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Tuesday 10.21.14

An Exclusive Preview of Jeremy Kost’s Newest Photographs

We also chat with the photographer about his latest book FRACTURED

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Photographer Jeremy Kost has a brand new photography book tittled FRACTURED, it consists of “multiple-exposure Polaroids of young, stereotypically beautiful men…” with plenty of peen on display! The images contained in the book are mysterious and have a beautiful dreamy quality to them. Jeremy created this layered effect by using dated film and the “process of double exposing in daylight.” We reached out to the artist to asked him a few questions and learn more about his new project. He also sent us a group of “exclusive” images that are not contained in the book. If you are in NYC, he’s having a book signing at Bookmarc on October 21 from 6:00Pm-8:00PM.

 

When did you start creating this body of work? The work started about 2.5 years ago by chance really. A Polaroid was jammed in my camera and I shot the frame again to try to get it to eject. The result was beautiful and I’ve been working to explore and perfect the process since!

 

How do the images differ from the ones you’ve created before? Well, in essence I think of these as sort of collapsed collages. Abstractions, landscapes, figures, all slammed together into a single dream like frame. All of the previous work that people know have been single, straightforward Polaroids. Singular in vision and form. The collages, while abstracted, are still more literal than the new work.

 

What polaroid camera and film did you use to create these images? Spectra cameras and dead stock Polaroid film mostly. It all expired in 2009 and was made in 2008. Each frame is super precious because it’s literally running out with every click.

 

Did you create this work with the idea of making a book in mind? Not really. I was making the work and through the creative process, Sam Shahid (who really is a genius even given all our head butting over the years) challenged me to do it. When we turned the book into Damiani, even they were surprised… In a good way!
Why is the book called Fractured?  The title really goes back to the images being “fractured.” Almost like you’re waking up from a dream and you can kinda sorta put them back together but you can’t quite.  It’s also looking at this fracturing of identity and body and specifically facade and the physical plane.

 

Can you tell me more about the process of creating that layered ghost-like effect in your pictures. There have to be some secrets left in the world, no?  It’s a much more laborious process than people might suspect, especially with the neon images. They happen in multiple moments which take a lot of patience and “sticking to it” so to speak.

 

How many boys did you photograph for this project? I made around 3,800 Polaroids of something like 55 guys as I was making this book. Not all are in the book for a variety of reasons. The nice thing about art is that it’s timeless and can always come back in the future!

 

How many of the boys got naked? Well, almost all. I’m not big on talking about shooting individuals (kinda like not kissing and telling) but generally, if someone isn’t comfortable with some form of nudity (frontally exposed or not) I pass on shooting them. My casting process has gotten super tight.

 

What’s the point you are trying to make with this body of work? I’m not sure there is a point so to speak. They represent a vision that’s been developing for the last couple of years and continues to take new forms with more flowers and more text. I’m sort of a fan of the idea of making art that you want to see for yourself and that you hope people like vs having some super direct point.

 

 

 

 

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Saturday 10.18.14

The Sexual Diary of Adam Seymour

Two new books explore the Australian's unique childhood.

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When tracing our sexual exploration, most of us use puberty as the starting point. Not so for Adam Seymour, aka Rural Ranga. This red-headed Aussie from the back country (or Rural Ranga) says that he was sexual “right from the beginning.” And he doesn’t find this out of the ordinary. “Most people feel uncomfortable discussing the sexuality of children,” he told me, “but I feel my childhood was full of these experiences, and I’m sure others will relate.” Well, he certainly isn’t shy about sharing sexual past in his two art books, available for purchase. HOMOlita and Wank Bank may document two very different times in his life — childhood and his thirties — but they’re joined by his unique aesthetic and playful prose. And, of course, all the sex.

 

HOMOlita begins with his birth and offers a series of sexual vignettes, one for each year, until puberty struck at the age of 16. At three, he was kissing photos of the men scattered throughout his father’s secret porn collection. At nine, he’d wait until his brother fell asleep at sleepovers before climbing over to the friends to 69. At 13, he fucked a blow-up alien toy till it popped. With such a colorful beginning, perhaps it’s not surprised that he took to erotic massages to help make ends meet as a newly arrived artist in New York City. As he so perfectly puts it on the first page of Wank Bank, the book was 100% funded “by the flicks of my wrist” — he wanked guys off to make bank. In it he offers snapshots of his life as a happy-ending masseur, accompanied by illustrations of clients. Some were sexy, some were sweet, some were too sweaty and some were, unfortunately, soiled.

 

In these collections, Seymour shares his own, very personal experiences. But by opening up about aspects of our sexuality often stigmatized and glossed over, these books welcome us all to think. They’re also just a lot of fun.

 

Some images from Wank Bank:

 

 

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Pick up your copies here and at Printed Matter in NYC.

