GAYLETTERGAYLETTER

Monday 11.17.14

Phillip Gefter and Edmund White in Conversation

Talking all things Wagstaff, Mapplethorpe and Photography

Robert Mapplethorpe & Sam Wagstaff by Teresa Mae Engle_GAYLETTER

If you are a fan of photography or especially interested in the “gay sensibility” in photography then this evening presented by The School of Visual Arts is right for you. Writer and photography critic Phillip Gefter will be in conversation with the talented writer Edmund White to discuss his new book Wagstaff, Before and After Mapplethrope. For those of you that don’t know Sam Wagstaff, besides being Mapplethorpe’s infamous lover he was “an early and unflagging advocate of photography as a legitimate art form.” He collected thousands of images bought and sold at auction as well as flea markets and permanently changed the art market. All the elements are in place for a truly lively and invigorating conversation, Mapplethorpe, Wagstaff, Edmund White — you can’t go wrong, plus it’s free and open to the public!

 

FREE, Monday Nov. 17 at 7:00PM, SVA Theatre, 333 W. 23rd Street, NY, NY.

Sunday 11.16.14

Film: Back on Board – Greg Louganis

I was bowled over by this new documentary about 4 time Olympic diving gold medalist Greg Louganis called ‘Back on Board.’ The raw honesty and compassion with which Greg addresses the camera in an age when artifice and rehearsed sincerity is rampant is truly remarkable. First of all, who doesn’t love a nubile 16- year-old, tanned, buff, phenom jumping and twirling in the air for 2 hours! But seriously the story is not all triumph as we discover the painful realities of post-Olympic fame, his coming out as gay and HIV+, and the shady business partners he had to endure. Considered by many to be the greatest diver of all time, Louganis is now 52 and gray but fit as can be (we see him do a dive at the end). He’s even gotten back into the sport after a twenty year absence as a mentor to the 2012 Olympic diving team. If you’re free this Sunday night do yourself a favor and check out Back on Board screening as part of New York’s Documentary festival — you will leave the theatre invigorated and yearning for tickets to the 2016 summer games in Rio.  

$17, 6:45PM, SVA Theatre, 333 W. 23rd st. New York, NY.

Read

James Bidgood needs your help to create more art!

The legendary photographer needs funding to purchase a digital camera and materials...

james bidgood pink narcissus_GAYLETTER

Whether or not you’re familiar with the work of James Bidgood, the dreamy landscape he creates in his art is a place anyone would be happy visiting.

 

Though these surreal photographs and illustrations seem celestial and otherworldly, the majority of them were staged and produced in Bidgood’s tiny Manhattan apartment. Among shelves and stacks of glue, paint, tissue paper and tulle is a small studio space in which Bidgood spends countless hours rendering these fairytales. His work is truly astounding and comes to life with unmatchable color and energy.

 

But his glitter supply is running low, and time and technology have moved quickly ahead of Mr. Bidgood. He needs your help to carry himself and his art towards the future.

 

Please contribute to his INDIEGOGO campaign!

Saturday 11.15.14

Party: PRETTYUGLY

Last Saturday Tom and I went to the new party PrettyUgly and we had a pretty fucking good time! We give it a BIG yasssssssss. We were greeted by Max Ryder, one of the hosts of the party and one of our favorite boys in New York — and of course star of our first issue of GAYLETTER. Then we ran into the cute young actor Paul Iacono who’s also hosting the party and they both gave us a tour of the amazing space called Diamond Horseshoe. We were very impressed by the structure of this place and the energy it carries, it felt like we were partying at Studio 54 — it’s massive and it has an interesting mysterious vibe. According to Paul Musial (another host of the party) what they are serving is “naughty Versailles in the hustle of Times Square.” Got it! Music for this week is provided by Becka Diamond, Tommy Hottpants and Valissa Yoe. The party is presented by Erich Conrad and Drew Elliott, plus additional hosts including Hari NefNicolas Ballinger, Mike Bailey-Gates, Ben McGuiggan, Ty Pike, Adam Werner, Sebastian Z and ME! Yes I liked the party so much that I asked them to be one of the hosts. Come say hi, I will be there drinking from a large bottle of vodka in a big table with lots of people….Paaaarteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

$10, 11:00PM, DIAMOND HORSESHOE, Paramount Hotel, 235 W 46th St. NY, NY.

