Fine Art Photography Daily

Fotofest Week: Jennifer Loeber: GYRLE


©Jennifer Loeber, Lorelei (Robert) and Jennifer

In my mind, my own self-image, is the picture of Jennifer and some of the other girls I knew and admired back then. Girls I desperately wanted to be like. Wishing every day that I could be one of those awkward teenage girls instead of the awkward teenage boy I was pretending to be.” – Lorelei, 2016

It was great finally meeting Jennifer Loeber at Fotofest’s The International Meeting Place Reviews after being a fan of her work for a long time. The project she brought to the reviews, Gyrle, speaks to concepts of gender. The project allows a personal look into the fluidity of gender, but more importantly the artist shows us that we are all the same by considering her own growing up with the trying of of feminine personas as her subject contemplates a new gender role.

Jennifer Loeber is a conceptual documentary photographer based in New York City. Her work focuses on representations of female identity and historical narrative.

In 2017 she received a MACK First Book Award nomination for her project, GYRLE and was shortlisted for the Triskel 40 Photo Prize/Ireland. She has been awarded the Purchase Prize at the San Diego Museum of Art (2016), the Theo Westenberger Art & Activism Prize (2015), The Barcelona International Photography Award (2015), Finalist in the Kuala Lumpu Photo Awards (2015), a Terry O’Neill TAG award nomination (2012), a Darkroom Residency at The Camera Club of New York (2011), and Finalist in Photolucida’s Critical Mass (2011).

Her work has been exhibited widely, including Foley Gallery in NYC, Fotonoviembre in Tenerife, the Daegu Photo Biennale in South Korea, the Griffin Museum of Photography, The Center for Fine Art Photography, the SCOPE Art Fair in New York City, The Center for Photography at Woodstock, Photoville Festival and Rayko Gallery.

Her photographs have been published in New York Magazine, W Magazine, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, The Los Angeles Times, Slate, GEO, PDN, CNN, Huffington Post, The Village Voice, VICE, Marie Claire, American Photo, LINDA, Guernica, Le Journal de la Photographie, and GUP Magazine.


©Jennifer Loeber, Lorelei, in need of treatment / 2013


Years after I met her as a teenage boy named “Mac”, I began the process of getting to know a woman named Lorelei.

GYRLE is an anecdotal observation into female gender expression.

Images from my personal archive paired with those of Lorelei’s new life, speak to our shared history while posing questions about the female archetype and our mutual experience with the idealistic pressures and rituals of being a woman.

With this work I hope to expand the way we perceive one another and reframe the idea of gender through our similarities rather than differences.


©Jennifer Loeber, Jennifer (age 10), imitating Cyndi Lauper, Lorelei, making cosmetic choices / 2012


©Jennifer Loeber, Lorelei, reflecting / 2013


©Jennifer Loeber, Lorelei, on spring break / 2013


©Jennifer Loeber, Jennifer (age 12), at a graduation party, Lorelei, at Payless Shoes / 2014


©Jennifer Loeber, Lorelei, at the Salvation Army / 2014


©Jennifer Loeber, Lorelei, in the backyard / 2016


©Jennifer Loeber, Jennifer (age 11), relaxing in her bedroom, Lorelei, an artist’s model / 2016


©Jennifer Loeber, Lorelei, in the garden with Sky / 2012


©Jennifer Loeber, Jennifer (age 13), in the junior high yearbook, Lorelei, after a close shave / 2012


©Jennifer Loeber, Lorelei, with Alex / 2014


©Jennifer Leber, Jennifer (age 17), dressed for senior prom, Lorelei, crowning Miss Trans New England / 2012


©Jennifer Loeber, Lorelei, with her mother / 2013


©Jennifer Loeber, Jennifer (age 6), before the recital, Lorelei, two-time pageant winner / 2012

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