570 posts categorized "ART"

Oct 13 2014
Rossy Is A Rossy Is A Rossy Is A Rossy Is A Rossy: A Review Of Jessica Mitrani's TRAVELING LADY Comments (0)
  Rossy-de-Palma Rossy-cast Rossy-FIAF Rossy-Spanish-NYC Rossy Rossy-de-Palma-fans

BOY CULTURE REVIEW: *** out of ****

It's not every day that I'm invited to the U.S. stage debut of a Pedro Almodovar superstar, so how could I refuse when offered the chance to see Traveling Lady, a multi-media presentation by Colombian visual artist/director Jessica Mitrani and Spanish film icon Rossy de Palma? Answer: I couldn't, and I didn't.

IMG_9348De Palma & Mitrani, post-partum

After initially bobbling the invite for me plus-one (sorry, Nathaniel!), I showed up fresh from a full day at New York Comic Con and a quick visit with Don Bachardy to find a long line outside FIAF Florence Gould Hall (55. E. 59th). A passer-by seemed nonplused when I told her we were waiting for a show. “A theatrical performance???” she sputtered. It was as if she knew what was in store for us; we didn't, however, so I went in thinking we were seeing a play while my companion Jason though it would be a movie. We were both kinda right.

Rossy-de-Palma-flowers

Rossy-de-PalmaWith “Kika” herself!

A part of FIAF's Crossing the Line 2014 series, Traveling Lady turned out to be a singular experience. I wish I had seen it both nights it played to get a firmer grasp on it, but I did divine its staunchly feminist roots, using as a jumping-off point the 19th-Century travels of journalist Nellie Bly. The show made use of a booming female voice-over, outstandingly dazzling projections, a somewhat goofy, talking, 8-foot dress with no body in it (voiced with an insinuating authority by Joan Juliet Buck), original music and all-too-brief appearances by de Palma in the flesh, lip-synching to her pre-recorded recitations.

Tumblr_lc3zdei4ho1qc93qfo1_500

De Palma plays more than Bly; it quickly becomes obvious she is embodying various female archetypes. In so doing, she only had to appear briefly, allowing her unique visage to do all the talking. She merely had to stand there in order to give the show a twisted depth. Her presence is so arresting it was shocking later to meet her and see that she herself isn't 8 feet tall.

6a00d8341c2ca253ef01bb0796ee37970d-550wiThe show lagged when it became too esoteric for its own good, but I felt was saved from being a parody of NYC performance art excess thanks to its tongue-in-cheek humor. While it's true enough that some of its odder visuals would have baffled the real Bly (who once feigned insanity in order to explore the depravity of early insane asylums), I felt the show's broad send-up of branding and marketing were spot-on and LOL hilarious. I was also very taken with the show's tangential embrace of passages from the writings of Gertrude Stein (Ida: A Novel), which gave perfect voice to some of Mitrani's visuals.

Ida Gerrtrude Stien

All in all, Mitrani and de Palma's collaboration seemed a match made in heaven.

Afterward, we were invited to a champagne toast, at which de Palma was mobbed and a child was given a birthday cake. When I met her and congratulated her on the show, de Palma rasped in her wonderful way, “Wasn't it great???” and enthusiastically posed for photos.

 
Need To Know: Dog Days + Ebola Oops + Tennis Ace + Gaga Drama + Carter Country + MORE! Comments (0)

Nick_BatemanI'm willing to stray down to Puerto Rico in order to be rescued by this crew!

*widget boy cultureLucky Puerto Rican stray dog rescued by Nick Bateman & other models.

*widget boy culturePresident Obama demands review in 2nd U.S. Ebola case.

*widget boy cultureMartina Navratilova honored in NYC.

*widget boy cultureHouse candidate Carl DeMaio blows off sexual harassment charges.

*widget boy cultureDAME NATION: Angelina Jolie receives honor from Queen Elizabeth.

*widget boy cultureLady Gaga subject of oddly vitriolic VH1 hit piece.

