A chat with Luis Venegas, the creator of one of our favorite publications.
We received the latest issue of EY! MAGATEEN in the mail last week wrapped in plastic with a pair of Diesel underwear, six sexy postcards and some fake dollars to give to go-go boys. This issue is xxxtra special, it’s their first New York issue, and is filled with lots of nudity — it’s super sexy and gives us plenty of dirty thoughts…
All photos were taken by Steven Klein, portraying the models as bad boys, which we can’t get enough of. It inspired us so much we even photographed a bad boy of our own holding the issue naked (pictured). We had the chance to chat with Luis Venegas, the Editor, Publisher and Creative Director of the magazine about the issue.
How did EY! MAGATEEN start? It started in 2008 because I felt it was the right time to do a sexy magazine with young boys for young boys and their girlfriends. I was doing Fanzine137 and I loved it — I still do — but I felt it only showed one side of me, that side related to archival material, arts, and deep interviews. I wanted to do a magazine that was the opposite, with flashy headlines, splashy-full-pages pics and short, funny, cute texts. No more, no less.
Why did you choose NEW YORK for this issue? Why not? NYC is the most exciting city in the world and EY! Magateen is supposed to be the most exciting Magateen in the world, so…
What’s special to you about the NY issue? It’s bigger, it’s 40 more pages than the previous issues, it features 30 models, it’s been entirely styled by Nicola Formichetti, it includes Diesel underwear briefs as a gift, plus 24 EY! fake dollars, 6 postcards, 2 gatefold posters… would you like me to go on?
How did you pick the models featured in the issue? Steven Klein, Nicola Formichetti and I asked the casting director Douglas Perrett (from COACD) for the most exciting guys in NYC. Usually the guys in EY! are new faces and no older than 22 or so… but this time we decided to print many more pages, so we could skip that “rule” and feature some older guys, because they’re GREAT, like the fabulous Sebastian Sauvé or the Baker twins.
Was it hard to get some of the models to show their penises? Not really. I mean, there were some who preferred not to show, so we didn’t insist. And some others agreed to the idea, so they just did it.
Was it easier to get them to show their butts? It’s always easier for guys — models and not models — to show their butts, isn’t it? I mean, in the case of butts “size doesn’t matter,” I couldn’t say the same for penises… By the way, all the guys featured in the new EY! have really great butts!
How did Steven Klein get involved? We did the 4th issue of EY! (the Argenteena issue) in 2009 together and since then we had been talking about doing a monster issue featuring NYC boys at night… so finally we found the right time to make it happen.
How did Diesel get involved? Nicola has contributed to my magazines for a long time, and again, we had been talking about doing an issue of EY! together. After he became the Creative Director of Diesel, it seemed the perfect time to make it happen!
What are the advantages and disadvantages of running your magazines from Madrid? I love living in Madrid… so from my own point of view, honestly, it’s all about advantages.
Who’s your favorite male model? Matt Ardell and our cover boy, Liam Dean!
You’ve created four magazines: Fanzine137, EY! MAGATEEN and Candy. How do you find the time? I’m just a passionate, enthusiastic, professional, resolutive and strict hard worker.
Your Instagram often features photos of celebrities from past and present. Who’s your favorite person in pop culture now and from the past? In pop culture now maaaaany people but if I had to chose just three I guess they’d be Justin Bieber, Barbra Streisand and Laverne Cox. From the past, Andy Warhol, obviously.
Below are some of our favorite images from the issue and the two different cover versions they printed:
A party created by David Sokolowski & Paul Leopold
This is a great way to kick off the 420 weekend, it’s a long long long weekend (or at least it’s going to feel long) and it’s one of the most important holidays (screw Easter) of the year — at least it is for us. On Saturday April 19th, Join David Sokolowski and Paul Leopold (AKA Boywolf), for Psychic Spring. Paul told me they are super excited because this is their “first official party” that they have produced together. We’ve heard so much about this party so our expectations are very high, like super high. We’re told that “psychedelic portals to the unknown will be opened and explored through special light installations, moments of spoken word and inspired physical actions.” Cool. There’s too many hosts to actually list, so here’s a few of our favorites: Bcalla (who will be selling looks at event), Earl Dax, Horrorchata, Issa Israel, Max Steele, Untitled Queen, Wil Fisher, Manifestany Squirtz, Santiago Felipe, Dusty Shoulders and many more. Paul calls the hosts some “most inspiring producers and artists in Brooklyn…”
The music for the party is provided by Sokolowski, Mikëy Hefez, JLamar, Jx Cannon, Jacky Sommer, Vivian Baron, Riki Razo and A Village Raid. The Djs will be ”paired in tag-team duos with 2-hour sets that will give you the freshest incremental sonic experience of the season.” Prepare to do some serious soul searching at this party, it sounds like it’s gonna get deep.
