A new exhibition featuring the work of young artists and academics of color from across the globe
Photographer Elliott Jerome Brown likes sex and public spaces. This fascination is on display in his editorial, “Meet Me At The Toilets,” inside Issue II of GAYLETTER, and it’s also how Elliot first collaborated with Iranian-American artist Ashleigh Rahini Syed: as freshman at NYU Tisch, Syed made a video based on Elliott’s project exploring “The Ramble,” Central Park‘s once-legendary gay hookup spot (from a time when anonymous sex took place in the woods, without phones. Grindr meets Shakespearean pastoral comedy).
Elliot and Ashleigh are now the Editors-in-Chief of a new online magazine, “Young Colored & Angry,” which “exclusively features the work of young artists and academics of color from across the globe.” The provocatively named magazine goes live April 25th, and the gallery show Elliott and Ashleigh have co-curated to launch it looks as powerful as the title.
From 4:00PM to 6:00PM, Palestinian artist Anas Hamra will Skype in from Gaza to discuss his video installation. Towards the end of the night, Sound artist Dyani Douze and rapper The Quazzy Faffle Show will perform their commissioned piece, “an experimental Lullaby for the mind affected by racial inequality in America.” Throughout the evening the work of Victoria Elle, Rindon Johnson, Daryl Oh and many notable others will be shared in honor of the new magazine.
Young Colored & Angry aims to help create “more spaces where people of color are the dominant voices and the executives of their own work,” Elliott says. In imagining the magazine, “We knew what we wanted based on what we weren’t seeing.” One of the creators’ prime goals for their charged content is “making the discussion aesthetic and manageable — not dumbed down, but creating points of entry…like fashion magazines, which people are drawn to and want to pick up.” “Even though the project deals with obstructions to our livelihoods,” Elliott says, Young Colored & Angry is “a celebration of what we can do. We want people to leave feeling inspired.” Check out this celebration, it looks as vital as its title promises.
“Young Colored & Angry,” is happening on Saturday, April 25th, from 12:00PM-10:00PM, 35 Meadow St. Brooklyn, NY.
We are officially fans of the artist Martin Gutierrez, we wrote up his first show last year at Ryan Lee gallery in NYC. It was a gender bending exhibition that included photography, film and performance art. We now recommend you to go to his second show, on view at the same gallery. This mixed media exhibition features “music videos, a site-specific installation, and two new series of photographs…” The large colorful and stylized photographs can easily fit into the pages of a high fashion magazine, they show a variety of characters (mannequins and the artist himself).
“Gutierrez continues to investigate identity, both personal and collective, through the transformation of physical space and self. Interested in the fluidity of relationships and the role of genders within each, he employs mannequins as his counterparts to explore the diverse narratives of intimacy.” He incorporates a variety of materials into his work, such as “plastic leis, table skirts, vinyl, and tape, transforming them into authentic sets, accessories, and costumes that reference iconic films and people, including Milla Jovovich in Jean Paul Gaultier for The Fifth Element, Showgirls, and Brigitte Bardot.” Gutierrez is a very versatile artist, not sure if he’s sexually too, but he’s able to do hair and make-up, costume, set design as well as lighting, directing and photography. Werk!
FREE, 10:00AM–6:00PM, RYAN LEE GALLERY, 527 W. 26TH ST. NY, NY.
Mossy and I went to see the Brooklyn Museum’s new exhibition last week — Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks — the exhibition, as its title implies, focuses on a relatively unknown aspect of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work. It features 160 pages from a series of notebooks the artist created that reveal a subtler and more nuanced side of his work than the paintings most of us are familiar with. They’re filled with sketches, fragments of poetry, and even the phone numbers of boys and girls you can’t help but wonder if he ever called. The exhibition also displays larger works on paper and paintings, which are filled with text that often shows up in the notebooks. The notebooks are exciting because they show a sparer, more minimal side of Basquiat that is still evocative of his particular view of city life and American culture. Kehinde Wiley’s extravagant retrospective is also currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum, so you really have no excuse to not hop on the 2 or 3 train and head on over.
Barry Marré's first photo book
Barry Marré’s latest photo book, The Last Boys, is sensual; his portraits are just as much about the beautiful men as they are the shadows draped across their torsos, the colors of the wall, or the undies pooling on their thighs. It is not simply an exploration of Marré’s subjects, but of the relationship between photographer and model, atmosphere and objective.
While the handsomeness of his work is not easily overlooked, Marré’s dedication to the tensions between rawness and composure, strength and vulnerability, hints at a story behind each image. “Letting go is a striking motto for me. Exactly in those moments in between the postures my best images arise.”
But even if you’re not in it for the more subtle narratives, the images — as well as the boys — are simply stunning. Admire the light on his clavicle, or the green of his eyes, or just the texture of his foreskin, either way The Last Boys will leave you wanting more.
Here's a sneak peak from the exhibition
I had this girlfriend once, I’m sure you know the type, you’d make plans with her and if something better came up she’d ditch you and take the better offer. Well, I’m not that kind of girl, BUT, I will say I was all set to write about Sebastião Salgado’s opening this Thursday when I got a last minute email from ClampArt about a Luke Smalley - Retrospective and had to write about it instead (sorry Sebastião). Luke died suddenly at the age of 53 but left behind 3 distinct bodies of photography this exhibition addresses titled Gymnasium, Exercise at Home and Sunday Drive. Once a model and personal trainer, Luke graduated from Pepperdine University with a degree in sports médecine — a propos for the development of his minimalistic yet graphic athletic, aesthetic sensibility.
