Levi Jackman Foster is an activist and photographer. He is focused on sharing the experiences of LGBTQ+ folks through his photography. He also worked on his first solo exhibition last year titled FOLLOW.
FOLLOW, his first exhibition, shows the sexualization of queer folks in order to get more “likes” or followers on social media. Judging the fact that identities are measured under these metrics. Asking us to examine whether we are promoting positive support for the community, or reinforcing negative stereotypes. During an interview with GAYLETTER, Levi explained that his goal was to show how this generation “curates their lives to meet surreal social standards.”
GAYLETTER explained the exhibition as “images of chiseled men in glassed structures were disassociated from their environments as Foster chose to immerse his subjects in rural or urban settings. In a separate room, spectators were invited to step into a glass structure and draw their own conclusions.”
The objectification of men is not a topic usually spoken of. So, Levi wants to make sure that his audience understands how toxic this practice and be. And, the role that social media plays in expanding it.
“Men have objectified themselves for millennia, it’s just much more apparent now that we have social media as a vehicle to put ourselves out there and satisfy our primitive urges,” Levi said. “Sex sells and being perceived as a sexy/beautiful/handsome object is an almost guaranteed immediate surge of praise-induced self-worth.”
He urges younger folks to learn about our history, and learn from the lives of those before us. But also, to stay out of our comfort zones and learn to embrace differences.
“Look to the queer generations before us for their bravery and authenticity,” Levi said. “Also go on your Instagram feed right now and if you find monotony, shirtless or not, consider changing up who you follow. Maybe follow someone you don’t understand.”
Levi currently has over 200,000 followers on Instagram, where he shares most of his work. But, pushes for his art to be experienced in person. His exhibitions are founded through donations so that they can be free to the public.