Halloween is approaching and some of you are probably freaking out about what to wear, about what wig to get and what party to go to. Relax homo you still have some time to figure it all out. Consider this party a practise run for the big night. It’s put together by The Culture Whore, we love their events, they’re always super creative and filled with the best kind of weirdos. The theme for the party is “a queer deconstruction of Rocky Horror Picture Show.” I’ll let Mark explain how that came about: “Rocky Horror, for so many people, was an access point to queerness. So many gay boys and girls and everything in between saw Rocky Horror when they were little and realized...it’s OK to be weird and sexy and campy and scary. What Frank ‘n’ Furter built in his castle was a kind of queer utopia. But in 2014, when R.H. is mainly celebrated by nerdy theater kids trying to be cool, the queers need to take it back, push it to its furthest extreme. These kids might be playing at being from the planet transsexual, but our community is full of trans and gender nonconforming revolutionaries who are truly living Frank ‘n’ Furter’s dream.” Yessss hunty! I mean, what else do you need to know? The list of people involved in the party is loooong and impressive, so I suggest you head to their FB page to see the full breakdown. I promise it’s going to be one of THOSE parties.
This show of photographs at the Sonnabend gallery by artists Max Becher and Andrea Robbins is definitely on the intellectual tip. The two artists are interested in places out of sync with their causes and consequences. Sounds lofty but makes perfect sense when you see the exhibition. On view are stunning large scale photographs of ten commandment monuments on public land scattered across the US. Their presence has caused legal disputes even though anti-religious groups want them removed. In another room of the gallery there are photographs of replicas of the home of the Lubavitch Rebbe Menachem Schneerson. Duplicates of the original building at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn are found in cities all over the world and used as Hasidic centers. Lastly, in the third room, there is a series of photographs of none other than the restaurant chain Cracker Barrel. The images are eerily similar as all 600 locations adhere to the same interior design code littered with American southern memorabilia and taxidermy. The three subjects of this show could not be more disparate but add up to one cohesive powerful statement about the distinctly American psyche.
Featuring an auto shop, a fleet of leather daddies, and a lot of smoke
Ok, first thing’s first: smoking is bad for your health. I know, I know, that should go without saying these days, but before I continue, let me reiterate: smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans each year with more than 41,000 of those deaths due to exposure to secondhand smoke. So, while cigarettes and cigars may still be the most common fashion accessory in editorials and films, it’s good to keep in mind that smoking is still a totally preventable cause of death and disease that also makes you smell pretty fucking bad most of the time (besides, pot is a far better option if you absolutely must take care of that oral fixation).
With that being said, Bruce LaBruce, provocateur director of all things bizarre and erotic, has taken it upon himself to direct a stunning new short film, Défense de fumer (literally translated as “No Smoking“), for the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma in Montreal. Set to a classical soundtrack, the film begins by following a mechanic to his smoke break from work, puffing on a cigar. Then, he is inexplicably surrounded by a crew of leather daddies who all start smoking cigars, too, until there’s a mantle of smoke that changes from gray to red, the score shifting to a pulsing club beat, the auto shop now a leather club. It’s all very homoerotic and well-filmed and bewildering, which is really the best kind of short film, isn’t it?
Watch Défense de fumer below:
You’re probably well aware of our love for Justin V. Bond considering we write about V at least 2 to 3 times a day (I kid), however this Wednesday we get to really show some love to V with a night dedicated to honoring the performer and V’s already legendary career. Best of all, it’s all going down at The Cock! The night is officially a fundraiser for NYPAC, a group that supports performance art in NYC, but we’d forgive you if you just showed up for V. Tickets for the main event are a little steep at $150, so if you’re on a budget we suggest you skip that and show up for the after-party where you’ll get music by Juliana Huxtable, Michael Magnan and Sammy Jo, plus you’ll get to hang out with all the rich boys who were there earlier for the pricey part of the evening (where they watched performances by Joseph Keckler, Erin Markey and Casey Legler). I haven’t been to the Cock in a while so am excited to see how they dress up the place for the evening, or dress it down — that’s the best thing about Justin, V fits in anywhere.
We also chat with the photographer about his latest book FRACTURED
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.
I was chatting to Nathan Manske, the creator of I’m From Driftwood, the LGBTQ Story Archive, about this upcoming event. As a fan of podcasts (I listen to about 30 on rotation each week) I thought the idea of reading queer coming out stories live (and turning them into a podcast — which I told him he MUST do) was a great idea. Turns out the event comes out of a mentoring program with the Moth, the popular storytelling show/podcast, so they’re in good company. This Sunday is the premier of what I’m sure will become a regular event: “Two I’m From Driftwood Video Stories will be screened, and then eight storytellers will tell their stories live with nothing more than a microphone and a spotlight.” Best of all the event is free, and the location, Videology in Williamsburg, will be offering happy hour drink specials. If you’ve spent more than a minute on the I’m From Driftwood site you’ll know what to expect from the night. If you haven’t, let’s just say you’ll probably get a little choked up. Some of the stories are super intense, but in a good way — look at it this way, if they’re able to share it to a roomful of strangers then they’re likely already in a better place #itgetsbetter.
Here comes the second edition of Ladyfag’s multi-floor, multi-cultural, multi-cunt party Holy Mountain, and this time we’re climbing it with her. We’re one of the many “night crawlers” who’ll be hanging out in the incredible Sapphire room. The others include Desi Santiago, Jason Rodgers, and Leo Herrera. Music is by Liv Spencer & Honey Dijon. Ladyfag is inviting us all to experience again the journey “to a place where darkness is light, music is god, and dancing will set you free.” Yessss Lady, preach! If you didn’t go to the last one, expect “2 Floors, 4 Rooms (named Ruby, Jade, Sapphire and Obsidian) and 1 Mountain.” There’s a special performance by Rye Rye and another surprise performance yet to be announced. There are like 100 people involved in this party, some of them include: Juliana Huxtable, LE1F, Dai Burger, Hari Nef, Mess Kid, Michael Magnan, The Culture Whore, Nita Aviance and many more. Get ready to take a trip to the other side. I’ll leave you with a final quote from the Holy Mountain itself: “Your sacrifice completes my sanctuary of 1,000 testicles.” Ok cool. Shit just got real deep.
Two new books explore the Australian's unique childhood.
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:
Pick up your copies here and at Printed Matter in NYC.
This career encompassing show has been a massive hit at the Whitney Museum, and it’s about to close. Which means if you haven’t seen it yet, this weekend is your last chance. Best of all you can go at any hour (the museum is open continuously for 36 hours). Love him or hate him, it’s hard not to be impressed by Jeff Koons, especially after seeing the incredibly precise and breathtakingly constructed objects on display at this 5 floor retrospective. From his balloon dogs to his kitschy, over-sized tchotchke inspired pieces, to the porn series starring his ex-wife (and the kidnapper of their son) Cicciolina, it’s a dramatic collection of work and well worth a visit, especially since it’s one of the last shows at The Whitneys current location before the museum moves downtown, next to the High Line. I know people like to say that Jeff Koons is “divisive” and I get it, he’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I’ve always been a fan. His work is so fantastical, it’s so wild...it’s something — there’s only one Jeff Koons, thankfully.