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.
Abi and I took a trip to Hell’s Kitchen, propelled by our press tickets to see a night of new works by Ailey II at The Ailey Citigroup Theater (the second company of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre) on W. 55th St. and 9th Ave. The first piece, ‘Alchemies’ was a good warm up, a piece that “transforms every day gestures- a reach, and embrace, a finger pointed skyward into a reverie of human interactions.” I liked it but Abi thought it was too hetero-normative. The second piece ‘Cuore Sott’olio’ translation: A heart submerged in oil, was more contemplative and soulful, reminiscent of lost loves and a “rediscovered light within.” But the showstopper was the last dance ‘Wings’ (pictured), mainly because the men had their shirts off and I could see their gorgeous muscles, and it was set to a beautiful ambient score by composer Michael Wall. Truly an inspired evening of dance that we followed up with a visit to Totto Ramen for delicious noodles, then to Atlas Social Club for cocktails and a nightcap at Flaming Saddles Saloon, where we were highly entertained by the country music and dancing bartenders. I did my first fireball shot then went straight home to bed; alone yet totally satisfied.
The Stephen Petronio Company's cocktail reception at Spice Market
Matty is originally from Indianapolis, but he’s been living in Los Angeles for 10 years. He’s 32 years old and as you can see, he looks way younger. He told us one of his secrets to looking good, “I was always told to moisturize everyday, so I cover myself in coco butter after every shower…” It’s working, look at that skin! He’s a DJ and vocalist for Pipes — which is his music project. He just wrote a brand new song after a break up last year, “it’s just about lost happiness, in the video it’s just a typical night at the Pipes house — practicing my poses…as the song plays and the hands touch me and I eventually turn to black, it symbolizes how relationships change you…how people leave their mark on you”
When it comes to the type of boys he likes to date, “I think everyone knows about my obsession with redheads. I think I’m following every hot redhead guy on Instagram , it’s a little intense . But, I try not to put any limits on who I like, except for Scorpios — that’ll never happen” He’s a Sagittarius and describes them as “the luckiest people in the world and we’re super optimistic…we’re the sign of the eternal bachelor and it’s not because we’re slutty — it’s because we so want to know EVERYTHING that we can never be satisfied with just one person, it’s hard to get a Sagittarius to settle down.”
He goes to the gym about 4 times a week, as part of his workout routine he runs “anywhere from 25-40 miles a week. Usually before work and then I’ve been doing Crossfit for about a year now.” He feels very sexy when he wears leather and mesh, “if it’s not sheer it should be leather.” His idea of a sexy date… “I like dates that feel like many mini-dates. Dinner, movie, art show, club, after-party, sunrise on the beach.” Because he lives in one of the warmer cities in America he goes to bed “in the buff, au natural.” Some of the things that make him happy are when he’s surrounded with people that inspire him, also “the sore feeling after the gym, a call with my grandmother, a text from a crush. Oh, and clothes — A good outfit could have me smiling for days.”
We asked Matty to take a few selfies wearing our GAYLETTER t-shirt, he got very creative with it — we love it!
Now watch his latest music video:
We always wonder how Susanne Bartsch stays so young. I’m not calling her old, but she’s been around since Studio 54. I’ve been going out in NYC for about 11 years and let me tell you, as fun as it looks, it’s hard work — how does she do it? Perhaps it’s because she never stops moving (like a shark) I mean she’s involved in 4 parties at the moment. Whatever it is, I am glad she is helping to keep NYC nightlife cunt and alive. Her new party is in it’s sixth week and we finally decided to write it up. We reached out to Susanne and she told us “It’s different from what I usually do, this party has a totally mixed crowd but everyone is gorgeous: stylish straight guys, chic European girls, the occasional sexy suit buying me a glass of champagne, lol, and of course my usual cast of colorful characters…” A mixed party is always great, straight guys sometimes get experimental and then there’s all those bicurious boys. The party happens below the “glamorous restaurant” Monarch at Gilded Lily (a pretty buzzy new spot at the mo). Susanne chatted with the owners about throwing the party there, but they were already talking to Paul Sevigny... “So Paul called me up and we decided it would be fun to do something together…” They rotate the hosts each week, “it feels like a NYC party...It feels fresh and intimate.” Got it. I’d say dress up and look rich.
