Cheryl Gorski’s “KiKi” exhibition at BAM! showcases the creativity, and exuberance of New York City’s fashion week. Her camera, like a whirlpool, captures everyone in the fashion industry regardless of rank. The name Kiki is a girl’s name of French origin meaning “double happiness”. It was adopted by the Ballroom drag scene and has been a part of the LGBTQ+ community for decades. A kiki is a gathering or hangout where people (sometimes friends), come together to relax, mingle, gossip, or just generally have a great time. It allows everyone to gather and celebrate gender non-conformity, racial diversity, talent, and expressionistic openness, which is everything Cheryl has curated throughout her career as a photographer and artist.
In Kiki, Cheryl takes us on a tour de force to experience New York City Fashion Week: backstage, front row seating, runway, models, fashion houses, and post-runway parties. Through her journalistic style of photography, she captures the soft, human, silly, and fun side of the often-satirized fashion industry monster. What admirably separates Gorski’s artistic work from others is her unique eye for the mundane, bold, and absurd. She has a way of capturing unique moments of the human experience, especially during a time like fashion week.
This exhibition brings to life the timeless nature of her iconic work and how it influences our emotions, behaviors, and inspirations.