New York

Matthew Leifheit, The Marie Antoinette Room (after Velázquez), 2018, dye-sublimation print on aluminum, 10 × 15".

Matthew Leifheit

Deli Gallery

Matthew Leifheit, The Marie Antoinette Room (after Velázquez), 2018, dye-sublimation print on aluminum, 10 × 15".

Fire Island is a sliver of sand, forest, and dunes four miles off the southern shore of Long Island. The hamlets of Cherry Grove and Fire Island Pines have been—since the 1930s and ’50s, respectively—havens of gay emancipation and barometers of American queer experience. The locale has become a near-mythic ark, encompassing wild bacchanal and funereal poignancy for the generations that sought sanctuary within its pelagic atmospherics. It’s this hallowed ground that Matthew Leifheit took as his subject in the forty-three photographic works exhibited here.

Most of his nocturnal tableaux were hung in groups loosely themed around typical sights—a weekly underwear party, empty beaches—but one encountered a single, oval-shaped photo first. Ahmed, 2017, captures an eye in close-up, its lower lid pulled down, red and raw from conjunctivitis. The piece seems to be a

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