We spent a night at SOHO's newest hotel. It was the cutting up.
Abi and I recently spent a night in the penthouse suite at The Broome Hotel in SOHO. The hotel is very unassuming, it’s entrance you could easily walk by without noticing what was going on inside. It’s a 14 room establishment that has something pretty incredible going for it: a gorgeous open-air courtyard it’s built around. For a city as tightly packed as NYC it feels almost sacrilegious to not fill in every square foot of available space, but boy is it wonderful edition to the hotel.
It was Oscars weekend when we visited, so we decided to invite a few friends over to watch the show. Being in the penthouse there was plenty of space to fit everyone in (I just love how that sentence sounds). The hotel has a very classic feel to it. Rooms are subdued and understated. Once you’re inside the hotel, you really could be anywhere. The courtyard acts as a buffer, helping to soundproof the city around you.
Attached to the courtyard is a very Parisian-like cafe, that will soon open to the public. It serves all sorts of traditional French dishes, and is undoubtedly going to be a hit with in-the-know locals wanting to impress their companions with this hidden gem.
We took a few photos while staying at The Broome and asked the manager of the hotel to answer a few questions about the hotel. Check it out below.
How long have you been open? The Broome opened on February 14, 2014, which coincided with Valentines Day. We actually offered a cheeky package called The Jean Claude to our guests for opening weekend which included a comp. bottle of Prosecco, a late check out, and one of the CV Intimacy Kits that are typically found in the hotel’s mini-bar.
Who is behind the hotel? Vincent Boitier, Damien Jacquinet, and brothers Jean Claude Iacovelli and Stephane Iacovelli. Boitier and the Iacovelli brothers have been wining and dining SoHo denizens for 25 years, at the helm of some of the neighborhood’s most spirited establishments including Fiat Café, Café Lure, Jean Claude, Soho Steak, L’Orange Bleue & Provence.
How did it come about? In 2007, Boitier, and the Iacovelli brothers shifted their focus from restaurants to hotels, purchasing 431 Broome Street, in the form of its last incarnation, an artist loft populated with SoHo’s bohemian graffiti vandals. In 2012, Entrepreneur and longtime restaurant patron, Damien Jacquinet, joined forces with the trio as an investor, helping to put the finishing touches on the project. The Four Frenchmen have infused their European sensibility, coupled with their love of New York, into The Broome. After seven years of meticulous renovation, The Broome is now every bit as modern as the city that has built up around it, while still maintaining an inviting and warm ambiance.
How many rooms are there? There are 14 Rooms broken down into four categories (Standard Queen, Deluxe Queen Patio, Junior Suites, and the Penthouse)
How do you hope guests will feel while staying at The Broome? Relaxed, Transported, and at Ease. We want our guests to feel like they are home among city-savvy friends, who can point them in the right direction for a hidden dumpling spot, or a nearby beautiful city park.
What’s your favorite part of the neighborhood? The neighborhood feel it has. Vincent and the Iacovelli brothers have been Soho residents for nearly 25 years, so we’ve been really warmly embraced by our neighbors, and we feel at home here.
What’s your favorite part of the hotel? The courtyard, but also the Penthouse rooftop, which overlooks busy Broome Street but still somehow feels far away. There is a great table up there where you can host a small dinner party. In the summer it will be an incredible perch with a great view of Manhattan.
Tell me about the courtyard, was that always planned or just a lucky part of the project? In Mediterranean cultures, where we take much of our inspiration, there’s always a heart of the home where the family gathers to eat, drink and share stories. Typically, its an outdoor space similar to our courtyard with the open air atrium. Its a complete dichotomy from the chaos of the city, and allows guests to have their own slice of peace in a heavenly setting.
What kind of guests have you had stay at the hotel? So far it’s really been a mix. We have many european travelers looking for a more homey hotel experience, but we have also had our fair share of New Yorkers, looking for a weekend escape. The hotel is really transformative, and makes you feel like you’re far away, even though Soho is buzzing right outside. It’s a really restful staycation spot.