*widget boy cultureGaga brands Madonna as unhelpful, seems to agree she has no soul.

*widget boy cultureART-ON: Madonna kissing Britney.

*widget boy cultureIn a future where curiosity has been outlawed...

*widget boy cultureJimmy Carter, 90, hits the campaign trail.

*widget boy cultureIowa Senate race tightens.

*widget boy cultureProbably fake Corey Monteith bareback video leaks.

*widget boy culture“Suicidal” August, Osage County actress is missing.

*widget boy cultureThis kid:

Summerlin boy

...really knows how to steal scenes. Keep reading to see him in action...

 Read More

 
Oct 12 2014
Paying Guests: An Expensive Trip To New York Comic Con Comments (0)

Matthew-Rettenmund-William-Shatner-Gillian-Anderson-Giancarlo-EspositoPic-with payola

I hit New York Comic Con for the third year in a row, this time waiting until the day-of to snag an $80 day pass via Craigslist. The boy who sold it to me in Port Authority (the transaction had all the earmarks of a situation that should end with cops appearing and shouting “swarm! swarm! swarm!” into their walkie-talkies) was supernice, and sure enough, the thing worked fine—I tapped in with no problem.

I arrived a little before the first of four (why?) paid photo ops I'd signed up for. I'd spaced them out enough that I figured I'd have tons of time between them to shoot cute, straight/bicurious boys in revealing leotards (Comic Con being to guys as Halloween is to girl = the perfect opportunity to dress like sluts). I figured wrong! Though the lines are miraculously well managed, the photo ops kinda sucked the air out of the room. (I'll post sexy boys in leotards in another post next week!)

ShatnerDon't tell George Takei.

First up was William Shatner, 83. By all accounts a bad person, he was actually supernice. His line  as enormous (ka-ching!), and we filed through the heavily shielded pro-photo tent so quickly it was the photographic equivalent of leaping from a moving van. After placing my $$$ camera in the able hands of a lesbian or lesbian-ready attendant—NO CAMERAS ALLOWED ANYWHERE NEAR THE STARS IN THIS AREA, FOLKS!—I stepped up to Shatner and told him quickly I was there for Twilight Zone, that he'd been in one of the best episodes ever. He thanked me graciously, a photo was snapped as soon as I looked up and then they were encouraging me to go-right-now. I'd wanted to ask him about being in SNL skits with the recently departed Jan Hooks, but NO EXTENDED CONVERSATIONS IN THE PHOTO AREA, FOLKS.

Shatner got my attention as I dazedly left, making sure to thank me for coming. I will just have to take all of his co-stars at their word when they say he is an ogre.

 Read More

 
Oct 11 2014
Drawn To Him: Meeting Don Bachardy @ His HOLLYWOOD Book-Signing Comments (0)

Don BachardyDon at his book-signing

BOY CULTURE REVIEW OF HOLLYWOOD: **** out of ****

Last night, I was thrilled to have a chance to meet Don Bachardy, 80, who met the late, great English novelist Christopher Isherwood (August 26, 1904—January 4, 1986) as a teenager and Pagan-Love-Songsbecame his life partner. For 30 years, the men were together, and over time Bachardy established his own identity (no easy feat when you're perceived as the boy-toy of a genius) as a gifted portraitist.

I actually knew about Bachardy before delving into Isherwood; I bought Pagan Love Songs from Alyson or a similar publisher while in college, and was enchanted by the dreamy illustration of “Naked Poet” (and porn actor and writer and...) Gavin Geoffrey Dillard on the cover. I wrote him a fan note and we corresponded for a few years.

Don-Bachardy-Matthew-RettenmundMatt & Don

Don-BachardyBachardy signing for his fans

Don-Bachardy-artI would've offered to draw some of the attendees naked, myself.

Parker-Stevenson-Don-BachardyParker Stevenson (L) & Ryan O'Neal (R) by Bachardy

The illustration had been by Bachardy.

