Images from my solo exhibition with the Museum of Wisconsin Art 2023-24.
Text written by Krista Grensavitch:
Vaughan Larsen uses the camera not just as a tool for documentation, but to create and deepen relationships while also exploring perceptions of identity and community. The Los Angeles–based artist’s pursuit of self-understanding has taken them through both natural and constructed landscapes, which mirror the three-dimensionality of gender expression, orientation, and identity.
Since moving westward from their home in Milwaukee, Larsen has adeptly guided their lens to explore diverse artistic avenues; works showcased here document that journey. In images that capture the interplay of sunlight and shadows over the contours of their body, Larsen contemplates the concept of “natural” in relation to how the physical form is understood both by self and others. Turning their attention to the emerging relationships that surround and sustain them, Larsen utilizes props and stage lighting to express their growing sense of inclusion in a community of other queer and trans* people.
No matter the subject or setting, Larsen, who identifies as trans-feminine, pursues consistent themes in their practice. For Larsen, the act of making photographs is performance - where fleeting moments are forever captured. A pervasive sense of magic and joy carry throughout; in Larsen’s words, there is “no defiance - only celebration.”
Vaughan Larsen was raised in Central Wisconsin and graduated with a BFA in Photography from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee in 2019. Larsen has been awarded a Mary L. Nohl Fellowship for emerging artists in addition to receiving 1st place in the Getty Images International Creative Bursary. Their award-winning work has been shown in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and New Orleans, and internationally in Germany, Italy, and Russia. Everything I Could Ever Want is Larsen’s first solo museum exhibition.