The Metrograph cinema is one of those places that I don’t want anyone to know about, but I also want to support just to keep it open. Which is why I want to tell you about their current film series, ‘Based on a Book by Patricia Highsmith,’ as you may have guessed, pays tribute to the 20th century writer known for her well-drawn portrayals of psychologically damaged characters. You may know some of the films based on her novels. There’s Anthony Minghella’s The Talented Mr. Ripley, Todd Haynes’ Carol, and Hitchcock’s Strangers On The Train. These, plus Purple Noon (René Clément), The American Friend (Win Wenders) and The Cry of The Owl (Claude Chabrol) will all be screened as part of the series. Highsmith’s “stories are gripped with unspoken desire, lucid about the role of class in international society and helped define the modern suspense-thriller. Although Highsmith was often leery of the films made from her books, they’re truly important outgrowths of her lasting influence.” I would go for no other reason than to see the theater, it’s really beautiful. But these great films are of course soooo worth seeing.
Here's an event we should all get behind. "In response to the President-elect's repeated threats on human rights, comedians in over 20 cities are coordinating shows to raise money for the ACLU on Inauguration Day Weekend." Called What A Joke, this national comedy festival takes place this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (January 19th-21th). The lineup for Thursday night at The Stand is pretty great, featuring Janeane Garofalo, Subhah Agarwal, Kerry Coddett and many others. Clearly The ACLU is going to need all the support it can get over the next four years as the Trump administration rolls its wagon into D.C. The ACLU, for those of you who don't know, is tasked with holding powerful people accountable. "For almost 100 years, the ACLU has worked to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States." They have promised to "stay vigilant — every single day Trump is in office. If President-elect Trump tries to turn his unlawful and unconstitutional campaign promises into policy, we'll see him in court." And they mean it. Which is why we must support them in any way we can. The ACLU has NEVER been more vital. Have a laugh and protect the rights of all Americans.
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. …
I just read lots of information about this event, so let me do the best to simplify it. There’s an exhibition on view at The Bureau of General Services — Queer Division titled ‘Growing Sideways’ by the Buenos Aires-based, Chilean artist Catalina Schliebener, that was organized by curator John Chaic. Growing Sideways is a site-specific “floor-to-ceiling installation, growing across two and three dimensional surfaces and creating a disjointed narrative exploring gender formation and erotic curiosity…” This event is a conversation between Catalina Schliebener, John Chaich and the artist and educator Kris Grey. They will be “drawing insights” from the recent exhibition ‘Cut Ups: Queer Collage Practices,’ that took place at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art last year. ‘Cut Ups: Queer Collage Practices’ brought together an “intergenerational” group of about 15, “queer and feminist artists who each explore collage with diverse, erotically inclined tactics. The works in this show draw from print culture and pornography, dating from the era of gay and women’s liberation to the present.” That was helpful right? You are welcome homo. Yeah no problem, thank you for reading. Also, if you are broke you can donate whatever you have, they are nice people, they will let you in no matter what you can afford.
There’s this saying I heard during election season: “never wrestle a pig because you’ll just get dirty and the pig will enjoy it.” It’s another way of saying that if you give some people an inch they’ll take a mile. This is what will happen if the Democrats give the Republicans anything! They will take everything. They must not be accommodated. They made their bed when they decided that they would oppose Obama at every turn and even obstruct his Supreme Court nomination, and now they have to lie in it. You don’t negotiate with bullies. “If you’re worried that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is going to lead Democrats to cut soul-selling deals with Trump and his right-wing Republicans, then join us on Sat Jan 7 at 1pm in front of Schumer’s apartment building at 9 Prospect Park West to send a MASSIVE MESSAGE: DON’T ACCOMMODATE... #NotOneInch!!! TRUMP AND HIS HATE-BAITING RIGHT WING DON’T DESERVE ONE CRUMB OF SUCCESS!” Can I get an amen to that!
All efforts to describe what it’s like to move through Kerry James Marshall’s retrospective are more or less futile; suffice, words won’t do. If you haven’t yet visited Marshall’s “Mastry”– titled so aptly its many meanings will reach you in subtle and profound ways – then I hope the rock you’ve been living under has heat (…along with food, drink, and other necessary resources). And if it doesn’t you might as well head uptown to stay warm and hydrated at The Met Breuer, where you can see almost 80 of Marshall’s original paintings, the scope of which makes “Mastry,” Marshall’s largest exhibition to date. Also, adjacent to the work by Marshall that constitutes the bulk of “Mastry” is a large room filled with works curated by Marshall himself. This is meant to express the many influences in style and era that inform Marshall’s oeuvre, something I’ve now decided any good retrospective should have.
