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Wednesday 08.24.16

Adam’s Nest Presents: Nathan Rapport

Rapport’s artwork is now on view at the store Adam’s Nest in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

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Nathan Rapport creates beautiful and erotic scenes using colors that are as queer as his subjects. I mean, it’s not everyday that you get to see multicolored pubes. Beginning on Friday, August 19th, you’ll be able to catch Rapport’s artwork on view at the store, Adam’s Nest in Provincetown, Massachusetts. The show is titled “I Won’t Decorate My Love,” and Nathan himself will be at the opening night reception.

 

A multitalented artist who splits his time between Texas and California, Rapport gained national notoriety with his queer adult coloring book, “Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me.” The coloring book, along with shirts designed by Nathan, can all be found in the Adam’s Nest online store. The t-shirts feature designs such as “Blousy Top,” “Butt Pirate” and a dude with a dick stuffed in his mouth captioned, “Enjoy the Silence.”

 
The show coincides with Carnival week, one of the biggest outdoor celebrations in Massachusetts. The Provincetown Carnival attracts a crowd of over 90,000 people all coming together to celebrate queerness. Going along with this year’s Carnival theme of “Back to the ‘80s,” Adam’s Nest is also selling Gran Fury’s Act Up t-shirts, with a portion of the profits going to support the Ali Forney Center.

 

Adam’s Nest opened up in June of this year and proudly features art, apparel and everything in between. In their own words, “We believe in love, equality, and to live by the ‘golden rule.’ Live and let live is the idea we hold in the highest regard. …

Saturday 08.20.16

JAMES UNSWORTH – N.S.F.L.

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James Unsworth’s art is very dark, and sexy and fucked up in the best possible ways. Known for exploring “the subjects of sex, death, food and grand faggotory” in his work, the London based artist, has acquired fans far and wide. This Saturday, August 20, at Printed Matter Inc.

 

 

Unsworth will debut his first U.S. solo exhibition titled ‘N.S.F.L.’ It “will include original drawings from Unsworth’s first two publications; Ninja Turtle Sex Museum and Dead Boys alongside sketches, reference material, prints and ephemera relating to these drawings.

 

Apparently James will be onsite to sign copies of both publications. We chatted with Printed Matter’s Shannon Michael Caine about the show and he told us that there are also “over a 100 original drawings for sale and riso editioned prints start at $20.” He also mentioned that there will be “beer and boys.” He knows us too well. We’re looking forward to it.

 

 

 

 

 

Free, 5:00-7:00pm, Printed Matter, 231 11th Ave. New York, NY. …

Tuesday 08.16.16

Opening Reception: Olympic Favela by Marc Ohrem-Leclef

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It may come as a shock for you to learn that the Olympics are going on right now in Rio de Janeiro. Or that I just had to google the proper spelling of “Janeiro.” While Olympic coverage is everywhere we look, what’s presented is mostly the shiny, hand-holding Olympics that we’re taught to believe in as children. When mainstream news outlets cover more controversial stories, they’re almost always about environmental issues. These stories are obviously important but are only given airtime because they affect foreign athletes. Stories about less significant people (read: poor) are much harder to come by and artist Marc Ohrem-Leclef is doing what he can to change that.

 

With his project Olympic Favela,’ Ohrem-Leclef documents how the residents of 14 Rio favelas (Brazilian urban slums) have been affected by both the Olympic games and the World Cup. Forced from their homes in order to entertain the rest of the world, Marc captures the struggle and perseverance of these brave displaced families through both photo and video. While his work has already been internationally recognized, it’s on view for the first time in New York at the BAXTER ST Gallery as part of the 2016 Annual Juried Exhibition.

