Art & Culture / Photography

The Art of Drag: A Brief History

The New York drag queens in the 80s, pop culture darlings of the 90s, powerful queer performance in 2k18: Drag has long been a political art form. A major (free) exhibition in London at the Hayward gallery features the work of more than 30 artists who have used drag to “explore or question identity, gender, class and politics, from the 1960s to the present day.”

Alongside key figures such as Pierre Molinier, VALIE EXPORT, Robert Mapplethorpe and Cindy Sherman, the exhibition also includes self-portraits by a younger generation of contemporary creative including Adam Christensen and Victoria Sin. Rather than offering a linear or chronological narrative, this exhibition aims to present a multitude of voices that explore cultural shifts of the past 50 years and touch on topics that include the 1980s AIDS crisis and post-colonial theory. Focused on photography but spanning a variety of other media, DRAG is accompanied by a programme of tours led by drag performers.

“DRAG: Self-portraits and Body Politics” is open until 14 October 2018 at the Hayward Gallery. For more information head to

3 September 2018