“Mastry” is many things: expansive, confronting, stunning. It is a timeless ode painted in joy and sorrow by one to many more, a love letter that yearns to “reassert the place of the black figure within the canon of Western painting.” And Marshall does it so successfully; the imperial, white supremacist enamel of said canon simply cannot bear the enormous weight of “Mastry.” Aaand if you’re still reading and not on your way there now — or closed your laptop because this is the 400th writeup you’ve read about Marshall’s retrospective — we have great news: You don’t have to bask in the beautiful blackness of “Mastry” on your own! …
I love the American Museum of Natural History, and I love that they open up the place for dance parties like this. If you’ve never partied at a museum, then you really gotta add it to your to do list. It’s a super grand, super cunty way to spend an evening. Museum’s just get so much better with booze and music. “During this monthly party, enjoy drinks and dancing in the Museum’s Rose Center for Earth and Space. Guests can also take a walk up the Cosmic Pathway to the Hayden Big Bang Theater where acclaimed actor Liam Neeson narrates a dynamic flight through the virtual universe based on an accurate cosmic atlas. Beer and wine will be served at a cash bar. Advance purchase of tickets is recommended to guarantee entry.” Music for the night is by Kenny Dope and Eli Escobar. Get your tix quick as this is a popular event!
Vaczine will be celebrating the release of their third issue! I won’t pretend I’m an expert on the publication, but I can tell you I’ll get behind any printed matter that promotes queer art and queer personalities. According to their Tumblr, they are an annual “literary journal” about “everything & nothing. No theme, yet it all comes together. Open to everyone to express anything.” They welcome submissions as long as “you always come correct and submit your best work. If you don’t believe in it then how can you expect anyone else to?” I think that’s a good approach. The editor and publisher is Walt Cesna. I just saw the list of contributors and it is super long, so I am not going to list them all here. “The first 50 purchases come with a complimentary exclusive double sided signed poster by Gio Black Peter.” Gio is one of our favorite artists in NYC, which is why we highly recommend nearly everything he does. He’s also gonna be DJing. Cover girls Macy Rodman (photographed by Leah James for the back cover of this issue) will perform “a surprise song & Stella Rose Saint Clair” (who was photographed by Derek Dewitt for the cover) will be “serving looks…” Both will be there to sign the copy you buy of the magazine. For this event, the cover collage is by our friend, the amazing artist Slava Mogutin (who also has a 6 page spread in this issue). Sounds like it will be a blast!
There’s gonna be snacks, drinks and tunes at this Holiday benefit for The Trevor Project. It features some of our favorite people, including comedians John Early and Cole Escola (those bitches are funny!), author Alexander Chee and Brandon Voss. All will be performing pieces that have not made it “to the final edits of one of their works.” The Trevor Project is put under a lot strain at this time of year because for many people in the LGBTQ community the holidays can be a tough time. If you are fortunate enough to be in a good place right now — emotionally, mentally and financially — then you have an obligation to help those who aren’t. Maybe ‘obligation’ is the wrong word. ‘Opportunity’ is probably better. You don’t have to donate your money or time, but I promise you, you will be glad that you did. Having seen Cole and John perform many times before, I will tell you that no matter what mood you walk into this show in, once you leave you will be in great spirits. With these queens, that is a guarantee! Merry Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Three Kings Day!
Alyssa Edwards is a fan favorite and an even bigger GAYLETTER favorite. Without a doubt she should have been in the final 3 of All Stars (sorry Roxxxy, we love you, but it’s true.) Regardless of what week she went home, she made a lasting impression on a LOT of viewers. I’m sure her calendar since the show ended has been fuller than my stomach after Thanksgiving lunch. This Sunday night she is performing in NYC at the Monster. Joining her is Bob The Drag Queen and another one of our favorites Aja. Music is by DJ Steve Sidewalk. Also in attendance is Dusty Ray Bottoms and Terra Hyman. I can think of a better way to spend a cold Sunday evening in NYC than with these queens. I randomly saw Alyssa perform in Melbourne last year before All Stars had aired (she was the opening act for Sophie Ellis-Bextor, my friend Stewart is obsessed with Sophie). The bitch brought it, blowing every other queen on that stage out of the water. She is crazy for coco puffs, she is nuts and bananas, she is a carry, and a charismatic queen who might not hold the title of ‘All Star Winner’, but will always be one to us!