 

The show, curated by Mickalene Thomas, will be having an opening reception tomorrow that features a screening of the Olympic Favela accompanying film. The documentary centers around two families from Favela Vila Autodromo who are relocated and end up having to deal with two very different fates. …

Tuesday 08.09.16

Art AIDS America

The controversial exhibit stops at the Bronx Museum of the Arts

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Since its debut at the Tacoma Art Museum in October of 2015, Art AIDS America, curated by Jonathan David Katz and Rock Hushka, has been met with enormous controversy. This backlash comes from the fact that the show, which showcases art that came out of the AIDS epidemic, features hardly any work from black artists. This is troubling, especially when you consider that while black people represent approximately 12% of the U.S. population, in 2010, they made up about 44% of new HIV infections. Right now in America, gay and bisexual black men, as well as trans women, are most at risk for HIV/AIDS.

 

To their credit, the curators of Art AIDS America have taken the criticism of white-washing seriously — as each future iteration of the show seemingly becomes more and more aware of race. At the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the show is designed so that this elephant in the room is one of the first things you see when entering the exhibit. “Tongues Untied” by Marlon Riggs is projected in the entryway to the main part of the exhibit. Riggs’ film — about the black gay community — is one of the first pieces to draw your attention, and it is a telling choice by the Bronx Museum of the Arts to screen it at the start. Understandably, they’d like to show it off. The film is compelling—filled with men reciting provocative, erotic poetry, and confronting the camera with an intensity found also in the footage Riggs uses of parades and lovemaking. …

Friday 08.05.16

GRAVEN IMAGES

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I met the artist Sean O’connor out and about when I was going to FIT in Manhattan and used to party 6 days a week (I think Monday was my day off). Basically I met him drunk. I think he was straight at that time or pretending, or just trying to do bro-masc, I was too drunk to remember the details.

 

Years later I saw him again and he told me he was working on some art and because GAYLETTER is always interested in what’s new, I asked him to share some of his work with me. After we saw the work, we got really into it. Which is why we want to tell you about his first solo exhibition in NYC, which features large paintings, works on paper, as well as “edition prints that depict vast and intricate floral patterns, paired with muscular men and athletes, snakes and reptiles, and classical icons of beauty.”

 

His work is “rooted in traditional decorative art practices such as “Toile de Jouy,” and printed textiles, and he repurposes these mediums to portray a contemporary look and examination of idealized male beauty in gay culture. The imagery in his work references historic and artistic symbols of masculine beauty ranging from ancient Athenian vases, to mid-century male pin ups and athletes, to current prevailing notions of manhood.  His work searches for the humor within the ‘homo-bromo’ social-media fixated culture, and also explores when appreciation for beauty and aesthetic morphs into vanity and narcissism.” It’s super sexy. …

Saturday 07.30.16

Art: The Ointment

I spend hours contemplating hypothetical pros and cons every time I get invited to Brooklyn. Needless to say that usually after x-amount of time spent wasted, my ass always ends up there. When I saw the Facebook event for The Ointment, “a multimedia presentation that introduces ideas and themes from Abdu Ali’s mixtape MONGO,” I thought, hmm, the name of this show alone might be enough to get me over the bridge. I love a good ointment/cream/product. Teen Vogue called Abdu Ali “one of the most fire rappers in the game right now,” and of The Ointment, said it “was inspired by themes such as blacks conquering black oppression through embracing their identity/knowing their past, the ongoing somewhat genetic rage and pain carried through black mothers, and dealing with fuck boy emotional affliction.” It’s also a group show with works from Aurel Haize Odogbo, Devin N. Morris & our lovely, talented friend Elliott Brown Jr. Elliott said he was showing “new photographic works that elaborate on the visual cues that [he’s] consistently interested in - the home, withholding knowledge of the person photographed from the viewer, and emphasizing the spectacular in the banal.” Love it — sounds provocative, academic, and like these up-and-coming artists know exactly what they’re after.

FREE, 8:00PM, SIGNAL GALLERY , 260 JOHNSON AVE. BK, NY.

