Trigger warning: discussing subjects of
warning: Adult content
Project by:
Nathan Selighini
Find me:
Curated with:
March 28, 2024
Show some love & share

Nathan Selighini’s Intersection of Photography And Drag

The boundaries between different mediums often blur, giving rise to unique expressions. Nathan Selighini is a talented photographer and drag performer who seamlessly weaves together their passions for both mediums. In this interview, Nathan, also known by their drag name Edith Fiak, shares insights into their journey, inspirations, and the evolution of their artistic practice.

Nathan Selighini initiation into photography dates back to their early teenage years. It all began with their father’s camera. They started taking self-portraits for years. These initial experiments with self-representation laid the foundation for their photographic exploration. Simultaneously, their interest in makeup emerged, intertwined with their creative identity.

« Initially, I came from a drawing background. » Nathan explains. « I’ve always been drawing since I was about five or six years old. » As a resourceful adolescent with a penchant for experimentation, Nathan resorted to using paint as makeup when faced with parental reluctance to purchase cosmetic products. « My parents didn't want to buy me makeup, so I started using paint, gouache and acrylics. » However unconventional, this early foray into makeup marked the beginning of a transformative artistic journey.

The fusion of photography and makeup became a signature to Nathan's creative process, reflecting their multidimensional approach to self-expression. « It was all about testing new things, seeing what worked and what didn’t. » As adolescence ushered in self-consciousness and insecurities, makeup evolved into a means of adornment and empowerment. « I started wearing makeup in middle school to address certain insecurities. » But it, eventually, became more about artistic expression, a way to embellish their face.

Transitioning from experimentation to a defined artistic style, Nathan's photography is characterized by introspection and depth. « My personal style revolves around introspection and delving into taboo subjects » they explain. While their current projects, such as collaborations with drag race events, might be a sleeker, more commercial aesthetic, Nathan remains rooted in their signature style of emotive storytelling through imagery.

Despite their considerable achievements, Nathan's artistic journey has been unconventional. « I never pursued formal education in photography or art. My academic journey was tumultuous, with poor grades leading me to explore various vocations. » From brief stints in woodworking to formal training in couture embroidery, Nathan's path meandered through diverse disciplines, each contributing to their artistic evolution.

Nathan acknowledges the fluidity of their creative identity. « I’ve always embraced fluidity in my artistry. Whether it's through photography or drag, I find liberation in embodying diverse personas and narratives. » This fluidity extends beyond artistic expression, permeating Nathan's everyday existence. « Every time I step out, I become a new character. » It's through reinvention and embracing different facets of their identity that they thrive. As Nathan continues to navigate the dynamic intersection of photography and drag, their artistic journey remains imbued with a sense of exploration and evolution. « Art is a journey of self-discovery. It's about delving into the depths of one's soul and sharing that journey with the world. »

Reflecting on Drag Race Show, Nathan Selighini has a unique perspective on the phenomenon. They reflect on their aspirations to participate in drag race competitions and their vision for a more inclusive and authentic drag scene. « I participated this year, I didn't get a response but I will try again next year. » Nathan expresses a desire to represent a category of drag that is often underrepresented in mainstream media. They want to represent a more diverse and unconventional style of drag, one that prioritizes creativity and individuality over conformity to traditional beauty standards. While acknowledging the allure of drag race competitions, Nathan emphasizes the importance of staying true to oneself and resisting the cutthroat mentality that can sometimes permeate the drag scene.

« It’s a super wild universe in fact. People ride on others to achieve the Holy Grail of being known in the Drag world. » To combat these inequalities, Nathan has taken matters into his own hands by organizing their own drag events which celebrate diversity and provide a platform for performers who defy societal norms.

As drag becomes increasingly commercialized and mainstream, Nathan is concerned about the potential loss of the subversive and inclusive spirit that defines drag as an art form. They worry that the drag industry's relentless pursuit of profit and conformity may overshadow its roots in creativity and self-expression. « it has really become an industry, we are entering a bit of an era of capitalization of a subject that has long been marginalized and which had no financial resources. » Nevertheless, they remain hopeful that drag will continue to serve as a vehicle for empowerment and cultural change, provided that performers and audiences alike remain vigilant in preserving its essence.


More in 


Embrace: An Exhibition For The Fesses-tival
Embrace: An Exhibition For The Fesses-tival
Danniel Tostes and Lari Medawar
load more