I have been meditating daily for the last two years. As someone with occasional anxiety and O.C.D and a little depression it’s become a habit that I really rely on to help keep me from going too cray cray. I practice Transcendental Meditation as I’ve found it the most effective and easiest to do. T.M. is mantra-based, and really simple to learn, like stupidly simple — it takes about a minute to pick up the technique. There’s a bunch of scientific evidence that mediation is really beneficial for both mental and physical health, and from my own experience I can say that it works. This Sunday at the Santiago Calatrava designed transportation hub in lower Manhattan, called the Oculus, a 1000 person mediation is taking place. It’s $30 to join, but part of the proceeds benefit the H.E.A.R.T. 9/11 foundation, so that’s good. There’s something about mediating with a group of people that intensifies your focus. I’ve only ever done it with about 10 people, and it was powerful so I can not imagine how intense it must feel with 1000. It’s probably incredible. And certainly worth a measly 30 bucks! Ommmmmmmmmmmmmm.
Besides ancient Greece, New York is the place most famous for homoerotic art and photography. This is a city where many queer artists who felt ostracized growing up came to find acceptance and freedom. “Led by boundary-pushing artist Robert Mapplethorpe and his patron Sam Wagstaff, alongside pioneering contemporaries George Dureau and Peter Hujar, homoerotic photography found its way into New York City galleries and museums in the 1970s. Join the Museum along with the SVA Photography Department for a conversation about this moment in art history, moderated by critic Philip Gefter. We’ll spotlight the gay men who helped establish the art market for photography during this era and delve into themes of our new exhibition, Gay Gotham.” This sounds like a fascinating talk, and a much better way to spend your Friday night than happy hour drinks at the Boiler Room. Although it only goes until 9:00PM, so there’s always time for those drinks after. Listening makes me thirsty. Xoxo Gossip Girl.
Scenes from the weekend at Tom's House in Los Angeles
We just had the most surreal experience waking up in Tom of Finland‘s bedroom, in his actual bed, in Echo Park, Los Angeles. The entire house has the strongest branding I’ve ever seen, even the pillowcases on the bed we slept on are leather. Around the bedroom there is original artwork, and even Tom’s leather jackets and boots.
We’re at his house for the Tom of Finland Art & Culture Festival and we’re selling all 5 issues of GAYLETTER Magazine and other goodies. If you happen to be in Los Angeles, come say hi. Along with us there are vendors from all sorts of places, many selling erotic art inspired by the Finnish artist, who’s real name is Touko Valio Laaksonen.
At 12:00PM the house is also hosting a live nude drawing session. If visiting us isn’t enough of an incentive, then I’m sure the chance to sketch a hot guy in Tom’s legendary house will be! You can always just come mingle, have a drink and pick up a guy, everyone seems to be horny here.
In Tim Murphy’s brilliant new book Christodora, one of the characters is a woman living with HIV/AIDS. Tim has said in an interview that he created this character because he felt like women with HIV/AIDS often lived in the shadows. When you’re gay and HIV+ it’s a lot easier to find support and understanding than if you are a woman. There’s just so many more gay men with the disease than women, and because of this, less judgement and a stronger community. Ann P Meredith (pictured) is a “socially conscious creative Writer, Director, Producer and Artist” who was one of the first people to “photograph and videotape personal interviews with women living with HIV/AIDS.” Work from Ann’s series ‘Until That Last Breath! The Global Face of Women with HIV/AIDS’ is currently on display at the Leslie Lohman Gallery, as a part of their exhibition ‘A Deeper Dive.’ On Thursday, September 29th, the gallery is hosting an artist lecture, where “Ann will talk broadly about her long artistic practice and her work around women living with AIDS.” We suggest you check it out, especially if you’ve never been to the gallery. It’s an interesting space, and I can’t think of a better reason to visit it.
