This recommendation certainly falls into the category of “preaching to the choir,” however we think it’s important to shout out the wonderful drag show in honor of RuPaul’s recent Emmy win for ‘Best Reality Host.’ Congrats Mama Ru! We are so happy for you, this win is looooong overdue. RuPaul's Drag Race is not just the best reality show on TV, it is also one of the best shows on TV, period. It is subversive, smart, thought-provoking, emotional, exciting and so enjoyable to watch. This season, the ninth for the show, and the second iteration of its all-stars spin-off, is shaping up to be one for the ages. As far as I am concerned the top 2 of this season are Alaska and Katya, but the thing with the all-star seasons is that they’re ALL STARS. The talent this season is lit. It’s hard to find issues with the girls, well at least the ones that are left. Roxy is back and this time she’s not a bitch. She’s clearly grown as a drag performer, and as a person. We’re very excited to see where the show goes. Oh that that ‘revenge’ twist, we can’t wait to see how that plays out. Sounds like some seriously shady shit. We love it!
I have been a fan of hip-hop since I was in high school listening to Talib Kweli, Mos Def and Common. I was never a fan of most mainstream rap as it was too hyper-masculine and often homophobic. The genre is still very masculine, sexist and mildly homophobic, but things are changing. One rapper who is leading that change is Young Thug. He is a pretty mainstream rapper, he's also subverting the genre in some wonderful ways. For one thing he is very gender fluid. On the cover of his latest album he is photographed wearing a dress by indie designer Alessandro Trincone. (Tricone lived in Japan which is why a lot of of his clothes are inspired by origami). In a recent interview to Billboard Young Thug talked more about his love of women’s clothes “When I was 12, my feet were so small I wore my sisters’ glitter shoes,” he recalled. “My dad would whoop me: ‘You’re not going to school now, you’ll embarrass us!’ But I never gave a f**k what people think… When it comes to swag there’s no gender involved.” He also said that he plans to wear a dress to his wedding, saying “there will be two brides.” This is all admirable, but not enough of a reason to listen to an artist’s music. Thankfully Young Thug’s latest album is really, really good. I’ve had it on repeat for the last few days. Stand out tracks include Wyclef Jean, Kanye West, and Swizz Beatz (many of the tracks are named after musicians.) Go off Jeffery!
THESWIMMINGPOOLS love letter to LA
The latest music video ‘Living It Up’ from THESWIMMINGPOOLS opens in a parking garage, both members of the group approaching an older BMW in their finest looks. It seems that the large hats are a trend in music video, Young Thug wore a large scale umbrella hat on his album cover… but that doesn’t mean this one is less gaggy! I was happy to see it done in a black and white manor, especially with the main musical-hook of ‘Living It Up’ crescendoing as the video opens. The ominous and sexy tone sets in quick and envelopes you swiftly.
One of the members, Christophe, told us that ‘Living It Up’ is “a love letter to Los Angeles.” In the video, the duo carries on Hollywood Blvd leaving tourists and spectators camera-clad and smiling. Everyone is happy! The duo seem to be having a great time, as do their audience, and the lyrics match the mood with the celebratory message — “You’ve got good hair / good skin / good luck / you’re living it up.” The song is very LA, in all of it’s plasticized glory that is a joke to some but a serious lifestyle to others. THESWIMMINGPOOLS are unapologetic about the city of Angels — it clearly makes them feel fucking good, attractive and like they can achieve all of their aspirations. I’m positive they’re not alone. People never want to leave California… perhaps because they, too, are living it up! Life’s too short to be pessimistic. Focus on the days your hair looks good as hell. …
I recently had the desire to do a ‘Carrie Bradshaw’ and try a Trapeze class. As you may recall from the episode titled ‘The Catch,’ “Vogue sends Carrie to report on the latest fitness craze, trapeze ‘flying.’” I googled ‘trapeze class’ and found the website for Trapeze School New York. They offer trapeze classes on the rooftop of Chelsea Pier. “TSNY offers classes in flying trapeze, static trapeze, silks, rope & more.” In the episode of SATC Carrie has trouble letting go off the bar. I was determined to not suffer the same fate. The first trick was just hang from the bar using my legs. Easy. The second trick was some next level shit. They wanted us to do a backflip! That one I was sweating, but something took over and I managed to do it twice. The next trick we had to catch the instructor on the other bar and swing off. That one was not as hard as it sounds. The instructors all do amazing jobs guiding you through the tricks. It was definitely scary, but so much fun. If you’re looking to have your own SATC experience, or just get in some unusual exercise I would highly recommend trying a trapeze class. This is also a warm weather activity, so I suggest you try it before the weather turns cold.
