Matthew Leifheit, former photo editor of vice and publisher of the savvy MATTE Magazine, is presenting a new show opening Friday, Jan. 13th at MAW. “Your Giorgio presents 13 translations from the secret scrapbooks of George Platt Lynes made by Leifheit in the past year. These works — comprised of a collaged book, short short film, and original photographs of varying scale — attempt to reanimate the queer archive through various poetic approaches to documentary.” We met and worked with Matthew nearly two years ago now when he shot some intimate portraits for GAYLETTER Issue 3. I can remember he spoke in a tender tone toward the craft of photography, and I went to find the latest issue of VICE at Printed Matter after I met him.
The work placed in Your Giorgio “draw upon photographs of the actual materials Lynes left behind, they remain assertively personal and elegiac.” Head out to the opening on Friday evening if you can, but if not, be sure to pop over to MAW over the weekend to get a look at his show. Should definitely be a fulfilling experience.
FREE, 12:00PM-6:00PM, MAW, 56 HENRY ST. #SE. NY, NY. …
Jimmy DeSana’s work was featured in the last issue of GAYLETTER Magazine and we fell in love with it. He is an artist whose art has been overlooked for many years, mainly because most people never had the chance to see it. Jimmy died of AIDS in the late '80s and left his work to artist Laurie Simmons (who was his old roommate and close friend.) She has been cataloguing and organizing the work for the last 20 years and is now doing everything she can to exhibit it. This new exhibition at the Steven Kasher Gallery features “30 rare Cibachrome prints from 1985. This set of “lost” prints has never before been on view to the public and is being presented at a time when interest in DeSana is at a renewed high. Art and photography from the early 1980s is being critically revisited in recent exhibitions at major museums and galleries. There is a special interest now in queer artists and the legacy of a generation destroyed by AIDS. Jimmy DeSana is an essential figure in this evolving canon.” This is a real treat. Jimmy’s work was influential to many of today’s contemporary artists. And let’s be honest, since when has death ever got in the way of an artist’s career? I’m sure we’ll continue to hear plenty more about this brilliant young man who was so ahead of his time.
From a young age we learn how much the flow of goods and capital can be livened up with a little mystery. (Think: Happy Meals, holiday grab bags, whether or not your debit card is going to get denied at your bodega on Sunday morning). Surprises rock! It’s an obvious, objective truism. You get excited, you beg for clues, you scramble to guess. The excitement is hard to contain.
And Visual AIDS — a contemporary art organization we’ve definitely told y’all about before — understands this excitement. Specifically, they do with the upcoming 19th annual ‘Postcards From the Edge’ benefit, scheduled for this weekend. This event provides “an opportunity for the public to purchase original pieces of postcard-sized artwork by both established and emerging artists for only $85 each.” And not without some mysterious fun; the individual cards are displayed, sans the artist’s names, the identity of whom you find out post-purchase! This is your chance to take home original pieces by favorites like William Wegman, John Arsenault, Loraine O’Grady, Benjamin Fredrickson, Marilyn Minter, Kerry James Marshall, and many more.
Image courtesy of the artist Benjamin Fredrickson
The actual benefit sale will occur all day January 14th and 15th, preceded by a Preview Party on Friday the 13th from 5:00PM-8:00PM where you’ll have the chance to win first dibs on your favorite pieces. VIP passes and a silent auction are also in store at the event, so head to the host gallery Metro Pictures for some awesome surprises that benefit an even more awesome cause. …
“New York–based fashion photographer Rick Day has a gift of capturing the beauty of the male figure,” a gift made increasingly evident in his new book of photos featuring an intimate look into the lives and bodies of Bel Ami‘s best. After getting an exclusive look at Day’s book, we became so…allured we couldn’t resist asking him a few questions. Btw: NSFW.
How has fashion influenced your photography style? How does photographing nude models change that approach? As a self-taught photographer… I guess that fashion has sharpened my outlook on many aspects of photography… If definitely taught me to me more conscious of my lighting, along with paying attention to detail in both landscape and content.
What do you enjoy most about the male body? Body hair and hair patterns. I love the lines of a man’s body.
