“Likeness: A Question of Perception” opens February 4th in Astoria

Emerging local photographer Lizabeth Nieves announces her first solo exhibition, featuring telling portraits of Queens locals – with a clever twist. On Friday, February 4th starting at 9pm, Astoria’s Hell Gate Social will host the opening of “Likeness: A Question of Perception.”

Nieves’ debut exhibition toys with the concept of portraiture and the way we see ourselves and each other. It operates on the fact that making photo assumptions has become a daily routine. The question is: if you eliminate the setting, the clothing, and the props… What do you have left? Your expression. What can you judge from a basic black and white portrait? No skin tones, no eye and hair color, and the subjects wearing the most basic unisex top exposes a vulnerability. This leaves only the expression and gestures to tell their story.

Underneath each portrait in the exhibition is a three-word description that each participant used to describe himself or herself without having seen their picture, thus altering the viewer’s photo assumption. “Likeness: A Question of Perception” challenges viewers to see below the surface and to bridge their first impressions with the subject’s self-description.

In addition to the photography exhibition, the February 4th event, which runs from 9pm-3am, will also feature poetry and prose readings by local writers Audrey Dimola, Dennis Borowsky, Justin Finley, Jon Mills, and Thomas Pepe, hosted by Mike Free. Music by DJ Sambarella will follow the readings.

Hell Gate Social is located at 12-21 Astoria Blvd (between 12th & 14th Streets) in Astoria, NY. Take the N or Q trains to Astoria Blvd. www.hellgatesocial.com


Lizabeth Nieves is a third generation New Yorker who was born in the Bronx and grew up on Long Island and Upstate. She has lived in Astoria for the last 10 years. As a photographer, she is inspired by old-fashioned photo booths and urban living. After graduating with a BA in English and minor in Journalism she went on to found Sugarzine, the Queens cultural web magazine she managed for 8 years. Nieves is dedicated to community building in Queens and enjoys volunteering for local arts and culture organizations. For more of her distinctive work, visit her recently launched photoblog at www.glitterunicorn.com.

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