Samantha Nye

Region: Northeast


City / State: Philadelphia, PA

 Attractive People Doing Attractive Things in Attractive Places is a series of paintings that reimagine Slim Aarons’s lifestyle/leisure photographs of the 1960s as sexual utopias for aging lesbians. The title of the series playfully recontextulizes a quote by Aarons about the content of his photography. In my paintings, I repopulate Aarons’s poolsides with queered visions of “attractive people” and subvert the “attractive things” they might do. These paintings envision fantasy histories of age, race, and trans-inclusive lesbian spaces by casting queer elders age sixty to ninety-five from digital archives and personal photos of family and friends. By refusing Slim Aarons’s preoccupation with youth, I ask: What if the image of queer sex, pleasure, and joy between aging bodies was itself a system for generating wealth? Alternatively, I sometimes consider these paintings scenes of celebration after a queer takeover of leisure landscapes.