How did you approach incorporating the already established Bel Ami brand and aesthetic into these photos? Did you conscientiously want to elevate their known look or take things in a new direction? What is the difference, if any, between pornographic photos and the ones featured in the book? What influence does pornography have on your work in general? I think more than incorporating the Bel Ami brand into these photos I was interested in incorporating my aesthetic into the Bel Ami brand. Also, I wanted to make the Bel Ami boys a bit more masculine, at least in regards to my own idea of masculinity. There are many, many photographers that have shot these boys… And I think we each want to capture them in our own unique style. …
Photographer Matt Lambert's upcoming book
With everyone and their dads releasing original content, we’re glad to know the folks at Grindr are starting to do the same. While other platforms have surely dabbled in productions related to gay life and culture, Grindr is guaranteed to bring audiences material created by queers, about queers, for queers. And soon: their first book will launch.
Thankfully it’s by L.A.-boy-gone-Berlin Matt Lambert, a photographer whose art we’ve admired for some time now. Simply called Home, Lambert’s work is concerned with space and its meanings, both physical and virtual. As we know queers’ conceptions of both these things — home and space — can often be fraught, malleable, and life-affirming, Home features photographs and interviews that are both intimate and poignant, warm yet also chilling. With a foreword penned by critically acclaimed queer filmmaker Bruce LaBruce, Lambert’s Home portrays generational and cultural shifts from the bars and bathhouses of the ‘70s to the virtual cruising grounds of the now.
These are spaces that gays begin interacting with in adolescence and onward, so Lambert’s decision to cast through apps like Grindr and Instagram is quite apt. This choice lead him to a group of beautiful boys, and this publication presents them as finding pleasure and intimacy in fucking, along with comfort and kinship in explaining the nuances of cruising and understanding one’s sexuality in our digital moment. With a Nan Goldin feel, infused with aesthetics that are particularly contemporary, Lambert’s photos express distance and proximity, love and something else. …
Preserving the queer archive
Any homo with half a brain knows that the history of “gay New York” is an exhilarating mix of sex and glamour and death and disease. It’s these opposing extremes which makes it so intoxicating to learn about. Which is why when we see a good opportunity to connect with our lineage we do just that. It’s one reason why living in New York City can be so exciting and melancholic — our history is all around us if we just look for it.
If you often lust for an NYC long gone, connect with the city’s queer history by checking out this campaign for the upcoming photo-memoir by photographer Marcus Leatherdale. He’s titled it What’s Left of Leatherdale, and is promising to offer viewers his unique perspective on “a place & time in New York City that stands as one of the most provocative, creative eras the city has seen.”
Marcus was thrown into the NYC art and nightlife scene in 1979 and slowly became an “It kid” and a contemporary to queer icons like Andy Warhol, Grace Jones, and Robert Mapplethorpe. This queen knew them all and he has the photos to prove it!
His work spans from 1978-2005. He’s seen Palladium go from one of the best dance clubs in town to a dorm for rich kids, worked, and lived, through the epidemic, and seen the city change from a nexus of art, culture, and nightlife to, well, however you wanna describe what it is now. …
Brian Clamp at ClampArt informed me earlier this week about this book signing that they’ll be hosting at the gallery on Thursday, December 8th. I asked for the book because I was curious the moment I read the word ‘Bel Ami‘ in the title. The book that I am talking about of course contains nude photographs of some of the Bel Ami boys by the American photographer Rick Day.
We got the book delivered to the office and the first thing our office mate William told me was, “it’s a statement, you need a large table for it not to eat the whole surface…” The next morning, I finally got to see the book in person and my reaction was like, “m m m it’s not that big” (15.25×11.75 inches), but the dicks in it certainly are. Uncut, large, fluffy, tasty looking penises are in abundance in this lush tome.
Thank God for Bel Ami, and God bless those uncut penises. You can see their asses too, which are nice, oh and the boys are also Bel Ami level cute. Brian told me that at the signing they’ll also have “18 framed photographs on display from the project.” So you can not only purchase the book there, but also own one of those prints. Here’s a preview of what to expect.
