Rubie Revlon
Emil McAvoy
Lightbox, edition of archival pigmented inkjet prints
Dimensions variable


Rubie is transgender. At the time this portrait was taken, Rubie was employed by a large international cosmetics company to sell make up inside a mainstream New Zealand department store. Rubie is out there and she is beautiful.

Rubie Revlon makes reference to Yvonne Todd’s studio portraits of Pakeha female cosmetics consultants. I focus my lens on an individual who acts as a constructive complication, in terms of race, gender and sexual identities.

It reflects on the politics of my upbringing – raised in a household which fought for women’s and LGBTI rights – an ongoing struggle currently at the forefront of international media attention.

I see people like Rubie as important to our shared future, which hinges on collective understanding, open dialogue and the celebration of difference.

Rubie Revlon is a photographic spokesmodel for being confidently ‘out’ while operating successfully inside contemporary social and economic systems. She is the face of a New Zealand worth promoting.