We interviewed Billy Miller (the current editor of Straight to Hell) for the 2nd printed issue of GAYLETTER. In the intro to that interview I shared a lot of my personal feelings about the legendary publication. I suggest you buy the issue if you want to read everything I wrote, but I’ll still give you the Cliff Notes. Basically, I think S.T.H. is one of the greatest publications ever produced (I know, I’m a total Stan). There is simply nothing else quite like it — it’s unapologetic, it’s political, it’s a thrill to read and it should be a part of every self-respecting homo’s library. The publication comes out sporadically as Billy Miller is pretty much the only person keeping the ship afloat (he puts it out when he can find the time). Issue #68 has just been released and they are celebrating with a launch event at Printed Matter in Chelsea this Thursday, April 9. They’ll be selling the magazine along with a whole bunch of S.T.H. related art by contributors to the journal. It’s a free event that should be filled with all sorts of filthy, slutty S.T.H. fans. I hope you’ll be one of them.
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.
There’s some places that I love so much I want to keep them a secret. El Rey on Stanton St. is one of those. It’s hands down my favorite place for breakfast. The thing is, it’s really small and already over-crowded, so just promise me this: go, but don’t tell anyone else about it. Sound good? The food at El Rey is vegetarian, but that’s not something you’ll notice right away. Chef Gerardo Gonzalez, who was raised in San Diego, is a fan of bold flavors (lots of sumac and Aleppo pepper), he’s also one creative mother fucker. I have never had a grain salad — grain salad! — as sumptuous as the one on his menu. I’ve also never had a falafel dish so good I didn’t even notice it has no actual falafel in it — it’s a deconstruction with the “evanescence of falafel” — it’s hard to explain, but it all makes sense when you get it in your mouth. Another thing they do well here is coffee — it’s of the highest quality and made right. They even have a “flat white” which for an Australian like me, is a reassuring thing to see. Head to El Rey late in the afternoon, or at night (they just started serving dinner) if you want to avoid the crowds. If anyone asks you where you are going, keep your fucking mouth shut. If I see you there with a whole posse I’m going to spill my flat white all over your Patrik Ervell sweater. Don’t ruin this for me!.
I love, love, love BUTT. Their original magazine was a window into a whole other gay world that I knew I wanted to be a part of one day, growing up in a far away land called Australia. A few years back when they asked me to write their New York Fag Map, I couldn’t have been more excited — it was a real honor. The BUTT crew haven’t done an event in NYC in a while, so it’s nice to see them back at it with the latest installment of Club Butt, which this time is happening at Secret Project Robot in Brooklyn. “Harry & JPEG [featured in GAYLETTER Issue 1] of Men’s Room Chicago will play a 5+ hour set of pounding Chicago house. Plus, plus, plus… Bushwick’s squelchy circuit benders [and GAYLETTER Issue 2 stars] Bottoms step out of the gutter and on to the stage with their expensive gear and cheap wigs.” The BUTT crew is also looking “for five perfect specimens of asshood to compete for the illustrious ‘Buns of Steel’ title.” If you think you have what it takes send your best belfie to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
The super fun midtown party PrettyUgly is happening on Friday this week (it’s normally on Saturday). If you read GAYLETTER you probably already know about this party and have heard how amazing the venue is. Yes, it really is everything, it really is Beyoncé. I know some of you haven’t been able to attend because you can’t help yourself and go way too hard on Friday nights and by Saturday are fucking messes. I hear this excuse way too often on Saturdays because I know lots of people with no self control. This week you don’t have that excuse! I host this party regularly because I love seeing you guys drink my bottle of vodka without asking, ha ha, just kidding, it’s because it’s awesome and it’s worth the pain the next day. I am in a very strange mood today… I sound so old talking about hangovers and all that boring stuff, but you know hangovers are a sign that you are alive and doing something with your life in NYC. Join me, and a whole bunch of other sexy hosts and super easy random babes (who’ll probably fuck you if they came with their friend molly) for the best Friday night of your life. TGIF!
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.
An event presented by Dauphine of Bushwick & Cafe Dancer
This movie is so mesmerizing — I popped an Ambien before I started (I really wanted to sleep — it was past 2:00AM) and I stayed up through the whole thing (I love powering through an Ambien, which could be one reason why I missed the fact that the protagonist, Alexsandr, apparently had a personality disorder, I just thought he was odd and hot!) The film is about a super sexy illegal Russian living in NYC who loses his mother to suicide and his sister to god knows where, and without any other options for survival becomes a very skilled male escort. The film is written, edited, produced and co-directed by it’s star, the uber talented Pau Maso (he shares the director’s credit with David Damen — I’m glad he got some help.) Told in flashbacks while Alexsandr is in a grueling therapy session, the film explores his descent into the world of male prostitution with all the drugs, dancing and drama you can imagine. I must say, Pau is so beautiful to watch on film I could stare at him reading the dictionary for hours. I read some of the critics reviews of the film and had to share this one, “If Black Swan were a film about a male escort rather than a ballerina (and had a dash of Requiem for a Dream thrown in) it would probably be something like Alexander’s Price.” Yassss, it’s truly a must see.