See Joseph and Barrie Ann George’s wonderful review of Lissa Rivera’s photography for The Sentinel:
A muse is defined as a person or personified force that is the source of inspiration for a creative artist.
The concept of an artist’s muse has long been a romanticized idea of an ethereal being that inspires a creative to create great works of art. So, when an artist finds their muse personified, it is indeed the intersection of fable and reality, which results in a true collaboration of spirit.
Such is the story of photographer Lissa Rivera and her genderqueer romantic partner, B.J. Lillis, who serves as her collaborator and creative muse in the current exhibition, “Queering the Muse” at Dickinson College’s Trout Gallery.
Through her photographs, [Rivera] brings visibility to an overlooked subject—the genderqueer body—to challenge the notion of binary gender and to complicate how we define and understand beauty.
Rivera’s interest in the genderqueer body challenges the social conventions embedded in a long history of art and visual culture, while at the same time it revels in the beauty and glamour of that history, creating a powerful body of work in the process. Rivera assimilates images from decades and centuries past and brings them to a contemporary audience that results in a modern interpretation.