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Tuesday 07.26.16

Opening of Faggotry: Bruce LaBruce Photo Retrospective

Scenes from the Bruce LaBruce’s solo retrospective at the Lethal Amounts Gallery in Los Angeles

Friday 07.22.16

Persons of Interest

Sam Gordon's exhibition offers art sans categorical archiving

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A “person of interest” usually refers to a suspect who has been deemed worthy of further investigation. In Sam Gordon’s exhibition ‘Persons of Interest,’ nineteen artists collectively investigate the queer individual through drawing, video and even a neon glory hole (my personal favorite). Sam refers to the exhibition as a “wunderkammer, a microcosm of books and objects presented without categorical hierarchies.” The exhibition itself strives to be as queer as the art it presents. Unlike most art spaces, there is no pecking order. Here all mediums are created equal.

 

The show is presented by Visual AIDS at the Bureau of General Services — Queer Division, located the second floor of the LGBT Center of New York. The Bureau is a “queer cultural center, bookstore, and event space…that seeks to excite and educate a self-confident, sex-positive, and supportive queer community by offering books, publications, and art and by hosting readings, performances, film screenings, book discussion groups, and workshops.” Most importantly, you can find every issue of GAYLETTER there.

 

 

Sam explains that the show also explores “the people left behind and the challenges with archives and legacies.” After the AIDS epidemic, exhibiting art was no longer a simple matter of organizing and categorizing. Huge gaps were left both in the canon and in the community. ‘Persons of Interest’ tries to symbolically rectify that loss, while paying homage to those who have passed. Featuring artists such as Raynes Birkbeck, Mark Carter, Chloe Dzubilo and more, the show is on view through September 4th. …

Wednesday 07.20.16

Art: IN THE BEGINNING – DIANE ARBUS

The story of Diane Arbus is not unheard of. She was a Park Ave. girl who fled to the margins of society because, as Arthur Ludlow details in his latest, best-selling biography of Arbus, she “never felt adversity, the outside world was so far from [her family].” While that quote reeks of privilege, Arbus didn’t fuck around. She went after adversity and turned it out with some of the best lighting and portrait work of her time. “Her photographs of children and eccentrics, couples and circus performers, female impersonators and Fifth Avenue pedestrians are among the most intimate and surprising images of the era.” Not only did Arbus just photograph interesting people, she obtained query-worthy qualities too. It was rumored she had sexual relations with her brother Howard, that began in adolescence and lasted up until two weeks before she took her own life in 1971. The MET Breuer holds her archive and have just opened a new exhibition titled In the Beginning that runs through November. It features over 100 photographs from the first seven years of Arbus’ prolific career. “It was only when the archive came to The Met that this remarkable early work came to be fully explored. Arbus’ creative life in photography after 1962 is well documented and already the stuff of legend; now, for the first time, we can properly examine its origins.”

SUGGESTED DONATION, 10:00AM-5:30PM, Met Breuer, 945 Madison Ave. New York, NY.

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Friday 07.15.16

Mascara, Mirth & Mayhem: Independence Day on Fire Island

Susan Kravitz's debut celebrates the home of the brave

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For those who have ever visited the gay mecca known as Fire Island Pines, it may come as a surprise to learn that even after the Stonewall Riots the community was fairly conservative. In 1976, Teri Warren was visiting from the more queer-friendly neighborhood of Cherry Grove and dressed fabulously in drag. He was promptly denied entrance to a restaurant on account of his appearance. In protest, a group of drag queens decided to come back on July 4th and “invade” the town. Thus, the Invasion of the Pines was born.

 

Every year on July 4th, an ever-larger group of drag queens hop on a water taxi and invade the Pines. Photographer Susan Kravitz has for many years been there to document the event. Kravitz considers herself a “social documentarian of daily life.” She first visited Cherry Grove as a straight married woman, and then returned a couple of years later as a lesbian with her camera in tow. Kravitz has worked as a photographer for over thirty years, exhibiting her photos in galleries all around the world. Mascara, Mirth & Mayhem: Independence Day on Fire Island is her first book.

 

The book spans the course of four decades, intermingling photos of different eras to create the effect that every year’s invasion actually took place on the same eternally long day. The political backdrops of the photos change, every decade presenting unique tragedies and triumphs, but the magnificent queens remain the same.

 

The photos themselves are as majestic as the royalty they capture. …