New Intimacies is a photographic study situated in environments known for gay cruising and public sex. The work in this project is centered around the relationships and connections that take place in these settings, prompting consideration for the social and cultural elements that have led to the formation of these sites as spaces of safe harbor and uninhibited behavior. It is at the convergence of public and private intimacies where I use photography to envision the intangible and ephemeral qualities of these geographic spaces. Through this research and production, I seek to create visual representations of cruising culture that examine the development of these fleeting terrains of desire and liberation.
Louis Chavez (b. 1985, he/they) is a photographer and visual artist based in New York. Chavez uses photography and research to explore queer intimacy, social histories, and geographies of desire. Their solo exhibition, New Intimacies, was exhibited at the University of Rochester’s Hartnett Gallery in 2021 and at PeepSpace in Tarrytown, NY in 2023. Chavez was a participant in SOILED: The Downtown Dirty Book Fair, curated by Matthew Leifheit in 2022, and was a graduate presenter at the Society for Photographic Education’s national conference in 2023. In addition to their visual arts practice, Chavez was a guest curator at Visual Studies Workshop in 2020 and a studio assistant to photographer Joshua Rashaad McFadden in 2021. Chavez holds an M.F.A. in Photography and Related Media from the Rochester Institute of Technology and a B.S. (summa cum laude) from SUNY Brockport.