Adrienne Raquel’s ONYX ventures beyond the societal stigma often associated with exotic dancing, and depicts a captivating narrative of femininity, sisterhood, self-transformation, and strength among the performers. Through portraiture and environmental vignettes, the dancers are photographed in their most vulnerable yet powerful moments — both on and beyond the performance stage.
ONYX is a completely new photography series created by NYC-based photographer and art director Adrienne Raquel and commissioned by Fotografiska New York. In this alluring and provocative photographic exploration of the famed Club Onyx in Houston, TX, Raquel pushes past the polish and controlled sets of her commercial work, and captures exotic dancers in a more candid and intimate environment. With her signature attention to detail, portrayal of glamour and ability to capture radiant beauty in her subjects, Raquel highlights the nuances of Southern strip club culture while focusing on the relationship dynamics amongst the dancers.
Raquel says – “I am endlessly inspired by femininity and the beauty of the female form, and wanted to approach ONYX from a more impromptu point of view. Elements of fantasy and glamour tend to be present in most of my work. For this series, I was inspired by the allure of the 1990s / early 2000s hip-hop video vixen era. I wanted these photographs to reflect an enticing, timeless, bold visual style — all while capturing the essence of each entertainer from an empowered, artful perspective. ONYX tells a story in the heat of the moment — lending a true unstaged, behind the scenes look into the lifestyle and emotion present in each dancer’s narrative.”
Adrienne Raquel is a New York based photographer and art director. Inspired by femininity, soulfulness and color, Adrienne’s work is rooted in nostalgia and fantasy while remaining fresh and contemporary. Her work has been included in Mickalene Thomas’ Better Nights exhibition at Miami’s Bass Museum and The New Black Vanguard, curated by Antwaun Sargent and presented by the Aperture foundation. Select clients include CR Fashion Book, Cultured Magazine, Elle, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, Interview Magazine, Playboy, T Magazine, V Magazine and Vanity Fair. ONYX is her first solo exhibition.