Read

Friday 11.14.14

Party: TARA

Our friend Tanner Cohen from the popular Twitter account White Girl Problems sent us a message to let us know about this weekly party at One Last Shag in Brooklyn. He tells us that the party is getting pretty popular and it’s “fucking so fun...” The party is presented by a group of boys called Dienasty — the title of the party changes each week just to confuse us. I guess it also keeps it fresh — this time it’s called Tara “as in Tara Reid, the title changes every week but is always the name of a fallen, failed, slutty celebrity goddess.” Here’s a very deep quote from this girl Tara Reid: “I can make a scene that’s not supposed to be sexy, very sexy. It’s a power you’re born with. It’s not a physical thing, it comes from inside. It’s all in the eyes.” Music for the night is by Dick Owens + SN4CKTYM who’ll be playing “‘90s, ‘00s, NOW, BEYOND, POP, HIP HOP, R & B etc…” I love all the new music genres that we are dealing with. The party has a backyard and it’s open late, #TGIF.

FREE, 10:00PM, ONE LAST SHAG, 348 Franklin Ave. Brooklyn, NY.

Read

Caribou and Jessy Lanza at Webster Hall

The Canadian musicians bring their tour to Manhattan

caribou_ourlove_GAYLETTER

There’s a benevolent sense of passion on Canadian musician Dan Snaith’s latest LP under the Caribou moniker, Our Love. This isn’t just because of the record’s self-evident title, either—it’s a record filled with the the kind of warm, effervescent, and excellently crafted electronic music that seems all too vacant in most big-stage IDM fantasias happening lately. Released last month, Our Love weaves together disparate voices both sampled and recorded into a synth-laden fabric that is just as comfortable in a live, dance-oriented environment as it is serving as relaxed (albeit infectious) background music. Snaith, who also records under his more dance-oriented Daphni alias, brings all of the ebullient parts of a relationship—be it romantic, platonic, familial—to the forefront and compresses them into perfect, dazzling dance gems.

 

Luckily for us, Caribou is bringing his live show to New York’s Webster Hall tonight with support from Canadian musician Jessy Lanza. Lanza, who also features on Our Love on standout “Second Chance,” is the perfect accompaniment for Caribou, with a buoyant, gorgeous voice set to lush backdrops of dance-ready synths. With her excellent debut Pull My Hair Back from last year still sounding fresher than ever as 2014 winds down to a close, we can’t wait to hear what she’s planning next. Webster Hall can sometimes be a complete shit show, but there’s no question that tonight’s going to be one of their better nights.

 

Caribou and Jessy Lanza perform tonight at 8:00PM at Webster Hall.

 

 

Thursday 11.13.14

Fashion: Killer Heels – The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe

Sticking with the theme of fashion I present you with a Brooklyn Museum show that explores womens (and some mens) relationship to high heels. We’re not talking about the kind you can pick up from Express or Forever 21, no, these are some seriously torturous shoes, like Christian Louboutin’s “Printz” (2013) which have a towering heel height of 175mm and Winde Rienstra’s (pictured) Lego like shoe “Bamboo Heel” (2012). “As fashion statement, fetish object, instrument of power, and outlet of artistic expression for both the designer and the wearer, throughout the ages the high-heeled shoe has gone through many shifts in style and symbolism. Deadly sharp stilettos, architecturally inspired wedges and platforms, and a number of artfully crafted shoes that defy categorization are featured among the more than 160 historical and contemporary heels on loan from designers, from the renowned Brooklyn Museum costume collection housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and from the Bata Shoe Museum.” Whether you have a fetish for high-heels, or like Abi and I, just like to wear them on Halloween (and many other drunken late-night occasions) this show is a must see. In fact maybe you should probably wear your highest heels to the museum and show those flats-wearing-basic-tourists how it’s really done!

$16 (suggested), 11:00am- 10:00pm, Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway Brooklyn, NY.

Read

SIDESHOW is Back!

