Mickey Aloisio is a lens based artist living and working in Queens, NY. He received his BFA in photography from the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2016. This December, he will be having his first solo show at the Leslie Lohman Museum, Prince St. Project Space in New York. He has shown in numerous group shows such as, Our Souls to Keep, curated by Lissa Rivera, at Field Projects Gallery in New York, Friends of Dorothy, curated by Carlos Kempf at Mottnyc, and Looking at You: Intimate Portraiture, curated by Jess Dugan, at the Corridor Gallery at the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia, among others. His work has been featured and reviewed in publications including Gayletter, Cakeboy, i-D-Vice, Kaltblut-magazine, Intomore and Acurator. In 2017, he self published a limited edition monograph and held a release and artist talk at the Bureau of General Services: Queer Devision in New York.

PROJECT SPOTLIGHT: From Europe with Love

Mickey Aloisio’s ‘From Europe with Love’, explores the importance of physical human connectivity in response to the current standard of 2D relationships we value today. This body of work is the outcome of a trip where Aloisio spent two months traveling through Europe focusing on self portraits alongside other queer men he met along the way. Asking the question, 'how much do we need each other?' The images dive into the social, collaborative and intimate aspect of creating artwork while searching for the impact it has on those involved.

© Mickey Aloisio

© Mickey Aloisio

© Mickey Aloisio

© Mickey Aloisio

When and where did From Europe with Love begin?

Well, in a way this project is a continuation of my previous projects. I started photographing heavier-set gay men in New York and continued to do so for the two years while I was in school at FIT. (2014-2016) This created my first project, ‘Gay Wildlife’, with it’s title referencing the many animal-related LGBTQ subgenera’s within the community. After graduation I decided to take the project on the road and create portraits for three months throughout and across the different cities of the U.S, which resulted in, ‘American Wildlife’. Then, the next logical step seemed to be to create work abroad, which is how ‘From Europe with Love’ came about. This entire body of work was shot in a two month period while I traveled throughout Europe creating portraits with queer men I met along the way. 

The initial inspiration was to create a body of work that represents a group of people who are often unrepresented or improperly represented, even within their own community. However, since then it has swayed away from traditional representation, or portraiture, and instead the work has shifted towards imagery that is a bit more conceptual. I began heavily exploring with self portraiture alongside my subjects and became less restricted in terms of composition, the positioning of models and the usage of props within each photograph. Resulting in a body of work full of images that I describe now as, presenting a very composed yet authentic situation, full of wonderment and confusion, most often between photographer and subject, to be investigated and questioned by the viewer.

Yes, it is safe to say I have had some notable experiences while making this work. Just imagine (if you haven't done so yourself already), walking into someones house, probably someone you’ve only briefly met either at a party or online, setting up a tripod and camera and then creating nude portraits with one another? On good days I would do that about three times a day. 

Where do you see this project going?

I would like to continue to work specifically on the self portrait collaborations within New York and the tri-state area. I have gotten so used to the journey aspect that has been tied to this work that I often struggle with making new work while I am home. I will be having my first solo show this December where I will be exhibiting this work at the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, Prince St. Project Space. The show is only three days long so ideally, I’d like to find a space after that to have a more long-term exhibition. I’m not sure that I have an ideal outcome for this project, what I can only hope for, is that people will find some enjoyment out of it.

© Mickey Aloisio

What helps you sustain your current creative practice?

Right now I’m working as an art handler at a gallery in Chelsea. Which is great because I’m surrounded by artwork and artists on a daily basis that I admire and respect. I think working in this environment really helps me stay motivated because I am much more aware about whats happening around me. I’m constantly trying to push myself as I take it all in.

What’s next for you?

Right now what I’m focusing on most is that show I have this December at the Prince St Project Space. This show will be my first solo show so I am quite nervous, as well as excited. I’ve also been working on an editorial that will be in the September issue of GAYLETTER, and I will have some of my European work printed in the September issue of Cakeboy as well.