Nelson Morales: Musas Muxe (Muxe Muses)

12 September - 3 October 2020

New York, NY– Monica King Contemporary is pleased to announce the presentation of Nelson Morales: Musas Muxe/Muxe Muses, which is the first solo exhibition in New York City of the celebrated contemporary Mexican photographer’s work. Morales’ photography celebrates gender identity and fluidity in Mexican culture by creating vibrant and richly pigmented narratives within his imagery, providing a distinctive perspective on sexual diversity, gender expression, and the muxe tradition in Latin America.

Nelson Morales is acclaimed for his Muxe series—images of the vibrant muxe culture of the artist’s native Oaxaca, crafting the narrative scenes of Muxes, a community who challenge almost every Western idea of gender identity and are recognized as a “third gender”, living outside the binary in Tehuantepec, in southern Mexico. Through his deepening exploration of the group, he came to identify asmuxehimselfandalsobeganincorporatingself-portraitureintohispractice. Theseriesofdynamic photographic work has emerged as a deeply intimate perspective on the life of these individuals. Morales notes of this ongoing exploration, “The muxes are part of me and my culture. They are beautiful and terrible; dual beings who, rather than defining themselves as homosexuals, have transcended the idea of gender to assume a totally new identity in a constant search for a notion of beauty. Two genres into one body.”


The gallery will host a preview open house to commemorate this exhibition on Saturday, September 12th from 11 AM – 6 PM.



Nelson Morales (b. 1982) currently lives and works in Mexico City, Mexico. He has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Mexico, the United States and internationally including Malaysia, Colombia, Germany, Portugal, the Netherlands, and in Spain at PHotoEspaña, Madrid (2015). Morales has photographed LGBTQ cultures in Colombia, Mexico and the United States. His work was recently included in Transamerica/n: Gender, Identity, Appearance Today at the McNay Art Museum, San Antonio (2019), Encounters, The Photography Gallery, University of the Arts, Philadelphia and at the 18th Biennial at the Centro de la Imágen, Mexico City, Mexico (2019). Notable group exhibitions include Foam X Hydra: Nelson Morales and Diego Morena at Foam Fotografiamuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Reveal and Detonate (Develar y Detonar): Contemporary Mexican Photography CA 2015, CentroCentro Cibeles/PhotoEspana, Madrid, Spain (2015), Centro Nacional de las Artes/FotoMexico, Mexico City (2016), Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, North Carolina (2017), ; Exposed/Expuesta, and The Light Factory, Charlotte, North Carolina (2017). He was recently a nominee for the World Press Photo 2020 in Joop Swart Masterclass in Amsterdam and was selected by AIR gallery in NYC in the competition “An overwhelming response.” His work has been published in several magazines, such as MexicanísimoVogue Italia, and Vice Magazine México and Colombia. Aperture selected his work for the spread of the Future Gender issue. The artist has also been featured in New York TimesL’Œil de la PhotographieTETUCurated by GirlsCollective CultureSoft PageLatphotomagazineThe Charlotte Observer, and Time Out. Morales currently teaches photography workshops and develops personal projects focused on sexual diversity in Latin America. He remains dedicated to using photography as a means to illustrate that while we may have diverse gender expressions, we are fundamentally the same, deserving equal respect and opportunities. He holds a BA from the Universidad Jose Vasconcelos, Oaxaca, Mexico.



Monica King Contemporary was opened by gallerist Monica King (M A Art History , W ashington University in St. Louis) in fall of 2019 at 39 Lispenard Street in Tribeca. The gallery program, headed by the 17-year art world veteran (formerly with Pace Gallery and Paul Kasmin Gallery, among others) is dedicated to an unwavering vision of equally supporting emerging, mid-career, and established artists in a manner that both builds and continues to nourish individual artist careers; encourages collectors from all walks of life to approach art with an unmistakable sense of curiosity and joy; and celebrates the vital contribution that contemporary art brings to our collective society and to each of our individual souls. Since opening last September, Monica King Contemporary has been featured in Artforum, Artnet, ARTnews, the Art Newspaper, the Observer, and Whitewall among others.


Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 11 AM to 5 PM and by private appointment. For inquiries, information, and private appointments please contact us at For press images, please see media contact below.



Leily Soleimani |
Sarah Brown McLeod |