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Sassify Zine - July 2019


Treat your peripherals to these 12 tantalizing Birmingham Drag Queens and Kings.

‘Killer Queens’ is a photographic documentary project for which Laura Chen photographed over 30 individuals from Birmingham's (UK) drag community. The series explores the idea of parodying of gender as a performance art and a way of self-expression.


‘My portraits are driven by colour. I experiment with different shades and tones to communicate a certain mood, but also to literally represent the colourful and lively personalities of my subjects.


I like showing the raw beauty of things. On the surface my photographs look quite glamorous, but when you look closely you start to see all these details; the fake hairline of wigs and the lines in their skin coming through the surface of layers of makeup. Essentially I play with the same idea they play with too; the disconnect between desire and reality — the person they feel like being that day, in that moment, and the person they are behind the mask.’


‘The title of my project references to Queen’s song ‘Killer Queen’. It is a play on words that I use to introduce an alternate meaning and interpretation of the word “queen”. Through my eyes, you do not have to be royal to be a queen.’

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