candy porcelain: a drag photo series

Photographer Seigar documents the behind-the-scenes world of drag performer Candy Porcelain in Spain.

20-year-old Ángel is a shy, kind and sweet boy that becomes empowered at night by his alter ego Candy Porcelain. He's been attracted by this nightlife style since he was 16, when he first saw Martina Rey on stage, a local Tenerife diva. Her female empowerment inspired him, and then, RuPaul’s crew did the rest— especially the punk attitude of Adore Delano. She adopted the name Candy in loving memory of her aunt Cande, who passed away because of cancer; Cande's wig became the first wig Candy used. Her act is young, alternative, dark and fishy. Like many new drag queens, her performance is more herself rather than being an impersonator of a singer. However, she admits her best lip syncs include the Spanish singer Alaska and the international artists Pink, Becky G and Rihanna. This series follows her on her night routine, from her make-up, padding, all the transformation to her strong presence around the pub.

Ángel has studied as a beautician and in hairdressing, and he's continuing his education with Art A-Levels. He is not very interested in the disco life— flirting, drinking or drugs— but he really loves the attention he gets as Candy. He confesses that as his drag persona, he gets fascination and curiosity from many straight men. During the shoot, I got the impression that they were two different people, but I can tell that they both showed emotional intelligence, politeness, and humility. His relationships with clients, other drag performers, and the owners of the pub could not be nicer. He is also a D.I.Y. Queen— she loves doing her own makeup, padding, and relies on herself for almost everything.

At the end of the night, after the show, I accompanied Candy backstage again, and she reverted to Ángel, the shy guy. He waved a timid goodbye to the audience. It was a visually intense experience. I have always found inspiration in the drag scene. Thanks to Ángel and particularly to Candy Porcelain for their candidness.

Seigar is a philologist in English, a highschool teacher, and a curious photographer based in Tenerife. You can find him online @jseigar, or visit his website here.



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