Jesse Egner (he/they) is a queer artist and educator currently based in Brooklyn, New York. Often taking the form of playful and absurd portraiture of himself and other individuals, his work explores themes such as queerness, homonormativity, mental illness, and body neutrality. He received his BA from Millersville University of Pennsylvania in 2016 and his MFA from Parsons School of Design in 2020. His work has been exhibited and published globally and is included in the permanent collection at the Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts. He is a 2022 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in Photography and has recently participated in residencies at the Santa Fe Art Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico; Bunnell Street Arts Center in Homer, Alaska; Studio Vortex in Arles, France; and Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, New York. Currently, he works as the studio manager for artist Mariette Pathy Allen in New York City.
In 2022, a group of artists from different parts of the world gathered in Arles for a residency program led by renowned photographer Antoine d’Agata. They used photography and archival materials to explore the complex concept of identity and address pressing social issues. The result is an exquisite blend of voices, colors, and points of view that challenges us to reflect on, empathize with, and relate to the intricate fabric of our shared human experience.
The artists in this exhibition come from a variety of countries and backgrounds, and their work celebrates multicultural identities and explores a wide range of socio-cultural and political issues, such as immigration, post-colonialism, gender, and freedom. The exhibition reflects on the difficulties of living between cultures and developing an identity within borders by inviting the viewers to reflect on their own experiences of isolation, loneliness, insecurity, and vulnerability, and encourages them to develop empathy and understanding across borders.