$8 ADVANCED TICKETS / $12 AT THE DOOR, 11:00PM, MISTER ROGERS, 231 ROGERS AVE. BROOKLYN, NY.
Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini break down the powerful documentary
Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini met at a party in the West Village about 8 years ago while they were both attending NYU. Dan Sickles is 26 from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Antonio is 25 from San Juan, Puerto Rico. They are the directors of the film Mala Mala, a documentary about the transgender community of Puerto Rico that’s now playing at the Tribeca Film Festival. We were drawn to this powerful story and decided to reach out to the directors, to shoot them and ask them some questions.
Tell me about when you first met?
Dan Sickles: It was at a party in the West Village?
Antonio Santini: Yeah…I walked in and he was wearing a sombrero, and the party was really boring. It was my birthday the next week, so I sent him a Facebook message and was like “hey, you want to come to my party? As my date?”
DS: He asked if I’d come and I went and I don’t know, we just started hanging out after that.
AS: And we became friends.
Did you guys date right after that?
DS: No, we’ve never dated.
When did you start working on this film?
DS: Almost three years ago, December 2011.
So how did you become interested in the transexual community in Puerto Rico?
DS: That’s a bit of a long story. Antonio and I had met this drag queen Maggie, in Austin, Texas. It was at a competition at this club, and she was incredible, but a terrible drag queen in most senses, like she wasn’t a good dancer, she wasn’t into the whole lip singing thing, she had props that were like used almost like weapons. She was in her own stratosphere. She lost the competition that night and Antonio and I went up to her afterwards, and we were like “Hey, you are fabulous, and we like love your spirit, can we hang out tomorrow and like, whatever,” and she was like “yeah totally!” So she invited us to her house in Northern Austin, in the suburbs right outside the city. We went there, and we ended up spending the entire day with her.
Leaving her house, it was like an experience that had a huge impact on both of us, in similar ways and also some very different ways. Talking in the car on the way back, it was like “Oh, there’s no platform for voices like hers.” You don’t often hear from people who are experiencing what Maggie’s experiencing. In that car ride we decided to continue pursuing the themes of gender, and transgendered and transsexuality. We discussed a few different locations and we decided that Puerto Rico, was by far the most interesting one to continue with and to turn into some sort of feature length project. Yeah, I think that’s it.
What was the criteria for selecting the subjects for the film?
AS: The process for finding them was really organic. We started off with April Carrion, who was this girl I went to high school with and when I went to high school she was just like a boy who was there, who people like made fun of and called gay, and yelled at during assemblies but then when we were at the office, discussing what we were going to do, we put it on Facebook and someone sent us this video of her, and she was like this rising star in the island and she was doing this impersonation of Liza Minnelli, and we were like “woah, she’s amazing.” So, we were like we have to go down. So the first day we went down there, we drove up to her house with a camera and started shooting her, and she asked “Why do you guys want to film me?” and we were like “We are trying to figure it out.” Through her we met all her drag friends, from her house (the Doll House), and then Dan was getting a haircut at Bumble and Bumble, and got put in touch with Sophia who is another one of the subjects, who’s actually from New York but moved to Puerto Rico to open up the biggest gay club on the island. Which closed.
DS: Yeah it closed unfortunately. But then there was a certain point where we were definitely looking to fill in certain gaps that we hadn’t found in the drag community. So at some point we were hanging out in the area, and it’s Sandy and a lot of the transexual workers work right outside the gay clubs where the drag queens are performing. So we’d see them every night and finally we were like, we need to get them in the film. We need some people who work the streets, like that’s a whole aspect of the community that we haven’t covered yet. Once we were tapped into that community, we realized we didn’t have contact with anybody who was on the opposite end of the spectrum — someone who was born female and identifies as a guy. We actually found Paxx Moll, through Instagram.
AS: He was a fan of the movie. Which was interesting he had been following the project, and then Dan saw this guy who kept liking all the photos, like all of them…
DS: So it was like holy shit, we gotta go back right away. He was someone who we didn’t know would make it in the final product, but we knew we needed to talk to him.
Why was he the only F to M in the movie?
DS: None of the people at the outreach centers who we talked to, knew of anyone else. They didn’t even know of Paxx, he was purely through Instagram. In terms of anyone who’s actually transitioned to male, they aren’t in contact with any of the outreach centers in Puerto Rico. So there’s no real organization or structure to kind of get in touch with that specific element of the community.
AS: And like in terms of the language on the island, F to M doesn’t really exist. If anything that’s just like a butcha, like a butch lesbian. If they’re like “I feel like a guy,” it’s like no “you’re a tough girl.” The other side with the girls, its like that’s a woman. It’s very clear it’s not a gay man, it’s a woman. It just doesn’t work the same way on both sides.
They’re not used to that yet.
DS: Well I think generally, universally speaking there’s this roar between butch lesbians and trans men, and where that line is drawn within the community is always up for dispute, I think somebody like Paxx is very well aware that nobody sees him as a trans man, rather just as a butch lesbian, which to her seems reductive.
