Featuring Kit Connor, Kevin Abstract, Charli XCX, Simona Tabasco, Sabrina Impacciatore, Bryan Boy, Manu Rios & more
A celebration of Tom of Finland’s latest exhibition at David Kordansky Gallery in New York City — hosted by Durk Dehner and Susanne Bartsch
Celebrating the latest show at David Kordansky Gallery in NYC
Michael Chang’s second full-length collection of poetry, Almanac of Useless Talents, will be published by Clash Books this fall. It follows last year’s Boyfriend Perspective (Really Serious Literature) and anticipates next year’s Synthetic Jungle (Northwestern University Press). In just a few short years, Michael’s body of work has earned wide recognition for being fun, smart, and hot. In addition to writing, they are a poetry editor at Fence, a renowned journal for fiction, art, criticism, and poetry. In Almanac of Useless Talents, Michael’s language shifts every line break and page turn, spanning bodega wear and bespoke couture, the plainspoken and the algorithmic. Skeptical, curious, and playful, Michael’s “gutter poetry / for dirty minds” prefers differentiation to interpretation. What emerges is a book that compels you to take stock of life and still laugh, but also get romantic — “hang out on a cloud with u : / somewhere undisturbed & unfound / the two of us : there : unmarked : / not blinking at all : / no one ever treat u so right.” This spring, we spoke with Michael about their new book, gilded things, and being there for people.
Almanac of Useless Talents begins with quotations from the late poet John Ashbery (“Silly girls, your heads full of boys”) and singer Sufjan Stevens (“Terrible sting, terrible storm / I can tell you”). What do these two bring to the table for you? I think they’re very complementary. It was fun to think of the two of them together. …
Hosted by Aperture Foundation, Qween Jean and B. Hawk Snipes with Ceyenne Doroshow, Bronz3 Godd3ss, Lady Jasmin van Wales, Mariyea, Linda La and many more...
A trip to the New York Stock Exchange for the launch of $GRND with performances by Lady Bunny, Jorgeous, Crystal Waters, Jaida E. Hall, Cece Peniston and Saucy Santana
Games are often used as metaphors for life. Whether recreation or competition, they condition players to enjoy the buzz and endure the struggle, to brave the painful upset of loss and savor the short-lived exhilaration of winning. Captivated by this rise and fall, Brooklyn-based artist Luke O’Halloran is interested in the sport and symbols of risk, chance, and possibility. From infinitely spinning slot machines to flurries of playing cards thrown into the air, his work often freezes fleeting moments in a blur of movement. But there are quieter examples too. Featured here, O’Halloran’s pencil-drawn portraits show scenes of friends building houses of cards, each filled with a sense of mounting tension that signifies the fragility of life.
“It is impossible to pose them, and I don’t interrupt or ask for a pause,” O’Halloran explains. He doesn’t stage the scenes either. Instead, he spreads a deck of cards out on a table and lets the sitter begin building while he snaps reference photos. In these tableaux, the subjects seem suspended in trance-like superposition, imagining a range of possibilities as they delicately select placements. Focus and finesse are key, and commitment to each moment must be unwavering, or the cards will fall. Once translated into drawings, the resulting portraits are gracefully understated. Each balances an economy of careful lines with tight details scrupulously inscribed through spare hatch marks, exacting the defining features and gestures of each participant with a pared-down complexity.
“Liz & Kenny building a house of cards” (2022). …
When you’re seeing two of the most iconic performers in contemporary drag, what’s more exciting than being in the front row? For me, it’s getting to be backstage with my camera. That’s where the show behind the show takes place.
After many years of taking portraits of queer performers, icons, nightlife personalities and artist colleagues, I had never photographed Violet Chachki or Gottmik until their Halloween show in West Hollywood. The vibe backstage was ideal for capturing a different side of these fierce fashion queens — away from the public I was able to capture a tender, more nuanced side of the queens — without sacrificing the impressive level of drag and performance. And with these two, there’s always plenty of wit, tea, banter and reading.
For many queers, Halloween is our favorite holiday, it’s when we get to dress up and live out some fantasy that doesn’t fit into the everyday. For Violet and Gottmik, it’s Halloween all year long, something I take pleasure in watching on stage, backstage, on screen, and through the camera lens.
Up next, catch Violet Chachki and Gottmik in a limited run of their show “Christmas Misfits: A Drag Holiday Extravaganza” in a few cities in the USA.
While their spectral iridescence is reminiscent of gasoline splashed on pavement or the psychedelic images made by infrared cameras, Caitlin Cherry’s recent paintings are actually inspired by a phenomenon of glitching LCD screens. A few years ago, Cherry noticed that when looking from the side, at a slant, the colors on her laptop screen would begin to invert, a process better known to photographers as solarization. Depending on the adjusted level of color distortion, a figure with brown skin appearing a shade of deep orangey bronze might flip, changing to the hue most its opposite on the color wheel, an alienoid blue. Translating pixels into paint, Cherry experimented with imitating this inversion, developing the signature kaleidoscopic style that characterizes her portraits of Black women, many of them luminaries like Cardi B. and Dominique Jackson. The effect is a visual dissonance, the chaotic layering of multiple disagreeing lenses, offering an expressionistic line up of pop culture provocateurs who have helped redefine femininity and the limits of self-transformation. “Black women have never sat comfortably in an idea of what female-ness is,” the Richmond-based artist asserts, “Even if they don’t realize, they are playing by a set of queer politics.”
Cherry often pulls her source material from the latest movies, TV, music videos, award shows, and social media. “I’m frantically archiving because the pace of culture has sped up,” she laughs, “the overturn is quicker than it used to be.” She is interested in the noise of niche celebrity culture — fleeting, marginal fame, people becoming commodities, perpetual social performance — how tech trends seem to be establishing a broad landscape of new role models, resulting in a less streamlined sense of normal or natural. …
Legends of Drag tells the tale of 79 “queens of a certain age” across the U.S. Brooklyn icon, Charlene, shares her thoughts along with some legendary portraits.
Michael R. Jackson used to work as a Broadway usher mere blocks away from where his new musical, A Strange Loop, is running at the Lyceum Theater. His show, which won the Tony Award for Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical, was in development for 18 years, and what began as a one-person monologue gradually evolved into a full musical production. After garnering rave reviews during its Off-Broadway run at Playwrights Horizons in 2019, winning a Pulitzer for drama in 2020, and attracting a star-studded roster of producers, like Jennifer Hudson, Alan Cumming, and RuPaul (to name a few), A Strange Loop opened on Broadway in April 2022.
Jackson is from Detroit, Michigan, and came to New York City as an undergrad to study playwriting at NYU. To walk down 7th Avenue with him now is surreal, in part because of the ubiquity of banner ads for A Strange Loop. Look down every single street near Times Square and you’ll see them fluttering overhead, purple and orange, like a fabulous series of sunsets right above the traffic. As we weave around tourists and taxis, I ask if he’s used to the feeling yet of seeing his work celebrated like this, he replies, “used to?” and chuckles to himself.
A Strange Loop is about Usher, a big Black queer Broadway usher who’s about to turn 26. Usher is writing a musical about a Black queer Broadway usher named Usher who’s writing a musical, and finds himself caught in a series of loops born of his own self-perceptions. …