This show is curated by Mark Beard, who has spent the last two decades keeping alive the legacy of artist Bruce Sargeant. Sargeant is a painter who “largely concentrated on the idealization and celebration of the male form. Had Sargeant not met with a tragic and untimely death at the age of 40, he may have gone on to achieve the fame and renown awarded to such painters as James McNeill Whistler, Thomas Eakins, and Winslow Homer — artists to whom his style is often compared. Instead, Sargeant’s oeuvre remained relatively unknown for years until it was brought to light by the efforts of Beard.”
This Thursday, December 1st, ClampArt is hosting an opening reception for Mark Beard’s show Bruce Sargeant (1898-1938): Parlor, Gymnasium & Field. “The current exhibition gathers canvases in which Sargeant portrays his young models in various private settings such as the parlor and studio; to quasi-public spaces including the gymnasium; on to the field and in the great outdoors. Mark Beard’s selection of a wide array of scenes reflects his great uncle’s interest in men of all social echelons — from ranchers and people of the working class up the social ladder to sportsmen and art collectors alike.”
Sounds like a wonderful show, and it’s heartening to see a forgotten queer artist finally been given his dues.
Mark Beard [Bruce Sargeant (1898-1938)], “Two Friends,” n.d., Oil on canvas, 20×24 inches, Courtesy of ClampArt, New York City.
Mark Beard [Bruce Sargeant (1898-1938)], “Hunter in Lederhosen,” n.d., Oil on canvas, 60×36 inches, Courtesy of ClampArt, New York City. …
Previously boxed away images of Madonna have made it to print
The latest from Madonna is not what you think. Madonna 66 is a new book featuring photos of the singer taken on the eve of her entry to stardom. These never before seen photos of Madonna tell the story of the woman behind the celebrity.
Her beauty is forthright and the outfits are quintessentially cool. Madonna in these photos has charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent written all over her, crossed out, and then written all over her again. I picture them arriving on Cis Corman‘s desk in the early 80’s (maybe accompanied by a few demos featuring the naïve but power-house voice) and imagine the gasps — audible and not — that probably ensued.
Madonna 66 is a limited edition photo book, running just 1,500 copies and featuring 66 unpublished Polaroid images of Madonna. Taken on Friday, June 17th in 1983, the images come straight from Richard Corman, son of the aforementioned casting director and producer.
“Cis was preparing a modern day treatment of the classic fairy tale Cinderella [and] asked Richard to drop everything and photograph a performer named Madonna,” who was set to play the lead. The film was never released, but the preliminary photos kick ass. Plus, Madonna 66 includes a 14 page film-treatment of Corman’s shelved Disney adaptation.
As I sifted through the images I wrote down all of the words that came to my mind, and I found that just single adjectives weren’t doing me justice. …
Last week, after spending a few hours in Chelsea looking at some great art shows (Ai Weiwei, Prabhava Thimeppayil, Rothko and one my favorite artists Josef Albers) at some of the most pretentious galleries in NYC, I felt art-satisfied. I was walking with a friend back downtown and we were still gagging after all the cunt minimalism. As we were walking I looked in the window of Gallery 231 on 10th Ave. and read the word “transgender.” We went inside and it was a show of Mark Seliger’s photographs of members of the transgender community titled ‘On Christopher Street - Transgender Portraits.’ I was like why wasn’t this on my “art walk” list? As far as I am concerned this is the most powerful and important work to see. Right now is probably one of the most important times to embrace and support marginalized communities. I am not gonna ruin my post by mentioning the name of that racist troll that “won” this election. After seeing lots of familiar trans faces (Hari Nef, Octavia, Carmen Carrera, Bailey Stiles, Amos Mac and others) it made me think how far this community has come and why we mustn’t stop now. The show features honest and strong, black and white photography that capture the souls of the subjects being photographed. There’s a room where you can sit down and watch videos and hear the stories of some of the people in the show. This is about trans-visibility — showing one’s self to the world is something that every member of the LGBTQ community must do. Please don’t hide.