Thursday 10.16.14

DICK: The Documentary

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I used to play this game with a genius make-up-artist friend of mine, Way Bandy, who sadly passed away from AIDS years ago. We would start sniffing when we saw a hot guy. “Sniff, sniff, sniff”, we would go until one of us would  stop and ask, “Do you smell what I smell???” And in unison we would chant “Dicky, dicky, dicky, dick, dick, dick” and end up having quite a good chuckle while releasing some sexual tension. Which leads me to this movie Dick: The Documentary — a literal parade of dicks coming at you one at a time in no particular order framed from the chest down to the knees in one steady locked off shot. As you leisurely stare at the cock before you its “owner” starts candidly talking about subjects relating to his cock — his first orgasm, jerking off experiences, thoughts about its size, how others feel about its size, and so on.

 

The film came together when first time director Brian Fender posted an ad on Craigslist inviting strangers into his house: “Wanted: Anonymous Naked Male Subjects to appear on camera for interviews.” Believe it or not he got 63 New Yorkers to appear; monks, firemen ex marines, heterosexuals, transexuals and more. How could you go wrong? It’s a must see! Even the film’s female publicist had something revealing to add,“Considering I don’t have a penis, I was surprised I also liked the film.” Well if you like dick, ALL kinds of dick, then you must splurge on the $4.95 streaming fee to watch Dick: The Documentary, you may never view your member the same way again.

 

Stream the film here.

 

 

Watch the trailer below:

Tuesday 10.14.14

The opening of Gio Black Peter’s SEE YOU IN HELL

The exhibition is now on view at the Bureau of General Services — Queer Division

Monday 10.13.14

American Apparel in Drag

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American Apparel has always been a big supporter of the LGBTQ community. They’ve produced towels in collaboration with Butt Magazine featuring big hairy bare chested bears, they made the “GAY O.K.” T-shirt, and now the brand is releasing a set of 3 T-shirts featuring queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race.

 

We reached out to Jonny Szymanski at American Apparel to find out more about the collaboration and how it all came about.

 

Why did you guys decide to do this line of T-shirts? We like to think of this collection as a continuation of the “Support Artists, Support Ethical Manufacturing” line that we produced with artist, Petra Collins, about a year ago. These queens are multitalented performance artists and we wanted to pay homage to them with a line of limited edition t-shirts.

 

Who is the brains behind this? I sparked the initial conversation with the powers that be and it didn’t take long for everyone to get on board with making this drag dream a reality. American Apparel is great about letting all employees contribute creative ideas.

 

Why Alaska, Courtney and Willam? I worked with Willam and Courtney ages ago for a drag makeover show that I hosted and co-produced called “Transfashionable..” Getting them involved with my work at American Apparel came naturally. The girls in the office and I are all HUGE fans of Alaska, so we had to have her as well. It surprisingly worked out that all three of them were in LA at the time we had set aside for the initial photo shoot.

 

Is this an international campaign or only in the us? Guys — We’re talking about WOMEN OF THE WORLD here!

 

What was the concept for their looks? Initially, I wanted them to give classic — simple-original-early 2000s — AA trade show girl realness. We captured that in some of the shots but when you fill a photo studio with tons of clothes and three drag queens, anything can happen…and it did!

 

 

Check out the video below to see the girls in action.

 

 

 

Saturday 10.11.14

NEW SIGHTS, NEW NOISE

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Last Tuesday I visited NEW SIGHTS, NEW NOISE, a fascinating project generated by Michael Stipe in collaboration with NYU students, faculty, and guest artists. 80WSE‘s gallery has been transformed into a constantly changing laboratory where Stipe keeps a studio in part of the galleries for the duration of his residency, and the rest of the space teems with images projected on the walls and floor. Based on the concept of aggregation, the images when I visited had been curated by Stipe and spanned a fantastic range from historical to abstract. Corbis stock photos of President Nixon and his alleged gay lover reverberated against idyllic seaside photos and grid based models of human bodies. You can peek into Stipe’s studio through gaps in the wood walls that separate it from the rest of the space, and will be treated to a view into the backstage of artistic production. An issue of the New York Times encased in plexiglass mingles with a carton of water, a pair of German army trainers, and a bronze cassette replica.

 
You can visit the gallery Tuesday – Saturday from 10:30AM – 6:00PM, but you may want to schedule your visit to coincide with a special happening that will occur this weekend. On Saturday, October 11th, the projections will be curated by NYU undergraduate David Muñoz with help by fellow classmates Christina Blue, Jongyoon Choi, Ira Dae Young Kim, Daniel Mock and Serina Wei; and from 4:00PM – 6:00PM will be accompanied by music from Taul Paul and Cazwell. I’ve been assured that the afternoon happening is not be missed, and that a special surprise is in store!

