GAYLETTER

GAYLETTER

Thursday 03.24.22

Krzysztof Strzelecki

1/11

Wednesday 03.16.22

PATRICK CARROLL

Knit from cashmere, a marigold sweater warns “EVERYTHING WILL BE TAKEN AWAY.” From silk, a chocolate brown T-shirt declares “TODAY WE REMEMBER OUR DEAD.” And from mohair, a tiny beige thong boldly reads “WRATH OF GOD.”

 

Haunting phrases like these are integral to Summon Elemental, the emerging knitwear project by writer and artist Patrick Carroll. “It’s all mourning costume,” he says of the project. “It’s how to dress for loss across scales, person to world.” Inspired by artists, philosophers, and poets, Parick’s one-of-a-kind garments range from shirts and dresses to thongs and balaclavas.

 

Grief served as the catalyst for Summon Elemental, which Patrick began toward the end of his father’s life. He’s since come to view knitting not only as a hobby but as a source of ongoing solace. Now, with his clothes featuring in fashion editorials and selling out in notable boutiques, Patrick’s faced with an existential question: Is he… a fashion designer?

 

“I call myself a clothesmaker,” he tells me, “which feels more accurate than fashion designer.” For Patrick, the distinction comes down to labor. While the fashion industry is notorious for its exploitative practices, Summon Elemental is a wildly transparent one-person operation. “I don’t design anything to be made by other people,” he says. “Ever.” The result is an assortment of intricate knitwear styles, each of which require between one and twelve hours to complete.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The garments are documented through a series of self-portraits, highlighting Patrick’s lithe frame and his remarkable skill as a knitter. …

Friday 03.11.22

LADY BUNNY

As a teenager, Lady Bunny credits watching Dionne Warwick perform on a basketball court in Chattanooga, Tennessee as something of a turning point, inspiring the direction her life would take. Wilmington-born and Chattanooga-raised, the Southern Belle linked up with RuPaul gogo dancing in Atlanta before she made the move to New York City at the tender age of 21. There, she made a name for herself by performing at the Pyramid Club, and by throwing Wigstock, a summer drag festival, for nearly two decades. Held in its early years at the East Village’s Tompkins Square Park, Wigstock pioneered drag’s visibility outside of clubs. A certified legend, Bunny has performed and DJed all around the world, and when the pandemic halted her regular nightlife activities, she teamed up with Drag Race All Stars winner Monét X Change to start the podcast Ebony and Irony. This past November, we got the chance to kiki over the phone chatting about confusion, politics, the apps, and drag today.

 

 

How’s your day been so far? Oddly satisfying, yet confusing too. [Laughs] Yes… because you see, I live in the realm of confusion. So when I’m confused or chaotic, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s a normal thing.

 

As a chaos creature myself, that adds up. Oh, we have a lot in common! Perhaps we’ll get to know each other better than just this interview?

 

I mean, anything is possible. I’m teasing you because I had an edible.

 

Now it makes sense. …

Wednesday 03.02.22

SAL SALANDRA

The scene in artist Sal Salandra’s Say Your Prayers (2020), one of his distinctive “thread paintings,” shows an orgy at the altar. Instead of priests enrobed in their vestments celebrating communion, bare-assed leathermen offer their meaty erections to kneeling submissives. A remarkably hunky Christ, also naked, hangs on the cross above the congregation, perhaps inviting unorthodox forms of worship.

 

Earlier this year, Say Your Prayers was included alongside 13 of Salandra’s other recent needlepoint works in Iron Halo at Club Rhubarb, a by-appointment-only gallery owned and operated by artist Tony Cox in New York’s Chinatown. Although Salandra has been stitching figurative works since the 1980s, Iron Halo was the first solo exhibition by the 75-year-old self-taught artist.

 

In September, Salandra spoke with me over the phone about growing up as a devout Catholic and second-generation Italian American, the liberation he found in the world of BDSM, and how he pushes the traditions and techniques of needlepoint beyond the medium’s conventional boundaries.

 

 

 

“Teachings Of The Devil” (2019).

 

“Say Your Prayers” (2020).

 

“Ill Beat You Whip You Love You” (2020).

 

“Rape Of Robin” (2021).

 

 

 

Can you speak a little about your experiences growing up? Were you always interested in art? I grew up in New Jersey and was raised in a very traditional family. My own immediate family was six children, three brothers and three sisters. It was a big family full of fun. There was always someone to talk to — lots of drama in an Italian family. …

Tuesday 02.22.22

Trés Golpes at Aura Cocina & Bar

A NYC Latin dance party produced by Papito Suave and Janelle No.5

Friday 02.18.22

WILLY CHAVARRIA

The designer whose street-smart tailoring speaks volumes

1/18

Tuesday 02.15.22

MACY RODMAN

She is the pop star we’ve been waiting for. The Alaska-born 31-year-old has been making music since coming to New York and dropping out of fashion school, releasing her first LP, The Lake, in 2017. Somehow channeling Stevie Nicks, Britney Spears, and Skinny Puppy all at the same time, Macy live is something special. To talk about her latest project, Unbelievable Animals!, (also chakras and star fucking) she sat down to chat with phenom and friend Charlene Incarnate.

