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Kia LaBeija: Photographs from Plague In The Shadows, 2024

The Greene Space presents selected photographs by multidisciplinary artist Kia LaBeija at the corner of Charlton Street and Varick Street in Soho January 25 through March 11, 2024. The exhibition features a new collection of portraits of people who were at the center of the early years of the AIDS epidemic in New York City.

Subjects include Valerie Reyes-Jimenez, an HIV-positive woman, activist, and city organizer; Maxine Frere, a retired nurse who spent the entirety of her 40-year career at Harlem Hospital and was the head nurse of the pediatric AIDS unit; Governor David Paterson, and Terry McGovern, lawyer, and Senior Associate Dean at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, and founder of the HIV Law Project. Their stories, and Kia’s, can be heard on WNYC’s and the History Channel’s podcast Blindspot: The Plague in the Shadows.

To watch Kia’s interview on her work, click here.

You can learn about The Greene Space here. Check out our upcoming events here, and find out how to collaborate with us through our artist residency program here.

Artist Statement

For my residency at The Greene Space, I am curating events uplifting and unveiling lost narratives around HIV. As an artist I am dedicated to creating spaces to share love, grief, and togetherness in ways that can empower, educate and bring joy to anyone willing to listen and participate.


Artist Bio

Kia Michelle Benbow, known professionally as Kia LaBeija, is an image maker and storyteller born and raised in the heart of New York City, Hell’s Kitchen. She composes theatrical autobiographical works ranging from photography, live performance, text based mediums, and film. She’s presented work at The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Tate Modern, The Brooklyn Museum, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Museum of The City of New York, The Bronx Museum of the Arts,  Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The International Center for Photography The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, and the Performa ’19 Biennial.

Heavily involved in New York’s Iconic House and Ballroom scene for over a decade, Kia was a member of the Royal House of LaBeija from 2012 to 2019, serving as the Overall Mother from 2017 to 2019. She received a BA from the New School University and is currently pursuing an MFA in Fine Arts. She is a 2019 Creative Capital Awardee alongside her partner Taína Larot.

Valerie Reyes-Jimenez by Kia LaBeija

Credit: Photo by Kia LaBeija

The artist, Kia LaBeija

Credit: Photo provided by Artist

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