Phil Sayers is a transvestite artist who performs feminine masquerade in photographic images often referencing art historical sources.
Recent work exhibited at major museums in UK has critiqued and subverted representations of women found in historical works in order to question past and present culturally-imposed gender stereotypes from a contemporary feminist perspective.
By presenting the artist’s middle-aged transgendered persona this work challenges traditional representations of nubile, eroticised young women made by male artists. Mid-19th century depictions of passive femininity and late-19th century predatory femmes fatales have been recurrent targets, and ageing is a recurrent sub-text.
Current work presents ageing women on display and attempts to subvert the long tradition of Judgement of Paris paintings. It also attempts to sexualise these ageing subjects in order to challenge depictions of women as lesbians evident in late-19th century art and contemporary media sterotypes. A darker sado-masochistic element is emerging in some of the imagery.
Studied Fine Art in the UK at Manchester College of Art and Design with postgraduate study at Leeds College of Art and Leeds University, and has taught or been affiliated to many British universities.
Has exhibited widely in the US, Sweden, Germany, Greece, and the Netherlands.