Wednesday 10.08.14

Tom of Finland Art Fair 2014

Scenes from the international art fair at Tom House in Los Angeles

Tuesday 10.07.14

Alive in California

An exhibition in LA of limited edition 35mm prints

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The California based artist Alex Marsh King has a new exhibition of limited edition 35mm prints at Voila Gallery that opens on October 11th at 8:00PM and closes on Oct. 15th. The show tittled Alive in California is a depiction of “the colors, vibrancy and moments that are intrinsic to Southern California life — lush lifestyle living, and lovely men to be specific.” Alex told us why he only works with film “I have always loved the look of film and when everyone started shooting digital, I fell out of love with photography. 15 years later, I picked up my Leica again and was reminded of the power of light & chemical reaction when dealing with our objects of desire…”

 

After the artist started getting lots of positive responses about this body of work, he decided to dig into his film archives and put this exhibition together. The show contains photographs of “beautiful near-naked men, and other colorful natural subject matter.” All work will be available for purchase at the event, along with his magazine Light Luster — a collection of 40 pages of still life set against the male form. Also, expect a performance by the indie surf rock band Rachel Goodrich and The Grrrls. Below is a preview of some of the work that will be on display…

 

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FREE, 8:00PM, Voila Gallery, 518 N. La Brea Los Angeles, CA.

 

 

Monday 10.06.14

Hi, Will

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Will is 24 years old and was born and raised in Nederland, Texas. He told me about when he first discovered he liked boys, “I can remember back in first grade having a little kid crush on a classmate, as little kids you play truth or dare, and I can remember this one day where my friend was dared to kiss this boy and so we made this huge deal of it and she finally kissed him and I remember watching and thinking I wanna do that!!! But with the boy… That’s when I knew something was up.” Will has a boyfriend: “I’m in love right now…”

 

His favorite body parts are his calf muscles, “being a dancer makes me have some real powerful legs and I’m very proud of my calves…” On another guy Will is attracted to “nice and strong arms, and the eyes — I’m all about getting lost deep into someone’s soul through their eyes. Is that creepy?” A perfect date for him would be a picnic in the park, “Some good conversation, a cheap glass of red wine and some Strawberry shortcake.”  He feels sexy when he’s dancing in his 6 inch black heels to Beyonce’s new album.

 

Will is currently a contestant on this season of America’s Next Top Model and apparently he’s the only gay model on the show, “I am really proud of myself for making it on the show and being the only proud gay man.” He told me that he really loved working with Tyra, she’s “the most amazingly fiercely perfect thing in the world! YAS GAWD.” Will told me more about the show: “it such a vulnerable experience to put myself through and I would love if all the things that I share and my personal struggles can help anyone else out there who’s also struggling.” 

 

When it’s time for him to go to bed, he’s more comfortable in the nude, “Do people wear clothes when they go to bed?” He’s the happiest when he is “in the arms of those I love or just being with my family.”  His dream career would be a “dance teacher for the rest of my life — I teach dance back home in Texas and nothing gives me more joy than to see kids grow and learn how to dance.” 

 

We asked Will to take a few selfies wearing our GAYLETTER Classic T-shirt, here’s what he came up with…

 

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Friday 10.03.14

Rebels Rebel

Art Activism during the AIDS Crisis

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Tommaso Speretta‘s Rebels Rebel: AIDS, Art and Activism in New York, 1979-1989 is the most recent in a series of works that bring to light the activism surrounding the outbreak of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Along with the documentaries How to Survive a Plague and United in Anger, Rebels Rebel joins an emergent history, giving voice to a Queer movement born out of crisis. In order to construct his narrative, Speretta looks to the art collectives involved in producing art propaganda, or agitprop. Merging written and visual histories, Rebels Rebel reflects a moment where the lines between art, politics, pop culture and social theory were purposefully blurred by AIDS activists bent on creating greater awareness for the growing epidemic. Speretta adeptly articulates the ways artists, and those involved in AIDS activism, repurposed advertising, marketing and communication techniques to combat an indifferent media and government.

 

Tracing the multiple axes of resistance utilized by ACT UP, Rebels Rebel paints an unsentimental picture of both the pain that comes with losing loved ones and the artistic pleasures that come with using art to make a difference. In the process, Speretta gives readers a look at life and death in queer New York before marriage equality and the mainstreaming of the Gay Rights Movement.

 

He concludes the book with an essay on his personal experience of coming out at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic and working alongside AIDS activists to create a voice for people largely ignored or deemed undeserving of help by an increasingly conservative public. It is Speretta’s ability to bring together the disparate pieces of the AIDS crisis — the personal, political, artistic, institutional and commercial — that makes Rebels Rebel a great book to own.

 

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Get your copy here.