From Valeria Giampetro’s interview with Lissa Rivera for METAL magazine:
VG: Your series clearly tackles and overthrows dominant constructs of gender. There is no fixed norm of femininity, or beauty, you seem to imply in your work. But what is Beauty to you?
LR: Beauty to me is the connection between my partner and I, his belief in me and empathy towards me. His presence in my images is truly a gift. He is quite patient and loving towards me although I struggle sometimes as an artist. That connection is a deeply beautiful aspect of the work. The superficial beauty can be seen in the quality of light, and the colors and textures within the images. Personally, I am attracted to glamour and androgyny as it implies freedom from class and gender. When I photograph BJ we explore the lineage of feminine fantasies presented throughout the history of photography and cinema. It is a way to ‘step-inside’ images that we have found attractive in some way and explore what it is like to live each scenario out. It is really honest in a way, because we are not denying the seductiveness of the images we are drawn to. Really, I want to express the kind of feeling when you watch a film – let’s say starring Catherine Deneuve – and then for about a half an hour afterwards you wind up constantly checking in the mirror to see if you kind of look like her (which of course you don’t). The images shift with our desires. By presenting BJ within the lineage of great beauties and populating the media with many images through articles such as these, we are reclaiming our voice in what is attractive and beautiful.