His first series, Gymnasium, took 15 years to hone and then Luke moved on to his foray into color with his second body of work titled Exercise at Home, that followed Gymnasium “in it’s themes of adolescent growing pains acted out under the guise of earnest athleticism.” Oh, OK ,the images are so homoerotic yet transcend this category into a whole other territory of refined artistry. I got so excited when the gallery forwarded three images, one from each body of work, I could barely write. Take the time to attend the opening (6-8PM) and if it’s not possible because something better came up make sure you see this show before it closes on May 9th.
All images courtesy of ClampArt, NYC.
The opening reception is on April 2, from 6:00PM-8:00PM, at ClampArt, 531 West 25st. NY, NY.
Leslie Lohman has been hosting studio session each week, on Wednesday nights, where models “are posed in sexually provocative ways....” Ok, you have my attention — an erotic gay drawing session, I’m in! I reached out to the performer and artist Ché B. Triffling to ask him what people should expect at the drawing studio session. He replied: “there'll be between 20-30 artists drawing me... And the last pose I do will be me jerking off for 20 minutes on a bed.” This is going to be Ché’s first time doing this event, for those of you that don’t know who he is, his work often features strip/gogo and burlesque — at least we know he’s gonna be comfortable naked. The venue recommends that you arrive early to get a good spot, I also heard that this is not a group for beginners, you’ll have to show a portfolio beforehand, but I am sure even if you are not that talented you can pay the entrance fee and convince them to let you do it. Some rules for you to know, don’t speak to the model, don’t offer him a blow job, clean up after yourself, no photography, put your phone away — Instagram can wait — just use some common sense.
I am thrilled that I have re-established my relationship with the French Embassy of Cultural Affairs. Some twenty years ago I used to take photographs for various embassy projects (and even got to shoot Piccaso’s lover, and mother of his two children, Francoise Gilot). The Embassy is housed in a stunning Stanford White designed mansion on Fifth Ave. and 79th St. AND fortunately for us we have a reason to visit. The embassy is hosting an intriguing pop-up show titled, ‘Galerie Cinema’ now on view in the mansion’s second floor salon through April 10th. The group show consists mainly of photographs by directors Cedric Kaplisch, Atiq Rahimi, cinematographers Ed Lachman and Agnes Godard, actors James Franco and Vincent Perez, photographers Kate Barry and Harry Gruyaert and director/photographer Raymond Depardon. The Deputy Cultural Counselor sums up the show’s focus best, “The Galerie Cinema combines two essential mediums for French culture — film and photography — and gives New Yorkers an inside look into the modes of creativity that makes France’s heart beat…” I met a fabulous french woman at the opening who turned out to be Anne-Dominique Toussaint, who opened the first Galerie Cinema in Paris. She was instrumental in bringing this show to New York. She explained to me the artists were chosen because they all reinforce the Embassy mission to “promote French-American intellectual and creative exchange.” You must go for a chic kiki, it’s so prune.
On March 7th, 1965, Alabama state troopers, and a local posse, viciously attacked civil rights demonstrators in Selma, stopping a planned, peaceful march to the state capitol in Montgomery, wounding many innocent marchers. That day, known as “Bloody Sunday,” the failed attempt that followed, and the victorious third march were all filmed and photographed extensively. The impact of this imagery caused national outrage that ultimately led to the Voting Rights Act passing into law later that year. Three compelling photographers captured the marches with three distinct perspectives, Charles Moore, Spider Martin and James Barker. Their work, featuring over 150 original photographs, (many that have never been exhibited in NYC before) are now on display at the Steven Kasher Gallery through April 18th. The images are accompanied by informative captions that are well worth reading. Make sure to start at the beginning of the exhibition as the chronology is impactful and the emotional path most riveting. What an extraordinary opportunity Mr. Kasher has given us to really get into the heart and soul of the marches that rocked our nation and galvanized the Civil Rights Movement. Make time to have a look on the 50th anniversary of this remarkable event.
Unless you’re boring, you have probably dealt with censorship of some kind or another, hello, Facebook and instagram! I mean what’s wrong with an ass or a dick pic? Flaunt what you have — trust me, someone out there is gonna like what you have to offer. The suppression of speech just sucks. The Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art is having an exhibition in response to censorship. “Inspired by the creative and activist responses to the censorship of Robert Mapplethorpe’s art in the 1980s and 1990s and the more recent withdrawal of David Wojnarowicz’s “A Fire in My Belly” from the National Portrait Gallery in 2010, “Irreverent” explores how sexuality has been, and continues to be, used as a tool to prohibit LGBTQ cultural artwork.” The show features 17 artists who illustrate about “a dozen episodes of exclusion and censorship.” I’d say go and see this show before it gets taken down on. Maybe you can even take your peen or boobs out while you’re there, I am sure they’d love that.
Kehinde Wiley is a tour-de-force, a gorgeous gay, gap-toothed African American painter who persistently “raises questions about race, gender and the politics of representation by portraying contemporary African American men and women, using the convention of traditional European portraiture." Now that’s a mouthful. His new exhibition, Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic features nearly 60 paintings and sculptures, a retrospective of sorts that spans Wiley’s prolific 14 year career. His subjects replace the European aristocrats rendered in old masters with the new contemporary men and women wearing fly sneakers, hoodies and baseball caps, drawing attention to the absence of African Americans from historical and cultural narratives. His process is enticing, casting subjects from the street, having them pick a historical image they would like to portray in a photographic portrait, which they pose for with the resulting image transcribed into paint. Beyond the work I have come to know Kehinde as a kind, generous deeply positive soul. You see it in his smile and know it from his work. Go ahead, see for yourself!