I came to photography through painting and collage. The balance of and ambivalence between foreground and background, the confusion between what is perceived as real and what is fantasy, and by extension, the exploration of identity: sex vs gender or body vs mind, are the issues that continue to engage me. My work on the transgender community (crossdressers and their wives and families, transsexuals, and drag artists), embodies most of these issues. As a result of my ongoing involvement with this community, both as an artist and as a spokesperson, I have exhibited nationally and internationally, spoken to groups ranging from university classes to therapists, participated in radio and television shows, received a NYSCA grant, and had "Transformations Crossdressers and Those Who Love Them" published by E.P. Dutton, Inc., and "The Gender Frontier", published by Kehrer, Heidelberg. Along with other ongoing series, I plan to continue my work exploring gender issues.
Mariette Pathy Allen graduated from Vassar College and received a MFA in painting from the Graduate School of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania. She won a New York State Council on the Arts grant in 1988, and in 1989, her book, "Transformations: Crossdressers and Those Who Love Them", was published by E.P. Dutton, Inc. Ms. Allen has been a consultant and still photographer on five films; "Southern Comfort", the most recent, won the 2001 Sundance documentary award. "The Gender Frontier", published by Kehrer, Heidelberg, Germany, won a 2004 Lambda Literary Award. Mariette Pathy Allen's work is in the permanent collections of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the George Eastman House, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Brooklyn Museum, the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, the Reiss-Engelhorn Museum, Frankfurt, among others. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group shows, nationally and internationally. In 2009, she was one of the "honored guests" invited to exhibit at the 13th Annual International Photo Festival in Lishui, China. Ms. Allen has made hundreds of slide presentations at academic, transgender, and other conferences. She can be reached through her website: www.MariettePathyAllen.com