“Lovers or Friends? sheds light on one of our most basic human needs – touch. More Americans are living alone and staying single longer and it is becoming even more important for us all to be reminded of one simple fact: we fail to thrive without physical contact.

So what happens to people who don’t have a partner or children? How do they fulfill their needs for touch and satiate their skin hunger? I am a firm believer that the intimacy between friends is just as important and powerful as the intimacy and love shared between partners or lovers.

As a queer Black woman, I have found that the LGBTQ+ community has consistently been a model for intimacy that extends beyond what our society has deemed as “normal.” Love is love – and we choose to love and support each other in spaces where others may be unable to love us as we are. We all need a reminder that our needs for touch and intimate connections are normal.”

Alexis Hunley

Alexis Hunley is a self taught photographer based in Los Angeles. Her work is highly collaborative and aims to convey and celebrate the complexity of various lived experiences, including her own. Her recent coverage of the protests surrounding George Floyd’s death and Black Lives Matter gained notable attention and was published by Wired magazine and Rolling Stone. She has undertaken commissions for New York magazine and is a member of the See In Black collective.