Who designed the hotel? The owners designed the hotel, with help from their friend and design consultant, Olivier Weisse. They took inspiration from Soho’s industrial style, and decided to go contemporary, with a nod to the community around us. The hotel is literally furnished by our neighbors! Everything we purchased is in walking distance from us including BDDW, Thomas O’Brien, Jonathan Adler, Design within Reach, and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams.
The artist discuses his vision for his project 'I Want Them to Turn Black'
The 22 year-old from Monterey Rhyan Hamilton is currently in his final year at Marymount Manhattan College, where he’s studying Communications with a concentration in Creative Media. Speaking with him, it’s clear that Rhyan has a very clear sense of himself. He’s approachable, articulate and so passionate when he gets to talking about his upcoming project, I Want Them to Turn Black, that it’s impossible not to share in his excitement. The event, set for May 17th, is a definite must. Hosted by Amanda Lepore, it will feature live sound by The House of Pain, a live-streamed performance by Lady Alchemy and the work of a number of New York City based artists.
We got to talking with Rhyan about his vision, his inspirations, and what we can do to help.
Hey Rhyan! Tell us a bit about yourself. First off, thanks for having me! I’m a fashion videographer, model, drag artist and Bay Area transplant based in Brooklyn. And curator, I suppose you could add to that list. And I’m also pursuing a rap career, but that’s another interview.
So, what is I Want Them to Turn Black? I WANT THEM TO TURN BLACK is a multi-media salon exploring Beauty, Monstrosity, and Fragility through the lenses of performance and new media. It’s a celebration really, of individuals who use their physicality to make art.
This interest in beauty, monstrosity — does it come from someplace personal? When I moved here from California in 2010, I never really had exposure to this kind of world — that manifests itself from standing out from everyone else. Back home, it’s very much about looking and feeling like everyone else. I was never really comfortable with this. I always wanted to stand out, and if I were to do something no one else was doing, I was going to do it perfectly.
The club scene in New York really asked me to challenge what I knew about fitting in. Here, fitting in was fitting-out. Over the course of the past few years I’ve watched people change: I’ve watched their faces change, their mannerisms, everything about them. It’s a question of identity, really. How much can you change before you’re a different person entirely? Vanity and perfection are words that are usually associated with negative connotations, but I think to devote your life to your representation is something of a sacrifice. I think there is a lot of bravery in it.
What inspires you, in general and in relation to this project? I’m really inspired by people who use their bodies to empower themselves or prove a point — performance artists, sex workers. When doing research for his project I read a lot of works on aestheticism. I’m inspired by people who use their body as their canvas.
When I met Amanda Lepore for the first time, I just didn’t really have words. She made a decision to devote herself to beauty, and I think that’s admirable. I think many would protest this statement, but I see Amanda Lepore as a feminist icon. Here is someone who took every expectation of women by men and the male gaze, accepted the challenge (intentionally or otherwise), and reconstructed her body to be an item of perfection. When you isolate each feature she has, she is objectively flawless. But in totality, when you get the whole picture, it’s bizarre. It’s a conundrum. And she lives her life as a spectacle. That, to me, is deserving of recognition.
How will this be different from all the other showcases and events out there? I think what makes this showcase different is that the theme is really specific without being specified. It’s not about gender or feminist discourse or issues surrounding body dysmorphia. It’s also not, not about them. It kind of transcends all of those things without undermining them. Everything is gong to be organic and unrehearsed. It’s going to happen once, and never happen again. I want it to feel very grounded yet really fleeting. I think that what each member of the audience will perceive will be different.
The first half of the salon will be very much a walk-around, gallery sort of set up followed by a performance in the second half which will be an experience more so than just something to watch. It’s going to be absolutely, almost illegal. Like, I thought about having people sign a waiver before viewing the performance haha. My goal is to put you on the edge of vertigo.
Now, how would you sum up what attendees have in store, what donors will be helping to realize —in one sentence? I Want Them to Turn Black is the democratic summation, deconstruction, and reinterpretation of the sacrifice that is Beauty, through a visually and aurally stimulating experience.
