GAYLETTERGAYLETTER

Thursday 11.14.19

Sam Morris

Authenticity and romance — that’s what’s missing from mainstream porn. Now Sam looks to the past to change the future of erotic film

With his elegant accent, Sam Morris is an exceedingly charming champion of body and sex positivity. He shares his notably artistic films on his website, offering previews to his nearly 400,000 Twitter and Instagram followers. There’s no studio or camera crew —  just Sam, his partners and a camera.

 

Formerly a child actor in London, Sam, now 31, appeared in various TV shows and West End productions. Later, he trained to become a professional dancer. For the past few years, as erotic film developed into Sam’s area of expertise, Berlin has been home.

 

His films aren’t scripted or planned; the hookups are honest. His partners are hot, yes, but they aren’t actors or porn stars. Thus his work bleeds into the realm of documentary. It isn’t traditional porn, per se — there isn’t always penetration or the famed “money shot” — but chemistry is guaranteed.

 

Sam strives for authenticity, both in work and private life. He speaks highly of Amy Winehouse, a woman who couldn’t be anyone but herself. “She lived so authentically and fucking died in her authenticity,” Sam says. “I’ve never seen anything more authentic in my lifetime. She lived and died in the public eye so raw. That, to me, is inspiring.”

 

 

 

Jeans by Helmut Lang.

 

 

 

When did you first realize you were getting popular? Instagram’s been a bit of a slow burner for me. I would say I started doing more stuff on Instagram about four years ago, and essentially everything’s slowly grown. …

Wednesday 11.13.19

Tegan and Sara

Tegan and Sara scaled the music industry mountain and planted their names in the sky. Born Tegan Rain Quin and Sara Keirsten Quin in Calgary, Canada, the identical twin sisters achieved indie stardom with their eponymous band in the ’00s, before becoming pop icons in the ’10s, in no small part thanks to touring with Katy Perry in 2014.

 

Now they’re rounding the bend into the 2020s with a nostalgic turn. Their ninth album, Hey, I’m Just Like You, inspired by ’90s cassette tapes, and the accompanying co-authored memoir, High School, gave the twins a chance to look back at their teen years.

 

 

 

GAYLETTER spoke to Tegan and Sara each separately — Tegan about the new music and Sara about their first book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TEGAN

 

One of the tracks on your new album, “I’ll Be Back Someday,” it really captures that teenage need to get away, to find a more tolerant place. Did you feel like that growing up? I mean, even as an adult I need to get away sometimes. [Laughs] With that song, though, it sounds poppy and upbeat, but the undertone is this idea that you’re anxious about facing the person that you are, anxious about admitting what you feel for somebody. While I didn’t physically run away as a young person, I definitely repressed who I was for a long time. You know, when I eventually ended up hooking up with my best friend who was a woman. …

Tuesday 11.12.19

Read My Lips: Rihanna!

An event presented by Nicky Ottav & Blake Deadly featuring Audrey Phoenix, Devo Monique, Elektra Lite, Jax, London Jae Precise, Magenta, Merrie Cherry, Neon Calypso, Suburbia, Vena Cava, Xaina X and Zavaleta at 3 Dollar Bill

Monday 11.11.19

Aaron Michael Skolnick – Your Voice Lying Gently In My Ear – Institute 193

Institute 193 features artists from the Southeastern United States, celebrating creatives from the ‘fly-over’ areas and the unique richness of their production. Their latest exhibition presents a grouping of paintings by Aaron Michael Skolnick, born and raised in Kentucky, and recently relocated in Hudson, New York. Before his move, he spent years taking care of his late husband, who was taken by complications related to the diagnosis of ALS. Their life together changed under the terms of the illness — looming frustration, selfless patience, and a delicate intimacy became their reality. The abundance of paintings he made during this period reflect this state of being, serving as a kinky film score, a gentle love song, and a requiem all at once. Two years have passed and Skolnick has moved into a new chapter in Hudson, painting more recent lovers with a fresh intensity but without forgetting his harrowing and tender memories.

 

The paintings are mainly articulated in pastel hues; strokes and smudges are turned into smart details. His compositions are focused on scruffy bodies in repose, with seldom a background apart from a soft pillow. Sex acts become gestures of affection rather than carnal transactions, erotic but contemplative. Time is slowed down in the painted scenes, turned into a distant dream of golden light and soul connection. Apart from the portraits, Skolnick also paints still lives: bedside vases of flowers. The age-old trope of cut flowers is framed by the context of the other sensual paintings, a symbol for inevitable decay and fading beauty that must be enjoyed in the moment or memorialized in art. …

Sunday 11.10.19

Benjamin Fredrickson’s opening reception at Daniel Cooney Fine Art

Thursday 11.07.19

Jonathan Anderson

Abi and I first met designer Jonathan Anderson on the dancefloor of the iconic Twist nightclub one December during the annual Art Basel Miami Beach. It was hot and sticky and Kylie was playing on the speakers. Sardined together on the tiny upstairs dance floor he seemed as happy as we were to be escaping the real world for a moment.

