Leon Mostovoy, formerly Tracy Mostovoy, is a transgender artist who’s had 50 group and solo photography exhibitions and a couple of multi-media shows, too. His latest opus is the Transfigure Project, which began with the concept of a traditional children’s flipbook. Leon changed it up some when instead of friendly animals he substituted a slew of transgendered nudes and created a means to explore trans bodies in a safe and playful way.
I first saw Mostovoy’s book when I curated the invitational part of Round Hole Square Peg at Photo LA last year. Leon showed two life size nude photographs cut horizontally in thirds with interchangeable body parts. Hung between the artists’ triptychs were his fiercely amusing video and a stack of books, which were wildly popular. The books went on to MOCA’s bookstore, in downtown Los Angeles, where they sell as total must haves for weird, art book lovers.
Last month, when Mostovoy’s exhibition hit New York’s Leslie Lohman Museum, the books caused such a stir that Charles Leslie, founder of the museum, commissioned Leon’s mad- wonderful life-size version of the book, especially for the museum.
The big book made by Carlos Benitez at The Artists Corner Gallery, weights close to 200 lbs and has to be attached to the gallery wall with a giant hidden rear mount wooden frame and a French cleat. It is 49 inches high and 39 inches wide, has 20 pages of 20 transgender bodies and is printed in an edition of 5. The smaller book is 8.5 x 11 inches, has 50 pages of 50 bodies, and is printed in an edition of 250. Included are critical essays by trans writers.
On Saturday night April 23, 2016, Mostovoy will be showing his photography, videos and signing books at the opening reception of SEXY, a Month of Photography in Los Angeles, group exhibition at the Artists Corner Gallery. For more information visit the gallery website artistscorner.us Read about the book at http://transfigureproject.com/