This Thursday November 13

SIDESHOW_nov_GAYLETTER

If you’re sick of watching Jessica Lange talk about wanting to be a movie star with no legs — or something — on American Horror Story: Freak Show, but are still yearning to visit a carnival of wonders, then look no further than Williamsburg. Art collective The Culture Whore is back with their bi-monthly performance showcase, Sideshow, and it’s going to be freakier than ever.

 

The Culture Whore is known throughout NYC for throwing some of the weirdest, wildest, queerest art parties around, and with Sideshow they curate a lineup of underground performers and give them the freedom to experiment.

 
At this edition, there’s more magic on the stage than ever before. Rainbow Trybe, Gramma, and Ian Gallagher will all present enthralling live music. Momo Shade will take you to church with irreverent drag. David Serotte‘s experimental dance will terrify and enthrall you in equal parts. Plus, Mark Dommu, Tom Barranca, and Boywolf will bend your mind with performance art that plays with drag, video, and music. Run away and join this queer circus!

 

$5, 11:30PM, Don Pedro, 90 Manhattan Ave. Brooklyn, NY.

Wednesday 11.12.14

Fashion: Death Becomes Her

No, the MET are not screening the amazing 1992 dark comedy starring Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn (although that would be cunt) they’ve actually put together a fascinating exhibition of the same name that explores mourning attire through the last century. Valentino was recently asked who his dream dinner guest would be, his answer was Queen Elizabeth: “I met her once and told her that black really suited her complexion. She said unfortunately she can only wear black at funerals, and we should forget the whole conversation.” Lizzie’s comment is a good reminder that for centuries wearing black was less a fashion choice and more a requirement after your husband dies. A lady like this was often avoided because “As a woman of sexual experience without marital constraints, she was often imagined as a potential threat to the social order,” says Harold Koda the curator the Met’s Costume Institute. That’s right, she might steal your man! ‘Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire’ features thirty ensemble pieces, going into great detail about the looks, while also exploring how high-fashion began to influence funeral looks. It’s up until February 1, 2015.

$25 (suggested), 10:00am-5:30pm, The MET Museum of Art, 1000 5th Ave. NY, NY.

Read

Tuesday 11.11.14

The 2014 MIX Festival

The queer experimental festival is celebrating their 27th year

MIX2013_GAYLETTER

If MIX NYC was a person, you’d desperately be trying to make them your best friend. They’d be that person who is unapologetically themselves, artistically prodigious and proudly, loudly queer. The kind of person who is serving looks (likely homemade yet inexplicably high fashion) whether it’s Wednesday morning or Saturday night. They’d go to the parties you wish you knew about, and probably turn up fashionably late after a quick stint in jail for protesting corporate greed. Let’s be real, you’d probably fall in love with them.

 

Well, you sound crazy because they aren’t a person. But luckily you CAN love a festival and in the 2014 MIX Festival there is plenty to get an intellectual boner about. Over the next week MIX will immerse you in the vibrantly queer worlds of experimental film, art installations and warehouse parties in their Festival HQ — known as the MIX Hive and described as an “opulent beehive cathedral.” Sign us up, honey! Hundreds of volunteers have transformed this Brooklyn space into a community hub where you can lounge around on cloud pillows, discover new friends and experience art that is daring, challenging and fabulously queer.

 

Celebrating their 27th year, MIX kicks off the 2014 season on November 11 with their Opening Night event “Colony Collapse Disorder,” featuring performances by Peter Cramer and his experimental band NYOBS, an audiovisual extravaganza by Chris Berntsen & January Hunt, and of course a program of transcendent films that you won’t see anywhere else. As the night rolls on, the MIX Hive unravels into a unique warehouse soiree featuring DJs and shows from the likes of Kembra Pfahler, Cornelius Loy, Mike and Claire and many more.

 

There’ll be screenings every day through to Sunday November 16, so browse the full program and discover something that tickles your fancy. Pop on down to Brooklyn and support this incredible festival — the result of dedicated volunteers and the sublime embodiment of two things: experimental film and queer friendship. So let’s celebrate — because where else can you watch queer experimental films with a few hundred new friends and party late into a Tuesday night?

 
Entry to the MIX Hive is FREE, Opening Night is $25, General Screenings $13. From Tuesday November 11 – Sunday November 16. The 2014 MIX Festival, 337 Butler St, Brooklyn, NY. Click here for tickets and more info.