Conner Contemporary Art, Washington, DC
Jeremy Kost is a tireless chronicler of gender, sexuality, and nightlife, and has pioneered virtuosic ways to present Polaroid snapshots. Drawing his inspiration from the celebrity nightlife scene, Kost uses his instant film camera to capture the glamour—and the inherent striving—of a downtown scene full of fashion insiders, chic club kids, and flamboyant drag queens, with an eye attuned to uneven luminosity and raw beauty. A self-described "fat kid from Texas," the star transformed his image while living in Washington, DC, from 1999—2003, where he instituted a rigorous workout routine, in part motivated by his fascination with the beautiful bodies of the gay nightclub scene. On subsequent trips to New York, he slowly ingratiated himself with a well-connected, exclusive crowd who allowed him to photograph them intimately, but without pretense. The resulting images, frequently displayed in grids or collages, are reminiscent of works by Nan Goldin and Mark Morrisroe, but they most closely resemble the photographs taken by Andy Warhol in the 1970s.