‘Every Breath We Drew’ Shows the Gentle Side of Masculinity

A self-portrait by photographer Jess Dugan (Photo courtesy of the artist)

When artist Jess Dugan began shooting portraits of her friends in 2011, she says, she gravitated to those who had “found a way to be masculine that’s more gentle and more vulnerable than the mainstream version of it.” In 2015, she published a book of those photographs, Every Breath We Drew. Now she’s exhibiting 30 of them, along with a video component, at UMSL through October 14. She shot the portraits across the country, but many were in Chicago and Boston, in her subjects’ homes, and often in their bedrooms, using medium- and large-format cameras. The collection includes gay men, gay women, straight men, trans women and even her partner Jess, with whom Dugan settled in St. Louis three years ago. All of her subjects, she has said, “represented something I either saw in myself or wanted to embody.”

“Every Breath We Drew” exhibition, free, Gallery 210, University of Missouri–St. Louis, through Oct. 14, Tues. – Sat. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., 44 East Dr. on UMSL campus, 314-516-5976, http://gallery210.umsl.edu/

For more items on our agenda this fall, please see our complete calendar listings in the Agenda section.

A selection from photographer Jess Dugan’s “Every Breath We Drew” (Photo courtesy of the artist)

A selection from photographer Jess Dugan’s “Every Breath We Drew” (Photo courtesy of the artist)

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