April Dawn Alison

April Dawn Alison


An exhibition by SFMOMA that explores the female persona of an Oakland-based photographer who lived in the world as a man. The archive catalogs over 9,000 Polaroids spanning 30 years of self-portraits of feminine archetypes drawn from advertising, motion pictures, and fetish and pornographic imagery.


exhibition design

Polaroids were hung salon style on black matte to fit as many as possible and showcase the variety of photos Alison took. We chose to paint the walls where these hung white and walls with vinyl an almost-black to intensify the contrast. The vinyl was printed by Sterling Graphics so the images didn’t reflect light but still had a glimmer of shine. 

The title wall was arranged in a similar style as the Polaroids and trickled into the gallery. The text is in SFMOMA Display and the images chosen were meant to give context to the coyness, sometimes sad, serious, or sexy photos that represent not only the images in the gallery, but the 9,200 that SFMOMA houses. They show her in color, age, and as the he who wants to be a she and the she who is a model and photographer both.

Bosco Hernandez (creative director), Meghan Berckes (art director), Erin O’Toole (curator), printing by Sterling Graphics, installed by JHD





SFMOMA, New Yorker, Sleek, Elephant