Twenty-two is a tentative age, where a young person is attempting to simultaneously figure out who they are, and what they want to do in life. Twenty-two year old Louie Banks however, has had both of those things down since his late teens.
His name may not be so well known, but his photography has blessed the pages of publications such as Elle and I-D magazine. Though he may be young, and his career in its germinative stage; Banks has had the opportunity to shoot some seriously powerful subjects, spanning from Kelis to Pam Hogg. Celebrities aside, Banks also often photographs his companions in drag. Whoever he chooses to capture, there’s just one requirement: “ [They must be] powerful, fuckable and im-portant.”
And these attributes are of course reflected in his imagery. Whether working exclusively in black and white (which Banks seemingly does often) or with full, vibrant colours; there is a bold, sugges-tive element to his photographs. His subjects, though speechless and immobile, speak volumes. Banks is not interested in capturing the docile or the innocent: he wants raw energy to radiate from each frame.
There’s much power in his own character. Banks is part of a growing number within the LGBT community who work within the art world to bring about change. As someone who dabbles in drag, he finds that “Every time I come away from it, [an evening dressed in drag], I have a feeling about what you should be promoting in the world. You try and be as loud and as proud as you can.” Banks believes that areas of the world and the gay community itself have a long way to go before acceptance can become the norm. If one thing is for sure though, it’s that Banks is set to help the cause; one photo and one drag evening at a time.