A LONGTIME resident of Manhattan with a number of solo exhibitions and group shows from New York City to Provincetown, Gerald Mocarsky is a gay photographer whose work embodies a unique sense of queer urban living. Standing apart from a gay photographic world dominated by nude male Adonises, Mocarsky’s work urges the viewer not to salivate but to observe and think about what it means to be gay in the new millennium. Mocarsky works in series, not unlike Cindy Sherman and Jack Pierson: the images are individualistic, but connected by a universal arc of meaning. His two most recent series relate to dance and cosmetics.
“Men Who Dance with Men” is documentary in nature. Ranging from ballet to country line dancing, with men both young and old, these black-and-white images conjure romantic memories of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, but speak to an alternative passion shared between men that can be understood best as harmonized bodies in motion. In 2009 Mocarsky was profiled in an episode of the PBS/Logo show In the Life, in which he photographed black youths dancing to hip-hop music in New York’s Union Square.
His series “War Paint” depicts images of women over forty applying makeup. Following an art historical trajectory of women at their toilette, Mocarsky re-imagines the work of artists like Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt in the way the viewer observes these women. “War Paint” is personal memory on display, the childhood vision of gay boys everywhere who watched their mothers and grandmothers putting on their makeup.