It is reductive, he needs to come to a place like New York.
DS: He’s also someone that uses the term gender queer too. He operates on a vagueness that not many people can understand, because the term is so broad.
AS: He doesn’t really want to be a man. He wanted to transition, but he doesn’t want to say “I am a man.”
Can you tell us about the title, Mala Mala.
AS: “Mala Mala” is what girls use when they get their period, like “estoy mala.” And then the drag queens have repropriated it and they use it when they are excited, it’s almost like in cartoons when a chicken gets excited and she drops an egg. (Laughs)
DS: (Laughs) I actually love that image.
So when they are fierce and they are painted – It’s like “Ooh Mala, Mala girl” kind of thing.
AS: For example if an article comes out about them, they’ll say “estoy mala,” like they’re in heat, they get so excited, it’s like an attitude, an energy that they feel.
DS: Alberic Prados, specifically in the film, he was using that all the time, basically for anything. We always had this idea that we’d hear the title for the film from one of the subjects, like we’d hear it while we were filming, because up until then we had working titles like “Sexy Tropical” was the working title for a bit.
AS: We were drunk when we came up with that one so…
I think Mala, Mala is great, it’s very Almodovar. Was any member of the cast helpful in finding the other subjects?
DS: Ivana Fred specifically led us to the transexual sex worker community, she’s the most famous transexual on the island. Everyone knows who she is, she works with one of the outreach centers, so she knows all the girls on the streets, she knows all the girls in the clubs. Anybody could turn to Ivana and ask her, what’s happening in Santurce tonight, she’s going to know. As soon as we were connected to her, through one of the outreach centers, she opened the door to the transexual community.
What was it like filming the prostitutes in the streets at night?
DS: It was really hard because I’d say that Antonio and I are more interested in shooting narrative stuff, which is obviously more controlled, you’re in an environment that you’ve created and you are providing this safe space to have all this magic happen and on the street you’re kind of working in the opposite direction. We tried all different things, there were lots of different ways that we tried to shoot Sandy on the street, there was one night where our cameraman Adam Uhl, and I just camped out in the back of Sandy’s car for three hours and she had a mic attached to her clutch, we were just trying to pick up some audio between her and the johns to see what that dynamic was like. We tried that once, we tried being on the street with her with the camera, but that would have stopped business.
Who would want to come up to a prostitute with a camera crew?
DS: Yeah, exactly.
AS: They would just drive away.
So you killed business for them?
DS: And that’s the difficulty too, because Sandy was down to like — here’s my life, you guys come with me whenever you want, however we can make use of this time, let’s do it. Which was huge and awesome, but at the same time, she’s working that job because she needs the money.
You never paid any of your subjects?
DS: We had to compensate some of them for time that they lost while working to film with us. If there were certain events that we needed them for, and they had jobs that day we would be like hey, if you’re making 60 bucks, we will give you $60 just so you can be on this shoot with us. But other than that, no.
AS: It was hard to get in touch with them because they don’t have their phones on them while they are working, so we would literally wait in the car because they are used to getting jumped. So we would drive around the area, there’s this club that we would go to just to wait for them and then we would just drive until we would be like “Oh, there’s Ivana on the corner, there’s Sandy over there,” and even though they were down to film, if they saw us when they were working it wouldn’t be that easy. To Sandy we would be like, “Sandy! Oh she didn’t hear us because she’s working.” No she could hear us, but she was avoiding us.
DS: A lot of the shots that we ended up using, those are the shots that we grabbed in the span of three minutes, like at 5:30, 6:00am in the morning, at the very end of her night. Like literally, we would grab the car set everything up, get the shot, get back in the car and then just wait. That’s the kind of footage that’s in the film.
It felt very real, I lived in Santurce for one year. I remember my father driving me around that area when I was little, and asking him what those ladies doing, I knew they were prostitutes and I just thought they were biological women. That’s what they looked like to me.
AS: I think most people on the island have the same experience as you, they just drive by and see this stuff happening. We got so used to people being like “Oh, tonight we want to hang out with you, where are you going?,” we’d be like we are going to this street and this bar, and they’d be like “What, you go there?” It’s just like the worst street, you know what I mean, it’s the best street and it’s the worst.
What’s the name of the street?
AS: Calle Condado.
DS: It’s such a vibrant area, yeah it’s amazing.
AS: Everyone ends up there, that’s the thing.
Was your intention at the beginning of filming for the film to have such a strong political focus?
DS: No, I mean with a documentary, it’s always changing. So you have to modify your goals and aspirations for it, as it’s happening. The political stuff happened, I’d say the last quarter of production, we had a lot of interviews. We had over 275 hours worth of footage at the end of all of it. But the political aspect of it really really took off, that was last may, and we had been filming for three years, so if that’s any indication, this whole thing kind of blew up. I think it was one day Ivana, called Antonio and was like “hey so we are speaking at the senate,” and Antonio was like “hey, what? You have to let us know these things.” So we rushed back down to Puerto Rico to cover everything and all those things that led up to it.
