Saturday, October 8, 2016

Gay Gotham

Gay Gotham at the Museum of the City of New York

GAY GOTHAM. OCT 7, 2016-FEB 26, 2017
an often-hidden side of the history of New York City.

New York has long been a beacon for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender artists seeking freedom, acceptance, and community. Gay Gotham: Art and Underground Culture in New York brings to life the queer creative networks that sprang up in the city across the 20th century—a series of artistic subcultures whose radical ideas had lasting effects on the mainstream.

Peeling back the layers of New York’s LGBT life that thrived even in the shadows, this groundbreaking exhibition reveals an often-hidden side of the history of New York City and celebrates the power of artistic collaboration to transcend oppression. Visitors will encounter well-known figures, from Mae West to Leonard Bernstein to Andy Warhol, and discover lesser-known ones, such as feminist artist Harmony Hammond, painter and writer Richard Bruce Nugent, and transgender artist Greer Lankton. Surprising relationships emerge: Warhol and Mercedes de Acosta; Robert Mapplethorpe and Cecil Beaton; George Platt Lynes and Gertrude Stein.

Comprising two full galleries, Gay Gotham features the work of these artists, including paintings and photographs, as well as letters, snapshots, and ephemera that illuminate their personal bonds and reveal secrets that were scandal-provoking in their time and remain largely unknown today.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Won’t Be a Ghost, by Tight Braid Group

After a two-year workshop period, the play Won’t Be a Ghost, by Tight Braid Group, premiered on Friday, April 15, 2016, at the Brick Theater in Brooklyn.

I was unable to attend the premiere, but did make it to following night’s performance. Word of mouth must have been great because the theater was sold out, and there was a great effort of accommodation made to seat all comers, locating cushions and extra chairs that could be placed on the floor in the front of the regular seats on the risers.

Won’t Be a Ghost has an intriguing script that weaves together the stories of Magnus Hirschfeld, the influential yet unheralded German sexologist and sexual minorities activist known as “the Einstein of sex”, and Chelsea (born Bradley) Manning, the US Army intelligence specialist and trans woman recently convicted of passing classified documents to WikiLeaks, who is now undergoing hormone replacement therapy in prison.

The play also features a Greek chorus consisting of multiple queer genders, and doubling nicely as the members of Dr. Hirschfeld’s household and intellectual circle. They help to transition and tie together the time-jumping story line, and get to perform a clever scene with arrows and a dancing, bloodied St. Sebastian.

I was glad I got to see this ambitious play. Although well aware of just how vital queer- and trans- gender issues remain to the continuing struggle for LBGT equality today, I knew little about the underlying story of either protagonist in Won’t Be a Ghost. After returning home I went running to the Google machine to learn all I could about both.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

NYTimes: Before the Stonewall Uprising, There Was the ‘Sip-In’

Before the Stonewall Uprising, There Was the ‘Sip-In’
By JIM  FARBER  April 20, 2016

On a bright, warm day 50 years ago this week, three young men went out to have a drink that they hoped would make history.

The men, members of the early gay rights group the Mattachine Society, aimed to challenge bars that refused service to gay people, a common practice at the time, though one unsupported by any specific law. Such refusals fell under a vague regulation that banned taverns from serving patrons deemed “disorderly.”

Full story on the New York Times and through the below link:

NYTimes: Sip-In

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Judy Garland's Apartment In The Dakota Is For Sale

and who wouldn't want it? It has a courtyard view, but is there a park view as well? Not a minor detail. Love those wall colors! And yes, I'd unseal at least some of those fireplaces.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

concentrated demographic

I find the juxtaposition of these two subway posters at 23rd St in Chelsea, one for the Gloria Estefan broadway show and the other for a exhibition of male physique magazines at the Museum of Sex, to be quite clever as I believe they are advertising to the same demographic.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

World AIDS Day

I didn’t know him well until that crazy night when we made newspaper miters for our heads and danced to the Allman Brothers’ “Ramblin Man” like two frenzied bishops on the coffee tables of the student lounge of Our Lady Of Angels Seminary in a small town an hour out of Albany. That is what you did in the seminary when you found a soul mate.