Tonight is the closing party of Questioning & Queering "Masculinity" at Last Projects Gallery 206 South Ave 20, LA.
Swing by if you haven't seen it yet.
Tonight is the closing party of Questioning & Queering "Masculinity" at Last Projects Gallery 206 South Ave 20, LA.
Swing by if you haven't seen it yet.
Saturday, January 28 DTLA
It's gonna be bigger and better than last year. If you're in Los Angeles this Saturday the 28th come down and see me and the 100s of acts artists and experiences. 60,000+ people expected 10 stages over 7 city blocks. And me doing my bit in the DTLA Proud area by Precinct at 4th and Broadway. #nightonbroadway
It's important to acknowledge and allow for a period of mourning after this election. Many of us were caught by surprise. The unthinkable has happened. You may be moved to react immediately or you may be at a complete loss for what to do next.
This is going to take time for me to figure out. Some of our radical brothers and sisters have already sprung into action but for the rest of us, it may be important to just sit with this reality for a few days.
Here are some things I'm focusing on. What are the issues that I'm most concerned about? What are some causes that could be set back in the next couple of years by a right wing agenda. The Environment, Women's Health Rights, Endangered Species, Education, Black Lives Matter, Civil Liberties, Human Rights, LGBTQ Rights ...???? Prioritize your list and dedicate some of your time and money to the top one or two issues. Reach out to organizations that have a track record of fighting for those causes. Offer to volunteer, donate money, raise money, or participate in civil disobedience or calls to action organized by those groups.
These are some links to check out
And always there is art. Public art/street art is free to everyone and take it from me, it is an empowering and important means of communicating your anger, fear and determination.
Every election I wonder how many Homos are actually bothering to vote. This year I'm adding the Millennials to my pondering. Do Millennials get how important this election is? Do Homos? I hope so.
After some research and review, this is how I'll be voting. I explain some of my reasoning for my decisions on the following propositions at the bottom of this post. If you want to dig deeper into any of the propositions that are listed, check the LA Times
51 NO 60 NO 66 NO
52 YES 61 YES 67 YES
53 YES 59 YES
54 YES 60 YES
55 YES 61 YES
56 YES 62 YES
57 YES 63 YES
58 YES 64 YES
59 YES 65 YES/NO
Please vote for Hillary. No matter how much you dislike her personally, hate her for standing by Bill or deleting and lying about her emails, your world and the next 20 years (maybe more) will be effected in unimaginable and disastrous ways by a Trump win. She's not perfect but she puts us on a path toward a better America. I want to live in a country that takes care of people, old people, disabled people, kids, even dumb people. We don't need to spend more than 50% of our annual budget on the military or on building the infrastructure of other countries. Let's take care of us. Are you old enough to remember when schools had art programs and P.E. and your teacher had enough paper towels and crayons for everyone? Ever wonder what happened? It's the Republican's defunding of schools, diverting money to vouchers and cutting funding to states. That's the legacy of Reagan, Bush, Gingrich and Delay. Education is just one example of the failed policies of the party that is more interested in corporations and lobbyists than the people. And don't think that a third party option is really viable. Gary Johnson is a not qualified to lead the free world and Jill Stein is... not a serious candidate to say the least. If you have doubts about those statements watch this... John Oliver
Not voting is not an intellectually sound choice. What are you really saying? The system is rigged so it doesn't matter. Really? It's the system we have. You want to change it? Start working on that November 9th, 2016. You've got four years to make a difference. As for now, the system is the system and whether you believe your vote doesn't count or you just don't want to participate in our flawed democracy, your abstaining is a de facto vote for Trump. Ask Al Gore if votes count. Especially if you live in a state where it's close. Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, etc. You must vote!
And don't split the ticket, please. Vote for Democrats or Progressives for House and Senate. Have the last 8 years of Congressional inaction pissed you off? Don't doom us to another 4-8 of that. Give her a Democratic Senate and with a ton of luck a Democratic House and she will get some shit done. Otherwise, they will block her and try to impeach her on trumped up charges (no pun intended) and nothing will get done.
This is about school bonds for new school construction which is money not really going to students or teachers but will go instead to developers and construction companies. It will also incur 500 million dollars a year in state payouts for the next 35 years. Let's raise teacher's salaries and fully fund our school system before we start building new schools.
This generates 3 billion dollars a year in Federal matching funds for the state healthcare system and forces hospital administrators and corporations that own and profit from hospitals to follow guidelines on how the money is spent.
This requires that the public vote on state projects and expenditures of more than 2 billion dollars. It's our tax money and we should have a voice in how the money is spent.
This is legislative accountability. The state house can't just run through laws without 72 hours of visibility online.