It added such an amazing creative element to the film. To cover her outfit, to see what she wore. (Laughs)
AS: She killed it. She knows what she was doing.
DS: And that’s her conservative look.
Oh yeah that’s what I mean. She was incredible in the doc.
DS: All of them are, and that’s the whole political thing, it really became like a main element of the film, because it was so compelling, you have Sandy who is showing up at the senate at the courthouse and then later that night going to the street, selling her body to make whatever money she can.
AS: The thing with them is that they showed up. If they don’t show up, no one else is showing up. So what you saw in the film, that was the only trans representation that was there, and if they’re not there then they don’t exist. So you know Ivana, is very aware of that, and Ivana is the one that wrangles them and is like “Yo, you have to get it together, you have to come. Wear something nice.”
I mean, she’s everything. She’s brains and body.
DS: She is.
So have any of you have done drag before?
DS: Only on halloween and I love doing drag on Halloween.
AS: Tell them about your Marie Antoinette.
DS: Marie Antoinette, who else did I do? JonBénet Ramsey one year. I kind of look at Halloween costumes as all drag, whatever your gender.
The Brooklyn Drag event is celebrating it's anniversary
The Brooklyn drag scene is so hot right now. With events and parties like Bushwig, Be Cute, and Rupaul’s Drag Race Mondays with Alotta McGriddles and Merrie Cherry, every single night in this borough is a drag. And we are HERE for it.
This Thursday, April 17th marks the second anniversary of DRAGnet, the party baby of Miss Merrie Cherry. “I started DRAGnet, because at the time drag was not extremely present in Brooklyn,” Merrie told us. “I wanted more and definitely got it. It seemed like a few months after DRAGnet started, drag started to explode in Brooklyn. I am not sure how much I had to do with all of this, I am just happy it happened and people are able find some kind of happiness on stage.” Yes, ma’am. We are, too.
The monthly soiree takes place at Metropolitan Bar, and is both a show and a contest. The competition began in January and ends in July. Each winner from each month’s party will compete for $150 cash and a three-month co-hosting position with Merrie Cherry. Too, TOO fun!
M.C. will be your MC for the night, alongside the other counterparts of the performing art collective Turntup Trifecta: Horrorchata and Untitled Queen. There will be a whole slew of performances by a whole bunch of queens and kweenz, including Darrell Thorne, Miz Jade, Minnie Cupcakes, Aja Nicole Marie, Elle Emenopé, Lady Simon, Charlene, and Issa Israel. And MORE! So get into it.
FREE, 11:00PM, METROPOLITAN, 559 LORIMER ST. BROOKLYN, NY.
A new exciting photo book by the artist Jack Pierson
The photographer and artist Jack Pierson has a new book published by Bywater Bros. Editions and Presentation House Gallery. The publication Tomorrow’s Man, Lynn Valley 9 Book shows a combination of familiar images from Pierson’s collection, vintage ‘Physique’ magazines, celebrity imagery, “oddball ephemera,” and more. It also contains work by other artists including Richard Tinkler, Jeff Elrod, Evan Whale and a short story by Veralyn Behenna entitled ‘The Lobster.’
The softcover book is 6 3/8 x 10 inches with 84 colorful pages and fully illustrated, it’s not your typical photo book, it’s layout is beautifully designed in an unconventional way, using dynamic collages, and images are placed loosely throughout in an inventive way “with complete disregard for page breaks and centerfolds…” I find this book refreshing and inspiring.
Below are a selection of pages from the book:
Our selection of not-to-be-missed LGBTQ films.
The Tribeca Film Festival starts this Thursday, April 17th and runs until the 27th. There are countless films, over 100 titles and shorts, but just a handful of LGBTQ films of interest, so I thought I’d just cut to the chase and simply list them here for you. I desperately tried to attend screenings of each but got lost in a sea of publicists so only managed to see half of the six playing.
I am confident the following titles will be standouts:
Pelo Malo (Bad Hair):
This film is a thoroughly engaging and at times heart wrenching tale about a young boy, Junior, living with his single mother in Caracas, Venezuela who wants nothing more than to straighten his unruly hair — “a fixation that stirs homophobic panic in his overtaxed mother.” Junior tries an array of home spun procedures to get smooth shiny hair and even gets half a blow-out from his grandma all to no avail. The doting grandmother and female best friend add some levity to the situation that has a poignant and bittersweet end.
A total immersion into the transgender community of Puerto Rico, Mala Mala which basically means “fierce” as in a heightened feeling of elation, as opposed to it’s original meaning, “I’m on my period” covers all the territory from political activism to street walking/prostitution. We follow a diverse cast in this riveting documentary as they campaign for human rights, by appearing in civil court to plead their case for equal employment in the work place. I won’t tell you how it turns out except to say the film is totally “Mala Mala!”
