Invisible Photo Exhibit of LGBTQ Images On Display at Strange Loop Gallery

January 24th, 2013



New York photographer Samantha Box has dedicated herself to documenting New York City’s community of homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth since 2005.

Box’s ongoing photo project, “INVISIBLE” has received the Anthropographia Award for Photography and Human Rights by En Foco and the New York Foundation for the Arts. The collection will be exhibited at the Strange Loop Gallery on Orchard Street in SOHO from Febrary 7 through the 28th.

“The young people [who] I photograph are some of the most resilient people [who] I have ever met: despite facing societal


animosity of homo- and transphobia, and the burden of a broken system that conspires to keep them homeless. They continuously work for a future where their talents and intellect can be used, where they have a home, a family and a life of stability,” said Samantha Box, on Time/Lightbox in June 2012.

“INVISIBLE’ has been widely showcased in American galleries, including The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy, New York, in 2010 and as part of the Open Society Institute’s “Moving Walls #18” exhibition.

For more information, go to: www.strangeloopgallery.com


The S T R A N G E L O O P G A L L E R Y is located at:
27 Orchard Street (between Canal and Hester Streets)
New York, NY 10002
Take the D and B Subway lines to Grand Street or the F train to East Broadway

-Anissa Stocks


Photographer Samantha Box

photo 1 by Samantha Box

“We can’t afford to be innocent / Stand up and face the enemy / It’s a do or die situation – we will be invincible.” – Pat Benatar “Invincible” (1985)

That particular line in the song came to mind upon viewing the photographs by Samantha Box for her show Invisible at Strange Loop Gallery on Orchard Street last February 7th. The works on view were taken from her series of photographs done between 2005 – 2012 to document the homeless queer and transgender youth in New York City. By statistics or demographic studies, this group is all but invisible but I disagree and will tell you – they are INVINCIBLE.

Art citizens of the Gritty Bosom on the LES united

photo 2 by Samantha Box

The photos done in black & white enhanced the nocturnal setting where Box documented her subjects. In its stark tonal element that it obliterated the scruffy mean streets but instead evoked a timeless elegance as done by the likes of Robert Doisneau and Willy Ronis in Paris during the 1940’s and 50’s. However, Doisneau and Ronis captured the daily joie de vivre of contemporary street life at that time but Box locked in the bleaker side of street life from the vagabond spirit of its subject who fight to survive. It is traumatic enough to struggle with your sexual preference, not be accepted by most, and to be thrown out into the mean streets because of it – it merits a platform not to be silenced. Homelessness is a problem that is rampant on the city streets but the status quo chooses to look past it or avert its glance. I am no better than the next person who does it and I gained an insight into this. New York City is life personified on the streets and what we view about our life is what we choose to acknowledge. If it is far from our concerns then we auto select what we exclusively want to see. Box treats her subjects with respect and purely intent to capture the person. In the images chosen for this exhibition that I saw the person defiantly making the streets their own and thriving in it. There is pride, strength, passion, pain, loss, triumph, and really living in their skin. The homeless queer and transgender revel and own their part of the streets when night falls. There is no room to be innocent. They keep standing up to face numerous enemies. It is a do or die situation.

Strange Loop Gallery front window

By all means, they should be forgotten and invisible if not for the trained lens of Samantha Box. She gave them a window for us to view them in their world. We bear witness to what could be an invisible part of life – to a story of invincibility.


* All profits will be donated to Sylvia‘s Place – New Alternatives for Homeless LGBT Youth*


Samantha Box – Invisible / On View: February 7 – 28, 2013

Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Sunday (12 – 6 pm) or by appointment

Strange Loop Gallery. 27 Orchard Street. NYC, NY 10002

art review by: Oscar A. Laluyan

art images from Strange Loop Gallery courtesy of the artist

event photography by: Max Noy





Samantha Box's 'Invisible' Photo credit: Samantha Box's 'Invisible'
Samantha Box's 'Invisible'

  • In "Invisible," documentary photographer Samantha Box showcases images of the lives of NYC's homeless LGBTQ youth taken from 2005-12. The exhibit is on display this month at the Strange Loop Gallery and is put on by the gallery and the Bureau of General Services - Queer Division. Running through Feb. 28, the opening reception is Thursday night from 6 to 9 p.m. (Opens Thursday, Wed.-Sun., noon-6 p.m., FREE, Strange Loop Gallery, 27 Orchard St., 347-963-3881, strangeloopgallery.com

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