Jess T. Dugan (American, b. 1986, Biloxi, MS) is an artist whose work explores issues of identity through photography, video, and writing. They received their MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago, their Master of Liberal Arts in Museum Studies from Harvard University, and their BFA in Photography from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
Dugan’s work has been widely exhibited and is in the permanent collections of over 45 museums, including the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the International Center of Photography, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the St. Louis Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, and the Library of Congress.
Dugan’s monographs include Look at me like you love me (MACK, 2022), To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults (Kehrer Verlag, 2018) and Every Breath We Drew (Daylight Books, 2015).
They are the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, an ICP Infinity Award, and were selected by the Obama White House as an LGBT Artist Champion of Change.
Dugan writes: “My creative practice centers around an exploration of identity—particularly gender and sexuality—through photographic portraiture. Drawing from my experience as a queer, non-binary person, my work is motivated by an existential need to understand and express myself and to connect with others. My intention is to create work that facilitates intimacy and encourages empathy, understanding, and critical conversations about identity and contemporary social life. As I pursue these aims, I continually explore what it means to live authentically and how visual representation—particularly photographic portraiture—plays a powerful role in that process.”