On the heels of his successful 2012 film Keep The Lights On, director Ira Sachs brings us this new take on modern love. Starring actors John Lithgow and Alfred Molina who play a couple separated by extenuating circumstances, Love is Strange takes us on a roller coaster ride of emotion as the two men sort out their relationship up close and at a distance. Sachs never disappoints, I totally look forward to seeing this film.
I just love the writings of Susan Sontag, especially her book ‘On Photography.‘ What a great opportunity this is to have an intimate look at her life written in her own words and narrated by actress Patricia Clarkson. Susan discusses her early infatuation with books, her first experience in a gay bar, her marriage and her last lover, celebrated photographer Annie Liebowitz. Filmmaker, professor, literary icon and political activist, all boiled into one extraordinary tour de force whose work still resonates with great vitality today.
I didn’t see this film but it sounds like a real gem from Sweden that explores the big question of gender and sexuality. There are two main characters who enter a relationship, one defying gender norms, Sebastian and the other straight identifying Andreas. Apparently Sebastian wants to transition to become “Ellie” and Andreas can’t deal with the fact that he is attracted to a man. Sounds like a perfect set up for a thoroughly engaging and thought provoking film.
I started to watch this movie from a reclining position in my bed and thought it was thoroughly engrossing but fell asleep before the end (but don’t let that deter you). What I can tell you is there is a sword wielding figure wearing a white dress running around the forest in East Germany killing people. There’s also a straight laced cop who, as the press notes state “Becomes increasingly powerless to resist the draw of the Samurai’s feral otherness” It’s a bit kinky and scary but in a good way.
That’s my round up. Check the Tribeca Film Festival film guide for theaters, dates and screening times. Each film has multiple screenings. Prices range from $9-$30. Good luck and enjoy the show.
A guide for Artsluts in NYC
Turn around and you will hear the whisper of an ancient queer telling you the time has come to change the tide and make a run for the future blossoming with brilliant colors in a trippy week waiting for you to discover.
Listen to your W33kly mix on Soundcloud by A Village Raid – Never Too Old 13 Final Mix.
HOT FRUIT @ METROPOLITAN (559 LORIMER ST.) One of our favorite bartenders, Pietro is having a bday and David Sokolowski is pulling out SHOWS to celebrate! URIEL, His Unbearable Beauty and bartenders Pietro and Daniel themselves will give you performances that are sure to start your week on a trippy happy wave. DJ Sokolowski and Econ spin house beats all night long while Ethan Weinstock‘s visuals transform the space. 10:00PM, FREE!
BATHSALTS @ DON PEDRO (90 MANHATTAN AVE.) Did you know that if you measured all of the cut off foreskin from all the circumcised men in the world, that it would reach from Don Pedro to LA and back? RuPaul’s Drag Race at 10:00PM, Salty Talk at 11:30PM, BathSalts at 12:00PM. Starring Macy Rodman and Severely Mame with a special live performance by Mat Kestella and MOAR. 10:00PM, FREE!
absentMINDER @ THE MELLOW PAGES LIBRARY (56 BOGART ST. 1S) Its officially the future. Absent Mindr is a poetry chapbook by Tommy Pico and the first one made into an APP for iphones/ipads and such–which you can download from yor friendly neighborhood App store starting April 15th. The launch party will showcase some of Tommy’s favorite writers: Max Steele, Maud Deitch, Lauren Wilkinson, Sean H. Doyle ++ Tommy will read a poem at the end and maybe shotgun a pizza pie. 7:30PM, FREE!
RITUAL @ TANDEM (236 TROUTMAN ST.) MILF episode. The sensational Manifestiny Squirts’ monthly Bushwick drag show featuring performances by Annie Witch-Way, Boy Georgia, Chris of Hur, Nicholas Gorham and Viva Bodyroll. Riki Razo and BCALLA will serve you witchy beats until you find that hot older “lady” to take home and worship. 11:00PM, FREE!
WESTGAY @ THE WESTWAY (75 CLARKSON ST.) We are so pumped for our sister #GIANT Will Sheridan’s first official performance at Westgay! She’s been hosting the fuck outta the place for months and now we invite you to join the court of tranimals as will assemble to serve “sex on a platter” and so much more. Internet sensation Fly Young Red will also perform. DJs Jon Jon Battles and Michael Magnan will keep you dancing all night long. 10:00PM, $5 BEFORE MIDNIGHT.
END OF THE HUMAN RACE RIOT @ LA GROTTA BJ Dini is presenting the first cut of a new film he is very excited to share. Featuring performances by a slew of friends and nightlife creatures, the film explores BJ’s vision of the future while deconstructing civilization, gentrification and the cosmos. The screening is also a celebration of BJ’s birthday and a farewell fundraiser for the provocative artist who will be leaving the city for awhile. 8:00PM, SUGGESTED DONATION.
