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Author: Adrienne Raquel

Type: Hardback

ISBN: 9788862087926

Date: 13th April, 2023

Publisher: DAMIANI

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In ONYX , photographer Adrienne Raquel explores the intensity and escapism of the nightclub experience, documenting the power of the performers at Houston's famed Club Onyx. Raquel's photography is usually editorial, with high-power celebrities as her subjects. Her work has broken glass ceilings for Black female photographers. Now, for this passion project commissioned by Fotografiska New York, she has turned her lens towards a community of underrepresented artists in her hometown. At Club Onyx, strippers step on stage displaying their bodies, strength, and seduction, but there's a virtue to this particular space. "They don't get naked" is a common idiom to describe the club's ambiance. Performers there take the word "stripper," and negotiate what that means to them, on their own terms. Raquel captures elements of southern strip culture and the power of these performers with her signature glossy photographic style. From powerful images of the dancers mid-movement to detailed shots and intimate portraits, Raquel's striking images put the divine beauty and compelling energy that enlivens Houston's nightlife on full display. She also takes viewers behind the scenes, giving us a window into the community the dancers have built in the privacy of the locker room. There they prepare for the evening together before moving to the stage, each dancer in her moment. Uniting their star power to conquer one customer at a time, dancers continue into the early morning, performing and collecting bills. ONYX displays the empowerment and inclusivity in strip clubs that society has ignored. As captured by Raquel, the night club experience is revealed with layered meaning - granting the chance for these performers to be seen as elevated as the culture they influence.

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