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Tyler Udall’s ETUDES at The Little Black Gallery

May 31, 2017

Arts | by Courtney Blackman


Photo-artist Tyler Udall, turns to gender, sexuality, and the obscure line between fact and fiction for his new series, ETUDES at The Little Black Gallery in London.

Patrick on Second Avenue Rooftop 2016 © Tyler Udall, courtesy of The Little Black Gallery
Jacob is 49% Angel 2016 © Tyler Udall, courtesy of The Little Black Gallery

Tyler Udall is a photographer whose work we’ve had under a microscope for a few years and his latest exhibition, ETUDES at The Little Black Gallery, has us salivating. Gender, and all of its variables, are in a constant state of inspection and introspection, with gender roles being deconstructed in art as far back as the fourteenth century (namely the masculine versus the feminine). In modern times there is more of a spectrum to human classification. Depending on where you look, there are over one hundred gender options that blend biology with self-expression, cultural intimations and mood. Ghislain Pascal, co-founder and director of The Little Black Gallery says, “Art reflects what is going on in society. Tyler’s work is so important as it is of-the-moment and real. It is reality not fantasy.”

Jakob In His Sexy Housecoat 2015 © Tyler Udall, courtesy of The Little Black Gallery
Patrick In His Silk Nightie 2016 © Tyler Udall, courtesy of The Little Black Gallery

Confronting norms, the set of images plays to Tyler’s career in fashion. Subjects are more spindly as opposed to muscle-clad, and unconventionally ‘real’ rather than over-filtered nuggets for Instagram – they are grainy and gracefully posed. Photographed over a three-year period between 2013 and 2016 in Vancouver, British Columbia – Millennial and Generation Z boys were captured in raw, purposeful images that trigger both curiosity and calm.

Ballet Bum 2016 © Tyler Udall, courtesy of The Little Black Gallery

Ghislain tells us, “This is the third solo show we’ve had of Tyler’s amazing work. We have been championing him ever since we met him in 2012. We launched this new series ETUDES at Photofairs San Francisco in January, and are also showing his work in the autumn in East London.”

Brodie With Wig 2016 © Tyler Udall, courtesy of The Little Black Gallery
Rio In His Car 2014 © Tyler Udall, courtesy of The Little Black Gallery

Where did Ghislain discover Tyler Udall? “I was introduced to Tyler’s work by his then dealer in New York. I bought an artwork, and then invited him to do a show in London. The rest is history. We are now firmly joined at the hip as both gallerist and buddies for life!” He adds, “He cannot ever leave us!”

A visual slice of time that demonstrates how Millennials and Generation Z experience gender, ETUDES is an significant body of work from one of the best photographic documentarians. “In time the social significance of Tyler’s work will become apparent. So now is a great time to start collecting his work,” concludes Ghislain, and we agree.

Angel Eyes 2014 © Tyler Udall, courtesy of The Little Black Gallery

ETUDES by Tyler Udall is at The Little Black Gallery, 13A Park Walk, Chelsea, London SW10 0AJ until 10 June. Check the website for opening hours as they vary.

Main image: Here Comes Trouble 2014 © Tyler Udall, courtesy of The Little Black Gallery