 

This September when we met in Paris to shoot this cover, I wasn’t sure if he remembered our South Beach encounter, but he was in equally good spirits. Considering he was in the middle of preparing his Loewe Spring 2020 show, only a few days later, and had just shown his latest collection for JW Anderson in London days prior, his calm was especially impressive. With our cast arranged around the spacious, high-ceilinged showroom his eponymous brand uses when in Paris, Anderson walked onto set and announced: “Just tell me where to stand, I’m easy.” For the rest of the shoot he happily traipsed from room to room as we improvised (in true GAYLETTER style) each set up.

 

If you spend more than 10 minutes with Jonathan, you can’t help but notice he has a great sense of humor. There’s an irreverence in him that is reflected in many of his designs. Shirts with extra arms, leather bags that look like baseball caps, and his update to the classic Chuck Taylor All Star High Top sneakers that adds at least an extra two inches to their soles are just a few examples of the playfulness and originality that has made him such a coveted designer. …

Monday 11.04.19

Benjamin Fredrickson – Photographs – Daniel Cooney Fine Art

opens on November 7, 2019

In anticipation of Benjamin Fredrickson’s upcoming exhibition in New York, we asked him a few questions about his gorgeous subjects, his photographic process, and the evolution of categorizing nude portraiture.

 

Do you get to know your models before photographing them? How many of them are your friends or lovers? Some of them are friends, and some of them are people that were found through social media. I’m fascinated how social media has reshaped the way in which artists can source subjects. There are even people that “collect” artists/photographers for their online respective portfolios, collecting likes and validation. I love it. Before I.G. existed I would source people from Craigslist, Manhunt, and Adam4Adam.

 

In your self-portraits, your penis is erect. Is it the act of modeling, of exhibitionism, that gets you in the mood, or do you think about something or someone to turn yourself on? I’m an exhibitionist, I love showing off. I’m also a bit self-conscious when it comes to looking at myself nude without an erection. I prefer to pose in self-portraits with an erection. I love when there is someone else in the room that turns me on when I’m making self-portraits. A lot of the time, I’m by myself and thinking about someone who I’ve photographed or had an intimate encounter with. It can change with the situation. I was in Paris last summer and staying in an Airbnb and there was this frosted window in the hallway, and I just knew that I needed to make a self-portrait sitting in that window sill. …

Friday 11.01.19

Photographer Oliver Mint in Bogota

Mint introduces us to some young, queer beauties in the Colombian city described by his crush as a 'big gay Latin American Berlin.'

The photographer Oliver Mint ended up in Bogota because of a crush — Daniel, a Colombian boy he met in NYC about 4 years ago during his trip to the city. Daniel described the city of Bogota as “a big gay Latin American Berlin,” since that moment Oliver wanted to visit and possibly find him again… He planned to visit Bogota for a month and ended up staying for six months. He told us that he fell in love with everything and everyone. I think Oliver really enjoyed his time there.

 

Oliver knew that he wanted to do a project in Colombia with queer people, but he wasn’t as keen to reach out to anyone until he visited Manuela Pizzarro’s studio back in July. “She is a costume designer from Bogota and at the time she was selling off all of her archive — racks and racks of about 200+ pieces of clothing because she was moving to Mexico City.” The concept for this shoot came about after spending the afternoon shopping in her airy colonial style studio, he knew he had to shoot everyone in that space with her clothes before she moved.

 

Manuela is also part of the cast of people that he photographed for this series. “I cast this group of people because there was something about each one of them that felt cool/interesting to me. Also, maybe I subconsciously connected with the way they presented themselves on social media. They are a mix of artists, drag performers, models, writers, singers, students, activists etc., but most importantly they are all queer as hell!”

 

 

Will is a 24 year-old fashion designer who was born and raised in Bogota. …

Tuesday 10.29.19

Hell on Earth: Spooky Kim Petras with Aquaria

Ty Sunderland presented a spooky Kim Petras strobe light party

Wednesday 10.23.19

Heaven On Earth 2 Year Anniversary

A Britney Blackout party presented by Ty Sunderland — Performances by Ruby Fox and Adriana Trenta

Friday 10.18.19

Wiederhöeft Spring / Summer 2020

Jackson Wiederhöeft's debut collection

Tuesday 10.15.19

Tom of Finland Art Festival 2019

Queer attendees enjoy the 24th annual event at the Tom of Finland Foundation