SCREAM QUEEN @ DON PEDRO (90 MANHATTAN AVE.) Severely Mame’s very own American horror story is Carrie-ing this week with a screening of the classic Stephen King horror tale. Shows by Mame, Macy Rodman, Mark Dommu and more follow once the witching hour has struck. 10:00PM, FREE!
FULL MOON SHOW @ LA MAMA ETC (74 A EAST 4TH ST.) In this homage to the moon goddess Luna Macaroona on the occasion of the April Full Pink Moon, AUNTS presents a stellar lineup of performances and a touch of mayhem. Featuring appearances by Lumberob, Brooke O’Harra and Sharon Hayes, Diana Y. Greiner and Heidi Dorow, Stan Baker “The Human Television,” Salley May, Antonio Ramos and The Gang Bangers, Matt Romein, Chris Tyler (who we can tell you will be deconstructing RENT the musical), Katy Pyle, The Impact Addict, and video tributes by Love Everyone Movement and Becca Blackwell. 10:00PM, $15.
DRAGNET @ METROPOLITAN (559 LORIMER ST.) Hooray it’s the 2 year anniversary of Merrie Cherry’s monthly Drag Competition! She’s premiering a new “performing art collective” with her sisters Horrochata and Untitled Queen called TURNTUP TRIFECTA and that has us intrigued. Also performing are seasoned Brooklyn queens Darrell Thorne, Miz Jade, Minnie Cupcakes, Aja Nicole Marie, Elle Emenope, Lady Simon, Charlene Issa Israel and much more. Beats by Jessamess. 11:00PM, FREE.
WITCH CAMP @ THE WILD PROJECT (195 EAST 3RD ST.) Amber Martin and Nath Ann Carrera transport you through drop-off, Learning Yurts and beyond, while ridding the room of chode intentions! Grab your baggie full of hair and your black latex glove and gather around the fireside for a battle cry against the patriarchal rape heads in this ONGOING inquisition! We saw this show a few months ago and were blown away by these extremely talented performers as they are both ridiculous and completely serious at the same time. 8:00PM, $15.
FANCY @ THE HO_SE (28 LAWTON ST.) Shane Shane’s basement arty party is back and this edition is super STUDLY, so get your chaps dry-cleaned or whatever the fuck you need to do to clean cum out of leather. Performances by Big Huge, Adrienne Anenome, Pearl Hunter and Tom Barranca, with a sneak preview of The Hussy’s new music video ‘Studs in Love.’ 9:00PM, $6.
DIZZYLAND @ THE SPECTRUM (59 MONTROSE AVE.) WHEN A GIRL WALKS IN WITH AN ITTY BITTY WAIST AND A ROUND THING’S IN YOUR FACE YOU GET #SPRUNG. Trey La Trash’s monthly is getting extra #turnt to celebrate the beginning of spring, so wear as little as possible (it get’s hot in that little mirrored room, girl!) and enjoy performances and music by BOYWOLF, Rify Royalty, G H O U L S, Poolboy92, Lady Miaou, Mind Dynamics and many more. 10:00PM, $5 BEFORE MIDNIGHT, $10 AFTER.
PSYCHIC SPRING @ MISTER ROGERS (231 ROGERS AVE.) Caling all Queerdos, Faeries, Freaks, Soul Searchers and Cosmic Travelers: Paul Leopold and David Sokolowski compel you to awaken the dawn of our dreams! In an expansive symphony of vibrations carefully selected by some of Brooklyn’s most robust DJs and paired in tag-team duos with 2-hour sets, this party will give you the freshest incremental sonic experience of the season featuring DJ Sokolowski + Mikey Hefez, JLamar + JX Cannon, Jacky Sommer + Vivian Baron and Riki Razo + A Village Raid. There are so many hosts we can’t name them all here but rest assured EVERYBOOTY will be there. Psychedelic portals to the unknown will be opened and explored through special light installations, moments of spoken word and inspired physical actions facilitated by Paul Leopold and his performance group DESCENT. The bar will go beyond the basics with a specialty cocktails, telepathic treats and late-night libations. Skylights will illuminate the morning glow as we usher in the HIGH HOLY DAZE. 11:00PM, $8 ADVANCE, $12 DOOR.
420 @ THE SPECTRUM (59 Montrose Ave.) Assuming you haven’t slept since Thursday night and you’ve just ate some kinda mushroom and you’re mind is feeling, well, ya know… there is a place to go… Bearcat invites you for “green tea” at The Spectrum. Featuring music by Calore, Sexoesthetic, A Village Raid, Sadaf and Dreamboat Crusaderz there will be hot dagz and faerie cake. 2:00PM, $10.
