The World Famous *BOB* is a female burlesque dancer based in Brooklyn, who is a central part of the neo burlesque movement that began in New York City in the 1990s. Raised on an isolated, 115-acre farm in the California Valley, she renamed herself "Bob" after Robert Smith of The Cure when she was a teenager and was later crowned "The World Famous *BOB*"—now her legal name—by her "drag mother" Jackie Beat when she performed in her first Wigstock. Born female, she nevertheless aspired to be a drag queen from a young age, which led to years of searching for her true gender identity, drug abuse, hustling, and alienation from family. A self-described "female-female spiritual transsexual," this intense, often painful personal journey eventually drew her to burlesque, which allowed her to embrace her femininity in a way that finally made her comfortable. In October 2013, Un-Gyve Press published "Shoot the Arrow: A Portrait of The World Famous *BOB*," a 112-image, hardcover, cloth bound book.
Identities Now: Contemporary Portrait Photography, Peter Hay Halpert, Peter Hay Halpert Fine Art, New York City, 2016 Shoot the Arrow: A Portrait of The World Famous *BOB*, Amy Touchette, Un-Gyve Press, Boston, 2013 Esquire magazine, Esquire Russia, Esquire, Moscow, 2011 Why Are You Surprised I'm Still Here?, Billy Kaufman, LoudMouth Press, Brooklyn, 2010
Amy Touchette is a fine art photographer based in New York City. Her photographs explore themes of social connectedness and aim to contribute to historical documentation. Trained at the International Center of Photography, she began her artistic career as a writer and painter, earning a BA in Literature and Studio Art and an MA in Literature. She is represented by ClampArt in New York City.
Her first monograph, "Shoot the Arrow: A Portrait of The World Famous *BOB*," was published by Un-Gyve Press (Boston) in 2013. The book launch and exhibition took place at ClampArt in October of 2013 and was well received by: Slate, Rangefinder magazine, the New York Observer, the Huffington Post, la Republicca (Italy), bant magazine (Istanbul), in addition to many other features/mentions. Her photographs have exhibited nationally and internationally, including Moscow MoMA (Russia), the Pingyao International Photography Festival (China), Arte Fiera OFF (Italy), Noorderlicht International Photofestival and Noorderlicht Gallery (Netherlands), and Leica Gallery-Warsaw (Poland).
Recently, her series "Street Dailies" showed at Max Fish in New York City. Over 100 of her candid daily camera phone pictures posted on Instagram and made on the streets of New York City were shown, also to notable acclaim: BuzzFeed (“Amy Touchette is a master of street photography in the busiest of all concrete jungles, New York City”), the Daily Beast, and PHOTO magazine (France). In addition, she wrote about her passion for photographing on the street for BagNews in “Ode to Light: Making Street Photography in a Cynical Age.”
She supports her fine art career as a freelance photography writer, working for photo industry standard publications such as PDN magazine, PDNedu, ASMP Bulletin, Rangefinder magazine, Emerging Photographer magazine (she edited the fall 2013 motion-themed issue), PIX magazine, and other publications. She also just began writing tutorials and articles for the website Tuts+, the first of which is a series on street photography.
She gives frequent artist talks, and has done so at the School of Visual Arts, the International Center of Photography, B & H Superstore in NYC, Strand Books (on the occasion of the publication of "Shoot the Arrow"), the SoHo Photo Gallery, Spazio Labo’ Centro di Fotografia photography workshop, and elsewhere.
Her photographs currently decorate the office of the U.S. Ambassador of Vienna, Austria, and from 2012-2014 did so for the U.S. Ambassador of Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
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