If you think you’ve seen everything already hold your horses and take a look at Damien Frost’s work.
Frost is an Australian photographer and graphic designer who lives in London, where he makes posters for ballet and opera houses. He has always been attracted to people on the fringes, whether that be on the fringe of fashion or gender or just what is considered mainstream. So for one year every night, after work, he loitered around Soho and East London to portrait the ephemeral chimeras who inhabit the London alternative night life. A population of drag kings and queens, club kids, Goths, alternative queer and transgender people, fetishists, and cabaret and burlesque performers.
Into his portraits – that mostly come from casual encounters in the middle of the street or in the rear of a theatre or a ballroom – he transposes all the majesty and poetry of the great opera characters. The result is really dumbfounding.
I don’t think I have ever seen something this creative and dramatic. There’s no Vogue’s stylist who has ever succeeded in putting together so much inspiration and desperation, self consciousness and elegance and self negation and style. Many of them apparently suffer from body dysmorphic disorder and get to the point of becoming something that goes beyond their own human being, they turn into some “transhuman” creatures: gargoyles, extraterrestrials, dolls, colourful and exotic, dark and gloomy, flowers that only bloom late at night, as they call themselves.
The result of Frost’s work is “Night Flowers: From Avant-Drag to Extreme Haute Couture” by Merrel Publishers, with a foreword by Boy George (just the right guy), a photographic book being launched on March 24, from 6 PM, at The Photographers’ gallery (16-18 Ramillies St, Soho, London W1F 7LW http://thephotographersgallery.org.uk/) that has the status of an anthropological treaty and a fashion work of art. If you fancy any of these things you can’t help following Frost’ Instagram profile (http://instagram.com/harmonyhalo) or Facebook’s page (https://www.facebook.com/damienfrostphotography/) to appreciate in amazement what life can look like on the fringe.