Leland Bobbé's new photo series, Half-Drag, shows New York drag queens at their most beautiful, while simultaneously revealing the men behind the makeup.
To view the entire portfolio of Half-Drag portraits, click here.
"I haven't considered making-over 'regular' people, but it's not a bad idea," Bobbé told Out magazine. "I doubt, however, that regular people would come close to having the makeup and hair skills that these queens have."
Bobbé, although influenced by other photographers, finds most of his inspiration from film and rock 'n' roll.
"I don't think any of them were uncomfortable," says the photographer, "although a few were a bit nervous about only doing makeup on half of their face."
"The most interesting thing was seeing both the visual transformation of the subjects and the way they went from their male-self when they came to the shoot," he explains, "and seeing their feminine side come out once they were in front of the camera."
"A very small number of comments that people made online were not too nice," says the photographer. "But I think they just didn't get it. The pictures probably threatened them in some way."
"In these subjects, I looked for drag queens who had a really strong sense of both their male and their female side," Bobbé told "Hyperallergic."
"The obvious duality is the gender, but I think that we all have different sides to us," Bobbé says. "Many of which are internalized. Because this is done on the outside, the duality is more obvious."
"I think, in general, that the important message of drag is one of a symbol for change and transformation," Bobbé states. "Perhaps this message could be adapted by American culture as a whole."