I first encountered poet Philip Matthews and photographer David Johnson at Chicago's Filter Photo Festival in late 2018. Though our portfolio review was a brief 20 minutes, it was immediately clear that their collaborative effort Wig Heavier than a Boot was a fulsome, even revelatory experience. The project, which will debut as a book published by Kris Graves Projects in October 2019, reveals a rich creative relationship between Matthews, Johnson and Petal, a drag persona who acts as the artists’ muse and teacher.
In advance of their talk at SPE this coming Saturday March 9th, we spoke about the project's origin and evolution, the nature of collaboration, and matters of gender and representation in a photo- and art historical context.
Roula Seikaly in conversation with Philip Matthews and David Johnson