Natasha Caruana, Pixy Yijun Liao and Melanie Willhide At Flowers Gallery In New York

The Real Thing, a group show at Flowers Gallery in New York, showcases the work of four female photographers who experiment with the concepts of gender, sexuality and identity. Most artists take center stage in their own work exploring their relationship with others or the construction of their own identity like Juno Calypso. The artist created a fictional persona called Joyce who she documents while performing private rituals of seduction. The elaborately staged images and outfits of the character are a commentary on the exhausting construction of femininity. Pixy Liao documents shifting power dynamics between partners in her series Experimental Relationships by constructing a fictional narrative for her partner and herself. The woman is seen embracing the partner, shielding and protecting his often-naked body, reversing ideas of fragility and helplessness often associated with femininity. Natasha Caruana also questions relationships in her series Married Man. The anonymous photographs capture different men that the artist contacted through a dating site for married people. The documentary style of the series assists in creating a sense of loneliness and alienation instead of judgment.  The artist Melanie Willhide takes a different approach to the idea of photography by creating artificial artifacts that are reminiscent of tokens passed between lovers. By using digital technology to alter the images and make them seem older the work becomes a meditation on obsolete acts of romance. The Real Thing will be on view until February 27th, 2016 at Flowers Gallery in New York. text and photographs by Adriana Pauly