Keeps a standing tax of 1-3% imposed on individuals making more than $250,000. This money goes specifically to education and healthcare.
It's the cigarette tax. If you smoke you may want to vote no but as a former smoker of 20 years I hope this will keep kids from starting to smoke. It's really fucking hard to quit.
This would mean early release of 16,000 non violent prisoners in the state prison system which will save the state money and most of these are low level drug offenders.
Gives local school systems and administrators the right to make decisions on multilingual education. This is a FIX for the fucked up law that was passed previously that demanded that kids in public school be taught in English primarily, even when they didn't understand English. This law has left tens of thousands of kids behind as their first language was not English and their learning and understanding of what was being taught was severely encumbered.
This allows our state legislators to actively work toward overturning Citizens United. It frees them to make laws to restrict big money in politics even though it's still allowed Federally.
There is already a State law that requires the use of condoms on Adult film sets. This law just gives the inspectors more power to enforce the law, with mandatory inspections, costing more money to administrate, shutting down more productions and penalizing performers. It is a bad law and basically no one is for it except puritans and old people who just hear porn and their brains shut down.
Don't listen to big Pharma and those old Vets on the commercials. This is a good law that will reduce drug costs across the board.
Death penalty. Are you for it? I'm against it. This proposition repeals it.
I'm all for restricting fire arms and limiting ammunition and outlawing assault rifles. It should be stated that Civil Liberties groups and Law Enforcement are opposed to this proposition. It would create more back log in our court system, but possibly make our society safer.
It's the Weed Proposition. Let's do it.
This is a fucked up proposition. Both this and 67 were funded by the plastic bag manufacturers. 97% of the money funding these propositions is from outside the state. This one mandates that the money from bags payed for in grocery stores goes to environmental organizations. Sounds good, right? But it doesn't outlaw single use plastic bags, it just charges people for them. Also, either 65 or 67 will take effect depending on which one gets more votes.
Ever wonder who gets to keep the money when you pay for the bags at the grocery? Makes the local LA and Santa Monica laws statewide and creates a ban on single use plastic bags, but allows the grocery stores to keep the money which generates more than $300 million dollars a year in profit. Granted, before, the grocer had to pay for the bags and they were free to us. But they weren't paying .10 a piece and this has turned in to a money maker for grocery and convenience stores.
If you want to get rid of the death penalty, vote yes on 62. This proposition doesn't help anything. Better to leave the situation as is if 62 doesn't pass. And if 62 does pass then this proposition is pointless.
If you haven't checked out Human Condition yet, your time is running out. It's 3 floors of carefully curated art by John Wolf in an abandoned hospital in the West Adams area of Downtown Los Angeles.
LOS ANGELES—September 12, 2016—Human Condition is an immersive, site-specific exhibition that features the work of sixty emerging and established artists in a uniquely challenging space: a former hospital in West Adams, previously known as the Los Angeles Metropolitan Medical Center. Curated and produced by the Los Angeles-based art advisor John Wolf, Human Condition invites artists to re-contextualize the hospital’s functional history—over 40,000 square feet of it—as a venue to explore what it means to be human. The exhibition opens to the public on October 1, 2016 and runs through November 30, 2016.
I had an amazing and life affirming experience this weekend with the men of the Tom of Finland Foundation. I was asked to create a piece of work to live alongside Tom's House in Echo Park. The piece is a 40' X 10' mural applied to the structure that houses some of the legendary works by Tom of Finland as well as countless other gay artists. Some of these artists had a level of notoriety but many were simply creative men who felt the urge and desire to bring to life artistic work glorifying the male form and a sex positive vision of the Gay Male.
A portion of the work in the collection was donated but some of it was salvaged from the homes of men who died of AIDS in the last 30+ years. As the story was told to me, frequently during the height of the plague, the men at Tom of Finland Foundation would get a call from a friend or neighbor reporting that a certain man in the community had died and that his family was on the way to clear out his possessions. Knowing that in almost every case, this would mean the destruction and disposal of any artwork with homoerotic theme, the crew would go in and remove as much as they could to preserve the work and honor the deceased. This act of preservation has formed the foundation of this incredible and important collection.
I am proud beyond words to have been asked by the Foundation to add my voice and artistic expression to the collection in this way.
Below is my Artist's Statement regarding the piece. I hope if you are ever in the Los Angeles area you can stop by Tom's House and check out the piece.
"I’ve always been fascinated by the written descriptions of famous gay sex clubs and historic cruising areas. I’ve often fantasized about the places and the scenes and tableaus that must have existed during their hay day and how easily I could have been present and a participant if only I’d been alive and located in the cities where they existed.