Are queers ageist? I mean, is that even a question? Of course they/we are. It’s not just a problem in the queer community, it’s a problem in every community. Once people get over a certain age, to many people they become invisible. This is really stupid as older people have plenty to offer, most importantly their experience. We do what we can to feature older artists and writers in our magazine, especially those who never got the attention they deserved when they were younger. Award winning artist Scottee (pictured) feels the same way as we do. This Sunday, at the BGSQD, he is hosting “a dinner party discussion without the food and you’re invited. Around the table will sit some old queers and some young queers to share their ideas, explore where the problem is and ask the burning question – are queers ageist?” The event is only $5, so bring, and pay, for your sugar daddy and show some support for the older generation.
We covered this exhibition in the letter and on our site previously, but we just had to again as it’s a very important exhibition that you shouldn’t miss if you are in NYC — Use this as your reminder, you still have time though it closes on October 23rd. Here’s what one of our writers Chris wrote about it the first time: “Artists, including Kia Labeija, David Wojnarowicz, Robert Mapplethorpe, Bill Jacobson and more, give voice to perspectives that are too often suppressed, and [Art AIDS America] reveals how they have changed both the history of art in America and the response to this disease.” Featuring more than 125 works spanning from 1981 to the present...” This week, BOFFO is co-hosting an “intimate guided tour of Art AIDS America, an exhibition at The Bronx Museum.” The capacity is limited, so you need you to arrive early (15 minutes prior to tour). Reservation is required. Get to it!
This sounds nuts and bananas in all the right ways. Created by performance artist Ryan McNamara (pictured here making out with the wall), for one night only, he will turn MoMA PS1 into a high school. “Across MoMA PS1’s entirely empty galleries, artists will assume the stereotypical roles of moony art teachers, intimidating PE coaches, goths, jocks, and cheerleaders — but their activities will be anything but typical. Roam the hallways to enjoy participatory performance works, an open bar, and nostalgic childhood snacks, culminating with an epic dance party in the gymnasiums.” Artist involved include Morgan Bassichis, Claire Bishop, Nikki Columbus, FlucT, Nelly Furtado, Jessica Mitrani, Sam Roeck, Jacolby Satterwhite, Justin Strauss, and more. Yes, you read that name right, Nelly “I’m Like A Bird” Furtado is one of the performers. Ryan has been working with Nelly recently. At a party we went to at the Boom Boom Room during fashion week, Ryan choreographed the dancers that performed behind her. It was super cute. Can’t wait to see what she does at MoMA.
Red Hook is hosting a lil block party this Saturday from 2:00PM to 8:00PM Here’s what our friend Keith, who is helping to put it on had to say about what’s in store.“It will have everything you could want from a block party: lobster rolls, whiskey samples, free chocolate, handsome chocolate makers (below), and thank goodness, a bouncy castle. The lineup of food vendors includes: Red Hook Lobster Pound, Baked, Hometown Bar-B-Que, La Newyorkina, Cacao Prieto, Raaka Chocolate, and more. For craft beer and spirits, Other Half Brewery, Red Hook Winery, and Van Brundt Still House will pass out samples. Raaka Chocolate will pass out samples (even limited seasonal flavors like Apple Pie and Ghost Pepper), and will also offer free tours of its bean-to-bar chocolate factory; all proceeds from Raaka’s chocolate sales will go to Red Hook Initiative, which offers programs that empower Red Hook’s youth community.” This block party sounds like it will be filled with a lot white people with money, but I am impressed by everything they’re offering. Pick up as many free samples as you can, and enjoy the sun while we still have it!
Excuse us while we do a little self-promotion, but this is our website, so if we can’t self-promote here, where (besides Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Tumblr, and Vimeo) can we? This weekend (September 15-18) is Printed Matter’s Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1 and GAYLETTER will be there! Come say hi to us at table A74. What’s most exciting about all of this is that we will have copies of GAYLETTER Issue 5 available to buy. Right now this is the only place, besides our website that you can get it! The Art Book Fair, for those who are new to it, is one of our favorite events of the year. “The NY Art Book Fair is the world’s premier event for artists’ books, catalogs, monographs, periodicals, and zines presented by more than 350 international presses, booksellers, antiquarians, artists, and independent publishers from at least 29 countries.” The preview is on Thursday, September 14, with a special performance by Beat Detectives — it’s $10 on Thursday, but you can attend for FREE the rest of the weekend. Come say hi, we’ll treat you good.