A bi-annual publication that documents the Black Gay Community
The Company is celebrating their anniversary with some new work
Stephen Petronio has run his dance company for thirty years — no small feat in the demanding world of dance. We were fortunate enough to attend the stellar gala celebrating this momentous anniversary at the Joyce Theatre with a program that featured a new solo performce by Petronio called ‘Stripped‘ set to Philip Glass‘s Etude No. 5 with a costume intervention by artist Janine Antoni who sewed silk ties end to end that were wrapped around Petronio’s head then systematically unwrapped. For this piece, “Mr. Petronio loads himself with 30 gestures as well as a series of emotional states some recalled from his youth and with these materials he enacts his choreographic process onstage” — to great effect I may add.
Also on the bill is Petronio’s piece from 1999 ‘Strange Attractors Part l‘ a classic of sorts in it’s tension between chaos and order as well as the world premiere of ‘Locomotor‘ which is all about moving backwards — literally. The piece, which incorporates dancers moving backwards at break neck speeds with searing elan, has an original score by electronic/hip hop innovator Clams Casino and costumes by Narciso Rodriguez, with a peek-a-boo back. This collaboration works seamlessly as most of Petronio’s do, I say Bravo and look forward to thirty more years!
Remaining performances for this week are Friday, 11th, Saturday, 12th at 8:00PM and Sunday, 13th at 2:00PM & 7:30PM. Joyce Theatre, 175 Eighth Ave. NY, NY. Click here for tickets.
An interview with the Artist/Curator Robert W. Richards
The exhibition Stroke: From Under the Mattress to the Museum Walls on view at Leslie + Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art until May 25th, is a spectacular show of “erotic illustrations by 25 artists who made work for gay male magazines from the 1950s to the 1990s.” We were lucky enough to have a sit down interview with Robert W. Richards, the artist/curator of the exhibition. Here’s what he had to say.
Where are you from? Originally many moons ago, I’m from Maine. The southern part of Maine. Between Ogunquit and Kennebunkport, but inland. No glamour at all. Actually it was the coast. I left home very young. I was about 15.
So you moved to New York. I moved to Boston. I went to school there and then came to New York in the 60’s.
When did you first start drawing? I never didn’t draw. I always drew. I was one of those kids that stayed by themselves you know. It was either go out and play sports or stay home and color. So I stayed home and colored.
What was the subject matter of your earlier work? My very earliest work was fashion and I did fashion big time. Right up until the mid 70’s. Then I just didn’t want to do it anymore because by that time, it involved traveling a great deal. You know it was a circuit, Paris, London, Rome, Milan, Los Angeles, New York. Which was okay for awhile, it was fun but then when all the couture houses began doing ready-to-wear, they had two showings a year. So it was Paris Paris, Rome Rome, London London, and you were just never home and you lose track of yourself. You know, you meet friends on the street and they say, “Oh, you’re in town!” You say, “well I do live here,” but after awhile you realize you have to be in one place. I mean you can travel, but not 30 weeks a year.
How did you get involved curating this exhibition Stroke? After I left the fashion thing, I wanted to draw men. So I started drawing for the magazines that are in Stroke.
What magazines were they? Mandate, Honcho, Torso, Manshots, All Man, Advocate Men, all of them. I did up until, when the VHS came in — the videotape, the magazines started failing. Then when DVD came in, it got worse. Then when porn became available on the computer, there was no need for the magazines so they just died, which was okay. You know I had a long run. I paid my rent off with them for many years and it was fine. But from the 90’s on, all this great work by these great artists was forgotten and that really bothered me because I think people began to think that these magazines were just trash. Some were and some weren’t. But all these great artists like Antonio [Lopez], Mel Odem, Richard Rosenfeld, Benôit Prévot, all had this huge body of work and I just decided I wanted to show them. I’m on the board of Leslie Lohman, so I went to the board and I made this proposal. At first they were a little “iffy,” because they thought it was going to be a jerk-off show, which I assure you as you have seen it, it is not. It’s a beautiful show.
It’s Stunning. Thank you. Beautiful work by great artists. So that was 4 years ago that I made the proposal, so it’s been in the back of my head for all this time. And then for the last year I worked on it literally every day, because I had to find this work and I knew where to find a lot of it because I was contemporary with a lot of these people and they were still in my life. The ones that were dead, I kind of knew who had the estate. The others I just hunted down. Families were not cooperative — the artwork was under the bed in a box until that day when they decide to throw it out. In hunting I found collectors who had a lot of this stuff, so that’s how I found it. That’s my involvement in Stroke. It’s commitment really. I mean I’m barely in the show myself. That doesn’t mean I won’t have a show of my own some day, I’ve had many shows of my own but you know what I mean. It’s not about me, I only have that Toby drawing in there, because that’s the boy I created for Torso.
The guy with the long hair? Yeah, who had adventures every month and I just used that, when I do tours of the show, which I do every Saturday and Sunday from 3-5. It gives me something — just another dimension that was in the magazines because people forget it wasn’t all just boys in beige living rooms, with a hard on and a plant in the corner. There was a lot more at one time, it devolved to that. It devolved to whoever was making a movie took stills for the magazines, and no longer did shoots at the end.
