Planned Parenthood is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and people across the country are joining in to mark the milestone. For 100 years, the trusted healthcare provider has worked to promote “a commonsense approach to women’s health and well-being, based on respect for each individual’s right to make informed, independent decisions about health, sex, and family planning,” with an estimated one in five American women receiving care from Planned Parenthood at least once in her life.
To celebrate Planned Parenthood’s anniversary, Los Angeles-based art photographer Maggie West has created an exhibition and photobook profiling supporters of the organization. West, who has previously done work documenting sex, intimacy, and the complexities of gender identity (check our her book coming out this spring titled 23 featuring both trans* and cis individuals posing nude under a series of colored lighting schemes), has dubbed the series STAND. It features people of all genders photographed beneath technicolored lights and is West’s first solo exhibition. When asked about the project, West stated,
“One of the best parts of photographing this series was hearing about the many ways that Planned Parenthood has provided help for people during their time of need. Almost everyone I photographed for STAND has visited Planned Parenthood at some point in their life and was happy to show their support for the organization. Planned Parenthood has provided me with birth control throughout many difficult times in my life and I am thrilled have the opportunity to give something back to them.”
When asked how West chose her subjects, she said,
“The models for STAND are a really incredible group of individuals. Some are friends of mine, others part of my last book Kiss and others I reached out to because I love their work. I am so happy that such an awesome group of people were able to come together to support such a great organization. The series includes a diverse mix of actors, writers, musicians, artists and porn stars.”
I believe in the power of feminine energy and the divinity of womanhood. Therefore I believe in a woman's right to choose what is best for her and her body. I may be a pretend woman, but I am honored to be a part of this timely and important project” - Alaska Thunderfuck, Ru Paul’s Drag Race Winner
"In my opinion if you don't support PP you don't support women” - Penelope Gazin, Artist
"Growing up, birth control and feminine care were not conversations i could comfortably have with my parents. Im so grateful for planned parenthood and all their services" - Niki Takesh
"Planned Parenthood was my Mommy when I didn't know what to do but wanted to protect my health in a safe place that helped me make the right decisions. I will continue to support them in all of the ways I can, forever" - Angela Trimbur, Actress
“Maggie is not only epically talented, but a generous, sexy, fun, smart, kind and THOUGHTFUL soul. Im so thrilled to have been a part of her portrait series and her body of work” - Stephanie Beatriz, Actress
“Maggie’s use of light and color is unprecedented and I'm so thrilled that she’s using her magic powers for a good cause!” - April O’Neil, Porn Star
“I feel like Planned Parenthood has taught me how to grow up and be responsible. They have taken really good care of me for years!” - Brittney Scott, Artist
The exhibition is at 7pm on November 9th at Leiminspace Gallery in Los Angeles. Prints from West’s book Kiss, the upcoming 23, and her series Fluid will be available for sale at the show, with the proceeds benefitting Planned Parenthood Los Angeles.
All Photos Courtesy of West
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