rebecca camacho presents
Jamil hellu solo booth

The Armory Show

Javits Center, New York City

9 September — 12 September 2021
"There is something unabashedly sweet about Jamil Hellu’s photographic series Hues that leaves a queer soul feeling utterly satisfied; so much so, that I have compared my first encounter with the work to nibbling on a rainbow whirly pop. Over the course of four years, Hellu has created a body of strikingly saturated collaborative portraits of himself posing with fellow queer people across various races, ethnicities, genders, and cultural backgrounds. In a time marked by the anti-social turn in queer scholarship, Hellu maintains an admirable commitment to celebrating the queer community through extravagant physical presence.
... What differentiates Hellu from his ancestors and peers, however, is a distinctly playful sense of humor. While many of the photographs in the series tackle stereotypes through a dichotomy between traditionally gendered attires and the genders of those wearing them — heightened by the deadpan poses and facial expressions — Hues should by no means be misunderstood as frivolous. Instead, the artist cleverly utilizes humor as a political tool to urge against queer assimilation, and makes a conscious effort to highlight the significance of diversity. Through visual strategies of lush amplification, Hellu reveals a simultaneous process of masquerade and exposure that takes place in manifold hues of the queer body, and confirms the beauty of connecting across difference."  

Ksenia M. Soboleva