 

 

So Macy, everyone’s excited about Unbelievable Animals! It’s all anyone can talk about! [Laughs] Oh yeah all my fans!

 

If I had my own tagline for your album, it would be “a meditation on desire.” I love that!

 

That’s my tagline for your album because it is an expression of desire so thick that it almost sent you, Macy, into an ethereal state. Like it engaged all your chakras. [Emphatically] Yeah!

 

Were you having spiritual experiences that inspired the sound? I was! I mean I’ve talked a lot about the 20-songs-in-30-days process, but that felt very meditative, monk-like. Were you not smoking or drinking? No, I was doing both a lot! More of a New York transsexual monk vibe. But I wasn’t talking to anybody. I was locked up doing nothing but the album, and the experiences that led up to it were very dramatic lows that shook me in a way that didn’t make sense. So when I was over them, it was such a breath of fresh air. …

Wednesday 02.09.22

JENNA GRIBBON

In Jenna Gribbon’s paintings, life is about the intimacy of a moment, and art is about the presentation of a memory. Her pseudo-voyeuristic framing is intentional — she invites viewers “to look at their looking,” to be self-conscious of their position and feel a mix of intrigue and intrusion. Jenna explains this is what she likes about figuration, “it doesn’t just blend in. It doesn’t just sit back and behave.” Her uncontained subjects — a pair of women wrestling in the forest or a topless artist posing in her studio — are only as sexually-charged as a viewer might experience them. Accessible through layers of meaning, they conspicuously conceal more than they reveal.

 

Working from photographs and her own imagination, based out of her Brooklyn studio, Jenna makes textural portraits that lushly abstract personal scenes. With variegations of oil, juicy flourishes and thick patches, she renders a moment gesturally, rather than mapping it with drawn lines. She often plays with light in her paintings, manipulating the mood by casting figures in varied brightness. Her sense of color is informed by her surroundings, with perhaps the exception of hot pink nipples — always the same light, bright hue, nearly fluorescent. The pleasure of her process is evident, mirroring the affection she has for her subjects.

 

Jenna’s most recent exhibition Uscapes at Fredericks & Freiser in New York features a series of portraits of her rockstar fiancé Mackenzie Scott, a singer and guitarist who performs as TORRES. An obsessive devotion pervades the show as it feels evident Jenna spent much of her time during the pandemic’s lockdown reverently stalking her lover, fondly watching and translating her nuances into oil paint. …

Tuesday 02.08.22

NSFW with Valentina and Kandy Muse

An event produced by Papito Suave and Janelle No.5 at 3 Dollar Bill in Brooklyn, NY.

Tuesday 02.01.22

Out of a Dream: James Bidgood

When I first arrived at James Bidgood’s West Village apartment, I watched him tear open an envelope and read an eviction notice.

 

“Oh, fuck!” He told me. “Well, I apologize. I might be a bit distracted today. I’m not really sure what’s happening here.”

 

I nodded and told him to take his time and make whatever phone calls he needed while I found a spot for my jacket and backpack. Looking around the tiny apartment, I couldn’t imagine how he’d ever move everything out of this cramped space if he were indeed forced to leave. Shelves were packed with boxes, bags lined the walls and reached the ceiling. Glitter covered the floor, and a large plywood table littered with bits of paper and chiffon bisected the room. No idea where he slept.

 

“It’s a mess in here because we were shooting. I can’t find my dust pan, so what good would it do to sweep?”

 

Nearly all the images Bidgood created of beautiful boys swimming in shimmering lagoons, laying in flowers beneath a pink sunrise or standing in front of the Eiffel Tower were photographed in a space similar to the one I had just entered. It was Bidgood’s wild imagination and abilities to trick both the camera and the viewer that made these photographs seem so surreal.

 

I thought about the whimsical, ethereal paradises he created in his past work, most notably in his watercolors and in his 1971 film Pink Narcissus, and how terribly far that world is from his present reality. …

Thursday 01.27.22

ALL FOR ALTU

Joseph Altuzarra started his namesake brand in 2008, just as fashion blogs were taking off but long before the mayhem of social media was mandatory. It’s in the new Instagram era, however, that the French-American designer recently launched his second brand Altu, featuring cozy knits and soft cotton pieces he describes as genderful, suggesting they’re conceived with an abundance of gender expressions in mind. Joseph told us he thinks of Altu as “who I really was and who I really am, not an idealized version of me.” Our conversation covered everything from loving Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs to being a dad to mining your awkward 16-year-old self for inspiration. Plus we got the tea on exactly what New York does better than Paris.

1/11

Tuesday 01.25.22

TROY MONTES-MICHIE

A selection of artworks from Rock of Eye.

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