Anything else you think our readers should know? I almost forgot! In order to raise funding for the event, I’ve started an Indiegogo campaign to get things in motion. And if readers don’t have the means to contribute financially, there are other ways to help. The showcase is accepting art submissions online at iwantthemtoturnblack.com and I encourage everyone to submit something! We’re also looking for volunteers to help set up at the event. There are a ton of ways everyone can be a part of the experience. If you can’t make the showcase be sure to check out a live stream of the performance on the event’s site on the day of the showcase. See you there!
I WANT THEM TO TURN BLACK will be taking place on May 17th, 2014 at Colony Studios, 67 West St. Brooklyn, NY. It will streamed live on iwantthemtoturnblack.com.
To help Rhyan make this a reality, head over to his Indiegogo site and make a donation!
Artist Sean Fader came up with the unusual idea to sign up to 16 dating sites and then go on 100 dates over the course of a year, documenting the results. Sounds simple enough right? the Internet is full of all sorts of catchy “projects” like this. The difference with Sean’s project is that as soon as the men arrived for the dates he set up his camera and immediately took a photo of the guys based on his preconceived notion of them from their online profiles. After the date ended, (an hour later, the next day) he worked with them on another photo that more accurately reflected who they were. The resulting photo series titled ‘Sup!’ is a fascinating look at the disparity between how we portray ourselves online and who we are in real life. While the project sounds like a lot of fun, it took a toll on Sean: “when the date was awkward, when the photographs were bad, and I felt bad about myself — everything was about an exterior approval — when someone rejects you, it can be ego-bruising, and when you’re supposed to also be making work and when you fail at that, too… it deeply changed me.” I think the series is really clever and well worth a few minutes of your time. It’s a good reminder to get offline and go take some chances in the real world, as scary as that might seem.
A guide for Artsluts in NYC
Over the rainbow and through the hood to find transcendence we roll along ~ Catch us if you can… Join us if you dare!
Enjoy your W33KLY MIX on Soundcloud by BOYWOLF x JX CANNON: BOYWOLF EP
EVRIPIDIS & HIS TRAGEDIES @ METROPOLITAN (559 LORIMER ST.) Expect piano-driven everyday tragedies about doomed affairs, ghosts, lazy summers, the secrets of the moon, the after hours life, love, lust and loss, always seasoned with a healthy mixture of pain and humor. 8:00PM. FREE.
WESTGAY @ THE WESTWAY (75 CLARKSON ST.) Drag Race star PhiPhi Ohara plays Selena and the awesome rap duo Double Duchess from San Francisco will make your head toss like a salad. Guest DJs Michael Magnan and Cody Chritchole of Ssion join resident Jonjon Battles for a night of dancing and debauchery. 10:00PM, $5 BEFORE MIDNIGHT.
NOT TOO SOON @ THE POETRY PROJECT (131 E 10TH ST.) AIDS, upscale transients, and other hilarious musings by the inspired Jack Waters with numbers from the Jackie Kaye Songbook. Images by Peter Cramer. On the program with Judy Grahn. 8:00PM. FREE?
WIRED @ WRECK ROOM (940 FLUSHING AVE.) A monthly showcase featuring performance artists leaning towards the experimental + House beats and those essential grooves to keep ya movin all night long! Midnight shows by Chris Tyler, Gabe Gonzalez, Issa Israel and Tom Barranca. DJs David John Sokolowski and Mikëy Hefez will keep you grooving and grinding. 10:00PM. $5 SUGGESTED DONATION.
STARLIGHT @ FRIENDS & LOVERS (641 CLASSON AVE.) This cute Thursday night “queer social” is HOT right now. If you haven’t checked it out yet this week is your chance. Cunt cosmic rap duo Double Duchess joins the forever cute and juicy Big Dipper for a night that just might leave you lost in the stars. Hosted by Machine Dazzle with beats by Dandylion. 9:00PM. $8.
SATURN BOUND @ TBA BROOKLYN (395 WYTHE AVE.) Good vibes, an amazing community, and a healthy dose of inspiration. Highlighting local artists who are creating the sounds of the future in a low-key environment. No pressure, no snobbery. A playground for the underground. Music by Prism House (Ceremony), Spheres, Rob DeLitta and Headphonist. 10:00PM. FREE.
