Woman Crush Wednesday: Eva Mueller
Eva Mueller is a Bavarian-born, Brooklyn-based photographer. Her series, GenderFuck, explores her interest in androgyny and the proves the fact that, when looking at her subjects, you cannot tell their gender, and it quite frankly doesn't matter anyway. She asked her models to pose as both their female and male personalities. This series was displayed at the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York this past April. Check out more of Eva's work here.
Interview by Hallie Neely
When did you become interested in androgyny?
It feels I was always into androgyny, from my childhood on. I think it's because my parents never pushed me into a gender role. They just let me be. I was a tom-boy and liked to play with cars in the dirt wearing jeans and it was okay, so I grew up completely free from the concept of what a girl should do and be. I believed actually that the so-called male and female traits were just society and culture-generated. I didn’t believe that hormones actually make men and women behave and think differently. But honestly I think sometimes ignorance is bliss. So I didn’t take anything on that I felt would box me into a limited role.
These images feel honest and genuine. How do you get your subjects to feel comfortable in front of the camera, and in front of you?
Thank you. I believe that because I try to never judge and just let people be themselves they feel safe and can express themselves in whichever way they feel comfortable. I don’t push anyone to do anything they're not comfortable with, but at the same time I let them know that they can go as wild and crazy as they want. So, some do - and I love it!
How did you find your subjects for this project?
The series started in 2013 with drag queens who worked at Lucky Chengs. A friend of mine was managing the place and I just bonded with the “Lucky Girls,” as I called the series then, instantly. Later on, the series developed into GenderFuck when I started shooting friends, and friends of friends, who are or were transitioning either way, or people who were just playful with their gender identity and didn’t conform to being binary.
What was your goal - why this project? Is it ongoing, or has it run its course?
The series is ongoing. I’m just taking a breather but I will continue to photograph GenderFuckers. One goal is a coffee table book and also to take the show to different places. It looks like I will have the opportunity to show the work again and with new additions in September in New York again and for longer than 3 days. But it was a great start!
How did it feel to showcase your work at Leslie Lohman, the first accredited LGBT art museum in the world?
It was amazing. I was so happy when Leslie Lohman approved the proposal I had submitted in 2015. I always wanted to show there. I have to thank Hunter O’Hanian who was the director there at the time. I had photographed him for my tattoo portrait series and he casually suggested I should send a proposal in for work I’d like to show at Leslie Lohman. The proposal got approved and 18 months later the show became a reality. It is such a wonderful gallery-turned-museum with an excellent collection. I’m very happy and grateful that the museum has 2 large prints from the show.
How would you describe your creative process in one word?
If you could teach a one, one-hour class on anything, what would it be?
Acceptance and tolerance, and to examine your judgements and re-evaluate them. Basically a life lesson. GenderFuck and my other series Black Face are hopefully showing people exactly that.
What is the last film you saw or book you read that inspired you?
The last film I watched was Fellinis Casanova with Donald Sutherland from the 70’s. I’m a huge Fellini fan and I hadn’t seen Casanova in a long time. It held up; I loved it as much as I did when I saw it first.
The book I’m trying to finish is called Horizontal Collaboration, The Erotic World of Paris, 1920-1946, Its fun and fascinating. Paris had 3 brothels with male prostitutes for women at the time. I think thats brilliant!
What is the most played song in your music library?
I have many favorites but and I can’t narrow it down to 1 song, but I can to one artist. His name is John Creamer and he is an acclaimed DJ, house music producer, and a dear friend of mine. I like almost all the songs he produced and they all stand the test of time.
How do you take your coffee?
Cappuccino with almond milk, no sugar