One such place that I’ve thought countless times about was the short-lived sex club in Los Angeles known as Halsted’s. Founded by actor, director and escort, Fred Halsted (1941-1989), the club was located in Silver Lake. It had the obligatory glory holes, bunk beds and slings, but in addition, there were four truck trailers that were parked behind the club inside a walled yard. Ideal spots for the kind of activity I imagine took place at Halsted’s. These were dark, anonymous, ripe and raw spaces where anything could happen. If I had been of age and living in LA during that year that Halsted’s was open, I would have been a regular and I would have wanted to plaster, slap and tag my work all over those trailers.
When I first saw the shipping container and its placement alongside the famous house that once belonged to Tom of Finland, I couldn’t help but feel a connection to the Halsted’s of my erotic dreams. Nestled against a wall, behind a big black gate and towering ficus hedge, there was an instant association for me between this structure and the truck trailers out back of Halsted’s. With this piece, I believe I’ve been given the opportunity to do what I would have done there but in this historic place where creative energy, gay love, lust and sexual history ooze from every crack and crevice.
Incorporating into this piece the iconic imagery of Tom of Finland, I hope to honor Tom and his spirit as well as salute and pay tribute to the men of Tom of Finland Foundation who honor and preserve his legacy. "
"Riots do not develop out of thin air..."
With all of the civil unrest this year including what has happened the last few nights in Charlotte, I've seen a quote by MLK surface repeatedly. Here is a section of his speech from September, 1967 (note the coming 50 year anniversary).
Urban riots must now be recognized as durable social phenomena. They may be deplored, but they are there and should be understood. Urban riots are a special form of violence. They are not insurrections. The rioters are not seeking to seize territory or to attain control of institutions. They are mainly intended to shock the white community. They are a distorted form of social protest. The looting which is their principal feature serves many functions. It enables the most enraged and deprived Negro to take hold of consumer goods with the ease the white man does by using his purse. Often the Negro does not even want what he takes; he wants the experience of taking. But most of all, alienated from society and knowing that this society cherishes property above people, he is shocking it by abusing property rights. There are thus elements of emotional catharsis in the violent act. This may explain why most cities in which riots have occurred have not had a repetition, even though the causative conditions remain. It is also noteworthy that the amount of physical harm done to white people other than police is infinitesimal and in Detroit whites and Negroes looted in unity.
I'm did something last week that I've wanted to do for a long time. I've gone back to the place where I was born to spread some of my art. The area is very conservative. With a long history of evangelical influence. There are Trump Pence signs everywhere. I guess it's very similar to most places in America in that regard. But being gay is not easy here. And there are no visible local gay role models that I'm aware of that would engender much pride in any gay person. Instead there is a lot of hiding, obfuscation, apology and shame. Many gay men and women marry opposite sex people and pretend to be something they are not and live very isolated lives. Most are so deep in denial they may not even recognize that they are genuinely homosexual.
I don't have any illusions that my work will change the situation at all but maybe some kid or adult who is struggling with excepting themselves and being open will feel less alone when they see one of my pieces on the street.
I had the pleasure of getting a guided tour of the Tom of Finland house today by the curator of the Foundation, Sharp. I had been to the house a couple of times in the past but had never had the chance to really check it out and ask questions. There's an amazing amount of art not just by Tom but by gay artists from all over the world. From iconic old masters of the homoerotic to young contemporary artists in a space that has seen everything from legendary orgies to art openings.
The house and its inhabitants exist for one purpose, to promote and keep alive the art and legacy of Tom. I learned a lot about his art and life today and my appreciation for him deepened. As did my respect and love for the men who carry on in his name.
...and I have to go there asap and put my mark on it. Even in the middle of the day on busy Melrose, I can't pass it up. Here with Stikkipeaches and Thrashbird
Thanks to the organizers and promoters of DTLAProud. As an alternative to typical Pride events, DTLAProud was organic, hip, and fresh. I was happy to be there and be a part of it.
Have you noticed all the street art embedded in Pokemon?
Some of my homies here Thrasbird, Mr Ramano, Bobbie Zombie. If anyone spots any Homo Riot, please share.
I love doing what I do. If I could, I would take a never ending city tour visiting friends during the day and tagging and slapping the city at night.
New York is always a blast. It provides the perfect canvas and the city itself is extremely welcoming. That may change one day. If the population gets uptight and street art falls into disfavor it could become much more difficult but as for now it's a joy. Thank you NYC!
Supernatural performance piece last night at LACA Antonija Livingstone, Simone Aughterlony and sound by Hahn Rowe.
I've been in shock over the Pulse massacre. Like everyone else feeling sadness and rage. Sunday morning I went to the LA Gay Pride parade. It felt good to be with my community.