DonchrisIsherwood and Bachardy by Dillard, 1985

Hollywood-featuredNow, Bachardy's entire oeuvre of Hollywood portraits—Kate Hepburn? Of course! Parker Stevenson? Why not? David Hedison, Teri Garr, Natalie Schafer? The more the merrier!—has been collected in the posh tome Hollywood (Glitterati Incorporated, $75). It's a stunning document of his life's work.

Bachardy was deligthful in person, immediately asking me to come see him in Santa Monica. I'm there next week, maybe I should take him up on that! Years ago, an associate of him suggested he might like to draw me nude, but I never figured out if that was a come-on from a friend or a real offer. And I could also never figure out who on earth would want to see me nude.

I was also pleased to meet his associate Richard Sassin, a former actor and charming man who told me that he and Bachardy had recently watched In the Cool of the Day (1963), which is apparently a must-see, can't-believe-how-bad-it-is Jane Fonda film in which her hair was unnaturally dark. Bachardy drew her portrait (it was on display at the signing) for it. I told Sassin that as a movie, it sounds like it made a good portrait—he agreed.

Chris&doThe most famous portrait of Don (L) & Chris (R). See my take on the film Chris & Don here.

I'll keep you posted on that front, but until then, check out the lovely book here.

 
Oct 10 2014
New York Seen: Andy Warhol's Trash Comments (0)

Warhol

 
Oct 04 2014
PDArt Comments (0)

Grindr

I'm all for out-there artistic expression and am very well aware of what people think is private versus what should legally be kept private, but yeah, I think this guy who is broadcasting Grindr DMs and tricking guys into coming over to visit him in a glass box so the world can see what transpires clearly crosses the line.

Not that I sympathize with the guy who got violent over it. No need for that. Let your lawsuit be your fisticuffs.

 
RIP: Saturday Morning Cartoons Comments (0)

Bugs_Bunny_crying

Today was the first Saturday in forever that no network ran Saturday morning cartoons. Saturday animation is dunzo following The CW's exit from the category. This is all kinds of sad.

Just a few unforgettable cartoons I saw on a Saturday morning after the jump (what are some of yours?)...

 Read More

 
I Yam Because We Are—A Review Of KAREN FINLEY: WRITTEN IN SAND Comments (0)

Karen-FinleyFinley is a dazzling stage presence who's still got a lot to say—and that voice with which to say it.

BOY CULTURE REVIEW: ***1/2 out of ****

The last time I saw Karen Finley on stage was around 1990 in Chicago, at the height of her notoriety as one of the NEA Four—artists whose grants were voided when right-wingers decided to make an issue of their work's sexual and political content. I recall her being smeared in chocolate pudding, among other things. It was a heady time for edgy performers—I saw Finley, Annie Sprinkle (my first cervix sighting!) and Lypsinka the same year—but there must be something in the air, because I just saw two of those three again in 2014.

KarenFinley-sand-300x175Finley is performing Karen Finley: Written in Sand at Baruch Performing Arts Center every Thursday through October 23. The show is a 90-minute, stripped down collection of her AIDS-related work, consisting of Finley and a musical accompanist. I have to say that while it begins with a characteristically out-there series of vignettes (and ends with an amazing tribute to the black sheep of the world), the show quickly becomes irresistibly, uncomfortably, movingly intimate; she's able to summon up vivid visions of the many friends she's lost to AIDS with sometimes sad, sometimes sly in-jokes and the verbal shorthand that exists between all friends.

Just hearing her unique speech in person was exciting to me—this is, after all, the woman who commanded us all to drop our ghetto blasters:

Karen at 1:39, 2:27, etc.

I found her works challenging and raw, even as Finley herself—she would emerge from in character every so often to wink at us and reassure us, or to charmingly play off any rough transitions—came across as endearingly open and flat-out funny.

Bonus of seeing Karen Finley in 2014 instead of 1990? Jesse Helms is dead.

Keep reading for some classic Finley works...

 Read More