If you have an interest in drag in 2016, then Bushwig is really the only place you should be. The event, which takes place this Saturday and Sunday, is a celebration of drag in all its forms. Bushwig was created in 2012 by drag artists Horrorchata and Babes Trust. In that first year they had around 30 performers, this weekend they are expecting more than 150. As demand for the festival has grown, so to has the location for it. This year it takes place at the Knockdown Center, which has both indoor and outdoor space and capacity for 5000 people. They are also adding new areas to the festival. There’s gonna be food, pop-up shops, installations & an all-weekend long techno brunch. Make sure you also check out the after-parties, which seem to be taking place at 3 separate venues. There’s the official one taking place at The Gateway featuring Lauren Flax, DJ BeBe, Amber Valentine, Horrorchata, Lemon Verbena and Hannah Lou. Then there’s The Carry Nation at The Good Room and finally there’s AFTER, which goes from 2:00am-10:00am (you need to sign up for that at holenyc.com to get the address). It’s gonna be a draggy weekend. Dust of that wig I know you have laying around and let the carry begin!
Richard Avedon is a legend in the world of the photography. It’s a pretty obvious statement, but one I think is worth acknowledging. “During the course of his legendary, 60 year-long tenure as the preeminent, quintessential fashion photographer, Avedon shaped contemporary image-making and influenced international aesthetics through his iconic fashion work, portraiture series, reportage and sheer mastery of technique.” This week, Visionaire is presenting an exhibition of Avedon’s work as a director. The exhibition is in collaboration with Marla Weinhoff, set designer and long-time Avedon collaborator. It features an extensive collection of his work including “a series of never-before-seen Calvin Klein Jeans casting interviews from The Richard Avedon Foundation archives, 35 fashion models from the 1980s and 1990s reveal personal answers to Avedon’s questions heard off camera. These interviews, which continue the theme of the artist’s presence in the ensuing pieces in the exhibition, reveal both Avedon’s meticulous process, as well as an attempt to elucidate for the viewer the subject’s essence — a notion often ignored today when concerned with the traditionally silent and passive model.” There’s plenty of other work on display in this exhibition that runs for around 2 weeks. Bring a sharp eye and an open mind.
Our dancer friend Eric Berey told us about this dance performance he’s a part of with “this really cool artist Eddie Peake.” He said it’s all about sex. We strongly believe that sex still sells, so were like, ok Eric tell me more. “Eddie Peake’s work fuses painting, sculpture, and musical and dance performance. He creates an artistic experience that builds on the history of these media to make a completely contemporary statement.” Eric also told me that they’ll be dancing “naked in body paint with live music.” He said that the event is gonna be “LIT af,” which if you know young millennial lingo means that it’s good. I asked him if people are gonna be having sex at this event, he told me “no, but it’s gonna be hot...don’t get too excited.” It's happening this Thursday, Friday and Saturday night — there’s 3 boys and 2 girls in the performance and here’s one more quote from their website: “Peake creates episodic performances in which bodies might switch between being seen as sculptural objects or complex human subjects, and in which emotions such as desire, jealousy, shame or power are played out using surreal or unexpected signifiers such as colored body paints or animal costumes.” Got it! We’re sold Eric.
Surprise! Issue 5 of GAYLETTER Magazine is out. We are so thrilled to finally be able to share what we have been working on over the last few months. To kick things off, take a peek at the cover which features the one and only, Marc Jacobs. When we first approached Marc we told him that we wanted to feature him because he represents everything that GAYLETTER stands for. We wrote to him saying that we thought he is a “true individual, creative and shameless (in the true meaning of that word).” Terry Richardson photographed Marc in the famed Keith Haring bathroom at the NYC’s LGBT Community Center in Manhattan. We sat down with Marc in the same space for a conversation that covered everything from taking Cher to the Met Gala to how you stay friends with your exes, to Marc’s favorite technique to combatting stress — he takes naps. Also in the issue is artist Laurie Simmons on her friend, photographer Jimmy DeSana, Irish pop-musician Roísín Murphy, fashion designer Palomo Spain, superstar TS Madison, model Laith Ashley, and so much more. Get yours girl.
Some intimate photographs of everyone's favorite porn star
A few months ago the Spain-based photographer Javier Cortina asked us if we wanted to feature an interview with Colby Keller in our printed issue along with new images. We responded that we love Colby, but that we already featured him in GAYLETTER issue 1. But, since we can’t get enough of Colby, we told Javier that we’d like to publish his images on our site.
Javier told us more about how this shoot came about: “Colby and I are in contact since 2014 hoping to find the time to match and to collaborate together. This past May he came to Barcelona (Spain) for the recording of a porn movie and he gave me some of his little free time to shoot some photos in my studio. I’m grateful for that…Colby transmits a special magnetism, has a classical and sculptural body. The Perfect match for work with any kind of light.”
His peen looks good too. We figured you guys would enjoy these photographs…You’re welcome!