Really loved seeing the collage, drawings and sculptures by Mapplethorpe. I didn't know he had created works in other mediums.
preview exhibition tonight. Selected pieces available to view and for sale. Come check it out and support queer artists
The video is a bit like a painting; you observe very slowly.
Originally the book was huge, but they lost quite a lot over time. Basically there are about 300 pages left. Speculation as to the size of the original puts it somewhere on the order of a work of thousands of pages. In the video I wanted to show that there is something missing, like an unfinished puzzle. It goes from one chapter to another without a clear story line. There’s no plot, nor a narrative, nothing that resembles a story. We just observe the protagonist going slowly from one scene to another. The slow rhythm is accentuated by my use of 120 frames per second. The stationary camera makes you feel that there is no fixed time.
Tell me about your work method when it comes to story telling?
After I read the book I just took the scenes which spoke to me the most. A lot of them are the ones that wouldn’t interest a hetero filmmaker. In one of them the witch provides the narrator with a cure for something you don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s syphilis, maybe gonorrhea, or maybe he’s just impotent. It’s a scene I very much liked, maybe it’s because you wouldn’t expect such scenes in a book where the action is happening before Christ. I often have the feeling that everything before Christ was in a way easier because there was no taboo, no religion, no morale, and everybody was bisexual. What you see is in that book is the sex habit and the social behaviour of the old Roman Empire. Most of them have no objective in their lives, no jobs. They just eat and have sex all the time.
Both Fellini and Polidoro tackled Satyricon in 1968 and 1969.
If you watch Fellini’s movie, it’s only about twenty percent of the actual story. The minotaur, the labyrinth and many other characters are nowhere to be found within’ the book. Gian Luigi Polidoro is much closer to the original text but replaced the gay character by a woman.
A true Hollywood phenomenon.
Indeed. When Disney makes a movie about Hercules, he’s of course one hundred per cent straight. But Hercules was bi in the texts. So there’s this straight-washing going on all the time. Same when movies or media talk about Da Vinci or Lincoln, there’s a lot of heterosexualising, if you can call it like that. I also guess that what we read now is very different from the original book. From BC till now, people copied the texts. And those scribes were often religious so sometimes when there was a sex scene, they would just leave it out. Some of them would even re-write the story the way they wanted it to be. Nobody will ever know how close the current text is from the original. So you know, after all this text massacre, incorrect Latin translation and straight-washing corrections: I thought, now I’m going write my own version where Ascyltos is the Main Character. And I’m going to let him having an affaire with whoever I want.
You’re very outspoken about the gay-factor in your work.
My work is about my environment, and of course part of it is a certain gay scene. It’s my life so in a way I just project my surrounding. My inspiration comes from the people I work with. When I meet the right person: it just happens. The idea for Satyricon Beta has been going through my head for about two years now but I didn’t act upon it until I met the right people to do it. As there’s no rush to execute a project, I do not believe in casting for this kind of artistic projects. But when I see the right actor or model that can match a certain project then there’s no way back. I think there’s a special actor for any project, you just have to cross paths. Unfortunately I cannot change my ideas after that. I get obsessed with that person and I can be a real pain in the ass until they agree to do the project. I’m a stalker without a budget, so I guess people just have to trust me, or not.
Why did you choose to make the video in Italian?
I’ve read the book in Italian, in French and in English, and I chose to go for Italian because it’s the closest to Latin. Since my actor, Rocco Schira, is Swiss-Italian and is a voice talent, we had to use all that in the video. I wrote it in French, my mother tongue, translated it to Italian and subtitled in English. For me it was good to mix up all these languages because you really feel how it changes the text. I like to work with language and translations. They all have their different culture and colour which highly influences the image. You’ll find some text from Lucius Annaeus Seneca, some poems of Robert Lee Frost and of course some original parts of Gaius Petronius Arbiter. We also shot the video in Ticino, the Italian part of Switzerland. The nature is beautiful there, very Roman and completely cut of from the rest of the world. Not an easy place to live in but a great location to shoot.
Satyricon Beta will be shown at the Queer Biennial II in LA. What happens after that?
I’m very happy to premiere that video in Los Angeles at the Biennial, but ‘after that’ to tell you the truth:
I have no idea. Sometimes the work travels to other festivals or is screened in other gallery spaces but you never know if it’s gonna work or die there. My biggest problem in this creative process is that when I’m done, I’m done ! The showing of the work doesn’t interest me much, it’s not part of the work itself anymore. That’s why I’m not the best seller of my own work: I love to make it but I always feel way to vulnerable to take it on display. It shows too much of myself. When a project is finished, I’m just starting something else. My part is to create, to shoot, to edit and to spend time with people making it. You think I should get an agent?