Phil Sayers is a transvestite artist who performs feminine masquerade in photographic images often referencing art historical sources.
The work questions culturally-imposed gender stereotypes and explores aspects of gender transformation, performance and construction. It adds another voice to those of artists such as Yasumasa Morimoru and Grayson Perry, American academic Marjorie Garber, British comedian Eddie Izzard, and others who urge us to look at, not through the transvestite - to see androgyny and transgendered ambivalence as natural expressions of identity rather than as symptomatic of something else: gay/lesbian sexuality, psychological flaw, or theatrical joke, for example. This necessarily draws attention to gender representation as a state of perpetual negotiation or flux, fixed only by the momentary artifice of appearance.
Gender exists only in representation . . . . . that is the subversive secret of transvestism, that the body is not the ground but the figure. Marjorie Garber in ‘Vested Interests: Cross-dressing and cultural anxiety’