EKPHRAZEIN @ ARAS (28 E 39TH ST.) An evening of ekphrastic poetry, video, and music. Coming from the Greek ek, “out,” and phrasis, “speak,” the verb ekphrazein means to call a visual object by name. It is the description of one artwork by another medium, thus allowing each form to illuminate and enhance its other. Come see what new forms arise as nine artists confront image with text, sound, and video. The contributors will interpret and reveal artworks related to the archetype of the Map. 7:00PM. DONATIONS SUGGESTED.
IN YOU. (AND YOU?) @ BROOKLYN ARTS EXCHANGE (421 5TH AVE.) Everyone has voices in their heads: mundane obsessions, cereal commercials, abstract fear. Superficial worries escalating into apocalyptic anxiety before the first cup of coffee. An existential vortex gutting the morning routine. Written and performed by the talented Melanie Jones, IN YOU. (AND YOU?) mines the transformative potential of discord. 8:00PM. $15 General or $8 Low Income.
THE BUNKER @ OUTPUT (74 WYTHE AVE.) She’s baaack! Our favorite big time NYC club night is calling you. Cool people from all over converge at Output for incredible electronic music on the best sound system in the city. We can’t wait to queen out in the Panther Room to Mike Servito and Wrecked. In the main room Minilogue (Cocoon | Sweden) will play an extended live set and Eric Cloutier (The Bunker | Berlin) will keep the beat alive. 10:00PM. $20.
BODY @ ROCK BAR (185 CHRISTOPHER ST.) #GIANT Will Sheridan invites you to celebrate life, art, live music and BODY baby! Live stunts by Neo Camp, Shane Shane and Will Sheridan. DJs Lorant, Kurt Jo and Good Goose will have you on the dancefloor spinning with host Merrie Cherry. 10:00PM. $5.
LUNAR ECLIPSE @ BODY ACTUALIZED CENTER (143 TROUTMAN ST.) Come gather under one roof, for one night, as we celebrate, in love, in dance, in each other, the uniting of a full moon and full sun, emanating energy towards an entire night of abundant talent and beauty. Music by Aurora Halal, Volvox, Umfang and Panax with rituals by Moon Church Collective. 10:00PM. $10.
SELF WORTH @ CULTUREFIX (9 CLINTON ST.) Art by Avery Noyes, Aaron Kolfage, Frank Oswald, Andy Wong (CH Eno), Alex Salmon Bubafina Hess, Sophie Larrimore. Sound by Erica Landerholm (SLUTCORE), Dan Spagnoli (Dan2600) and YUNG PUP. Each artist in the show has there own unique approach to “painting,” uncategorized in many ways. The work is primarily expressionistic, with a light symbolic reference. 8:00PM. FREE.
DANE TERRY @ SIDEWALK (94 AVE. A) An intimate set of songs in a lovely room sung by a beautiful soul. 7:00PM SHARP. DONATION.
Stroke: From Under the Mattress to the Museum Walls, now up at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art until May 25th, is absolutely everything (and also the perfect way to ignite your libido for spring, trust). I came of age in the late 60’s and early 70’s, yes Mossy is no spring chicken, and I had a pile of gay porno magazines secretly stashed under my bed. One day I came home from school, I was 14 or so, I entered my room and to my shock and horror saw the pile neatly placed on top of my desk. My mother, without missing a beat, called up from the kitchen, “oh Mary (our cleaning lady) found those magazines under your bed, I put them on your desk!” Not a word about the content, nor my burgeoning homosexuality, until 10 years later — another story for another day. This exhibition includes works by Tom of Finland, Jim French, Etienne, Antonio Lopez, Michael Kirwan and others. The curator of the show Robert W. Richards says the exhibition “spotlights the great artists who illustrated stories published in the gay magazines of their eras.” From Physique Pictorials to Blue Boy, Honcho, Mandate and Unzipped, Stroke includes them all. I am bringing everyone I know back to this show, it’s a gem — a stroke of pure genius.