GAYLETTERGAYLETTER

Friday 09.21.18

DON HERRON’S TUB SHOTS

65 portraits of downtown New York City's LGBTQ icons.

It would seem there is no shortage of photographs to uncover from New York City in the latter half of the 20th Century. Curators and art historians alike have silently begun mounting and uncovering large archives previously unseen for audience large and small. Unsurprisingly, most of these works are creative-leftovers and masterworks from LGBTQ artists. Don Herron (1941-2012) among them.

 

Herron moved to New York City in 1978 when the downtown and East Village art scene was booming. He invited the scene’s bigwigs like Keith Haring, Robert Mapplethorpe, Belle Du Jour, Holly Woodlawn and countless others to sit (or sink) in what would become Tub Shots — 65 images of New York City’s queer heroes and heroines that detail the landscape of the bohemian creative community at the time. Speaking to the Village Voice in 1980, Herron said, “I decided to do a series of photographs of people in containers. The bathtub was the logical container to use.”

 

The portraits are collaborations between Herron and his subjects. Some brought elaborate outfits, some performed theatrical expressions, and some just sat and relaxed, probably just happy to have a bath. Seen in only black and white, these iconic artists of countless mediums behave in which ever way they please. Freedom, at the time of photographing, was being denied from these artists daily. And many of these subjects would be lost to AIDS in the years to come. While their creative work and lifestyles were all the rage in terms of informing style and the arts for generations to come, the polemical nature of their day-to-day behavior were unwelcome, judged and punished by polite society. …

Thursday 09.20.18

GAYLETTER Magazine at Printed Matter’s NY Art Book Fair 2018 – Booth N27

Come join us this week, starting this Thursday, September 20 at 6:00PM (for the preview) as we head to the Printed Matter‘s Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1 —  We’ll be at Booth N27. The book fair is one of our favorite events of the year (Click here to see photos from the last year). Not only is it a wonderful chance to meet our readers, but we also like to sneak off from our booth, when if we get the chance, to go roam around the floors of the fair to see all the amazing printed matter available from other publishers and galleries from around the world.

 

There is an overload of incredible stuff to look at. In its 13th year the fair features 365 exhibitors. It is also the first fair since the death of it’s curator Shannon Michael Caine. It won’t be the same fair without him…On Sunday at 3:30PM we’re going to be talking on a panel about BUTT magazine — It’s the US premiere of the film ‘After BUTT’ by Ian Giles (Here’s the Facebook page with more details). Come to the Art Book Fair to support print and help us keep our publication alive by buying one, or ALL available issues, nothing wrong with owning the entire collection!

 

Thursday (preview night) 6:00PM-9:00PM, Friday 1:00PM-7:00PM, Saturday 11:00AM-9:00PM, Sunday 11:00AM-7:00PM. MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Ave. Long Island City, NY. …

Introducing: lstw – Issue #3

"Lesbians have more fun!"

lstw, or “Lez Spread the Word,” a Montréal-based initiative of about 20 queer women, began printing their magazine in the fall of 2016. Committed to fighting queer visibility, they began as a website exploring Canada’s various lesbian communities and have since launched a film series, a bi-monthly party and are onto their third print issue (Issue #3) with Lena Waithe donning the cover. (Past cover-women include the Canadian pop-rock queer-twins Tegan & Sara and the former Gaultier muse and DJ/model Ève Savail).

 

Creating a magazine is no easy feat. In digitized culture, the print medium has lost market value and readership across international borders. Yet the necessity for the medium remains. Not every corner of our world has access to the internet, you know. And there is no better way to spread culture, especially queer culture, than passing along finite, printed matter.

 

To help celebrate the launch of Issue #3, we sent Florence Gagnon – founder and publisher of lstw – a few questions to learn more about the publication’s creative process, the initiatives’ goals and what doing print means in 2018.