So what was the criteria for choosing which artist to show? Quality. Quality was the only criteria. Absolutely. Beauty, real art, real drawing, real painting. Real quality work. A lot of it was junk and I didn’t want junk. As a matter of fact we’ve gotten a book deal on ‘Stroke.’ I can’t give you any details but we are going to expand, it’s great. It’ll be a good book. There’s never been a book that examined these artists.
Are you drawn to any artist’s work in the show specifically? Do I have favorites? Yeah. Of course. Antonio [Lopez], actually that’s an interesting little tidbit because Antonio was the reason I didn’t want to do fashion anymore, because when Antonio came in, I knew that the next generation belonged to him and that I was the previous generation. It was time to go. Plus as I said, I wanted to draw men. I wanted to draw people, not people in clothes necessarily but I wanted emotion in my drawings. I wanted people without clothes. Where the issue was with clothes. So of course Antonio remains despite the fact that he pitched me out of the business, he remains still an idol of mine. Richard Rosenfeld who is a professor, at both F.I.T. and Parsons, those are my two favorites of the show. Mel Odem of course, the great Mel Odem, who is more famous for the work he did with Playboy and Time Magazine, because he did several Time Magazine covers. But he still did this, and I knew it.
Whose work do you feel you were influenced by, if you were to look back? Primarily a great fashion illustrator who is no longer with us, named Kenneth Paul Block. That was what I aspired to but I was also very influenced by music and other things — you know I was a kid from a small town in Maine, and to aspire to be in fashion is a little ridiculous. I was very influenced by fashion magazines. That was what I wanted. Some of it I got. Obviously I didn’t get Architectural Digest (laughs).
Can you talk about the significance of the title, the part that says “from under the mattress to the museum walls”? Because for many men, these magazines were all they had to relate to, that was gay. They would go out for the evening to a bar, to a movie or whatever and if things didn’t go their way, whatever they desired, these magazines were a very nice “date” that you could stop at the newsstand and buy, because they were distributed everywhere. The smallest towns, had these magazines and the problem was people were afraid to buy them in their own neighborhoods because they knew the drugstore guy or the newsstand guy, so they didn’t. They went across town or stole them. Which was my method (laughs), or I would buy Vogue, tuck Physique Pictorial into it, pay fast and run, I probably did this two or three times. I had to do it.
Why were you into those magazines? Desire. It’s a part of your sexuality, I’d wanted those magazines, and like everybody else I hid them. So that’s the “under the mattress,” that became a cliché — under my mattress. It’s a big journey this year, at this particular moment in gay history, for these magazines to make that journey from under the mattress to the walls of what’s now a very prestigious museum.
You mean the show at MOCA and the Leslie Lohman show. MOCA of course.
There was also a show at the NYU gallery, the Bob Mizer show. And MOMA has the Tom of Finland, but they didn’t buy them, they were donated, under condition that they’d show them, and they showed two. But if you’ve seen the show, there’s a Tom of Finland of a guy getting fucked and he’s sucking a cock, that was of course necessary to show some of that material. But strangely Huffington Post did a great piece on “Stroke”, and they showed 8 images, and they printed that one, and I thought “This is great, we are pioneers.” So, I’m not saying our problems as gay men are solved, but we are making strides in imposing our desire and taste on people. And that’s the mission of “Stroke” to free people and to realize that we’ve always produced wonderful work.
That’s very inspiring to see, all the wonderful work together in one room. How do you think the viewing experience differs from a more mature viewer to a younger one? I think there are definite differences, I think older gay men are more interested in what I just described, sexual acts being portrayed. The older men are still interested in the bad boy aspect of it. The look, “I’m here in this gallery, and I’m looking at men fucking, and sucking, and having sex.” Young boys have had access to this since they learned how to turn on a computer, so it’s a very different thing. So young boys want to see the line quality, they want to see the design quality, they want to see how the drawing is positioned on the paper, they are interested in it as art already. We are not having to sell them that aspect of it. A lot of people will be disappointed it isn’t more of a jerk-off show, but it isn’t, and I’m hoping that some of the museum aspect will rub off on those who come to see a sex show. You can see a sex show at home and you can also see a lot of the more graphic artists like The Hun and Etienne, the ones that do have very graphic pieces in the show, I mean my god you can see stuff that would curl your hair.
What pornographic materials did you use to masturbate when you were young? The ones I’ve described, because that’s all there was. I mean that was it. If there had been DVD. If I had the money, and a television set, and a place to watch it, certainly. But it was fine, I think that, for the men of my generation, a couple generations really, these magazines taught us to use our imaginations. Like reading porn fiction taught you to visualize and by the time this other stuff came, you were kind of okay, it wasn’t as thrilling as the magazines had been because it wasn’t as forbidden.
Yeah the magazines are a treat.