 

How did you come up with the name of the magazine? In 2012, when I was first contemplating launching a website, I knew I wanted to bring lesbians together and I knew I wanted to increase our visibility. My goal was to create the resource that had been missing when my friends and I were first coming out. “Spreading the word” was the departure point and “Lez Spread the Word” the obvious next step. …

Tuesday 09.18.18

Bushwig 2018: Portraits

Photos from Brooklyn's wildest weekend for drag.

Bushwig only happens once a year. Which totally sucks! What began as a backyard soirée of hours worth of drag-shows has ballooned into an internationally stamped festival showcasing the many modes of drag. New York — Brooklyn more specifically — where Bushwig began, has long hosted the careers of some of the drag industry’s best performers before fame grabbed them on Instagram, YouTube or RuPaul’s Drag Race.

 

Bushwig (which most recent offshoot was in Berlin) is organized by what has become a kind of drag-cooperative over the years. Spearheaded by Horrorchata and the many who work with and around her on a weekly basis, including Merrie Cherry, Tyler Ashley, Charlene, Hannah Lou, Untitled Queen, and Miss Malice — all of these performers (but honestly, legends) band together to book, organize, perform, emcee, and command the city’s biggest weekend for drag. (And this is a city that hosts RuPaul’s Drag Con.) The appearances at this year’s festival were no short of star-studded, with drag celebrities like Pearl, Hungry, Aja, Shea Couleé and Alaska taking to the stage on both nights.

 

This year, rain rolled through the festival’s early September weekend, but drag doesn’t stop for weather. Jason Leavy — who photographed the festival for us last year — decamped for Knockdown Center again to collect a series of portraits of the electric performers and twinkling attendees.

 

It should come as no surprise that among drag superstars and drag babies alike, there is beauty in every corner of the industrial festival grounds. …

Friday 09.14.18

Opening reception: Don Herron’s Tub Shots

At Daniel Cooney Fine Art in New York City

Thursday 09.13.18

Spirit & Flesh – Celebrate Freedom

Wednesday 09.12.18

BUSHWIG 2018 – DAY 2

Tuesday 09.11.18

Vasilis Loizides S/S 2019 Presentation

BUSHWIG 2018 – DAY 1

Scenes from Saturday at the annual drag and performance festival

Monday 09.10.18

PATRICK CHURCH’S DRIVE THRU OPENING

Scenes from the opening reception at Toth Gallery during NYFW.

Tuesday 09.04.18

Montréal Pride Festival 2018

With performances by Deborah Cox, Calum Scott, Peaches, Todrick Hall and more

Friday 08.31.18

BLOOM BY TROYE SIVAN

Sappho’s deflowering has made its way back to the queer-vogue.

The flower is the oldest virgin metaphor in the books, literally. It dates back to Sappho — the Greek feminist hero and queer champion from Lesbos. “Her mouth for immolation / was ripe, and mine the art; and one long kiss of passion / deflowered her virgin heart.” Sappho wrote in her lyric, “The First Kiss.” Queers have been shouting Sappho’s praises ever since because, not only was Sappho among the firsts to write about same-sex desire, Sappho was one of the firsts to take the marginalized sense of same-sex affection and ascribe to the natural world. Turning her own homosexual purity into a mainstream understanding.

 

Fast forward several millennium later and enter Troye Sivan. At 17, the Australian garnered a large fanbase on YouTube by posting videos of himself singing. At 20, Troye came out to thousands of his subscribers in an eight minute long video in the style of “It Gets Better.” (His parents were supportive from the get-go.) Naturally, Troye went viral. It presently has over eight million views. Following his public honesty, a record deal from EMI Australia (a Universal Music Australia Party) followed and thus a bona-fide pop-star from the digital generation was born. His debut album, Blue Neighbourhood secured international and industry fame. “Blue Neighbourhood Trilogy“, the three-part film released in tandem with the album told a cliché love-story between Troye and another boy: Childhood friends turned teenage lovers turned first heart-break. It’s all very regular by pop-imagery and pop-media standards, but it was the first time pop-culture was handed a same-sex teenage love story that bode well in the market. …