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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I was so glad I had the day off on Monday and Tuesday.Pivotal time to catch up with friends I haven’t seen in a long time and just rest and recoup. Had a nice visit and snack time with DeRohan Chabot and Marc Arthur. We met at The Flat Iron Building and hung out at Madison Square Park. Young Frenchman DeRohan was busy fornicating with everything in sight being that he has never been to New York, so I didn’t want to cramp his style by trying to get him to help with my show. He has no qualms about nudity so I may have him do some live sex thing with another young Cooper Union student on my Vaginal Davis is Speaking From the Diaphragm talkshow. Marc Arthur is going to be on the program Sat May 22nd at 8pm. Marc works for RoseLee Goldberg of Performa fame. Later in the evening I was taken out for tequila tasting with Columbia University Phd performer and neophyte independent curator Mashinka Firunts, and her handsome hubby Jeremy.Didn’t know that Mashinka worked for RoseLee Goldberg at one time.
The tequila tasting party was at the upscale tequila bar and Mexican cabana Mayahuel, and was part of the weekend's Manhattan Cocktails Classic.
The tequila soiree was called Terror in Tequila: A Pairing Dinner & Seminar. Mayahuel is located 304 East 6th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenue in the East Village. I know nothing about cocktail mixology and was looking forward to being at something different from the art or theatre worlds. The four course dinner was being provided by Mayahuel and the cocktail pairings by this very icky and unattractive Fordam baldie John Pomeroy who really worked my last nerve. When you are that fugly you need to be more personable or there is really no point in your existing on this island earth.
Tequila Ocho (the first and only vintage tequila on the market)teamed up with Siembra Azul (a leader in discussions of terror in tequila and social justice in the agave fields) to put on this dry as melba toast event.
The motly crew assembled tasted a portfolio of tequilas, from Blanco to Reposado to Anejo. New York is the center of beauty and glamour, but that sure wasn't represented here at this gathering. There was not one piece of eye candy. I guess tequila drinkers are all nerdic crotchies. I was expecting it to be super hetero normative. Dr. Jose Munoz had taken me to this irritating tequila bar before, and the place is way too tiny for a person who is 6’7’’, but what confounds me is that there weren’t even any interesting women on hand. I felt like I was transported to the cornfields of some Midwestern state, and far removed from sophisticated downtown Man!hattan. I guess this represents the new New York in spades.
Needless to say we didn’t stay for dinner, but Mr. Junior Merino of the tequila company seemed like a cheery pepperpot of a Mexican dude. My cute hosts took me for a proper French meal at Flea Market on Avenue A. I wasn’t believing in our waitress who was giving me attitude all evening. I ignored her, and settled down for an excellent meal, a flavorfull Margarita and zesty chocolate cake desert.
A week ago Jonathan and I went to Mashinka’s birthday party at this great little speakeasy, Raines Law Room at 48 West 17th Street at 6th Avenue. Young Master Jeremey, Mashinka’s hubby had worked as head bartender there some time ago. The Stumblebum Brass Band provided stellar whiskey soaked melodies and the scrumpteous black&white polka dotted birthday cake reading “Happy Spectacle Mashinka came from Buttercup Bake Shop. Friends and collaborators of the married couple included:
Paolo Javier and Serena Liu (Both were artists in Semiospectacle, Paolo is co-curator of P||R||O||J||E||C||T||I||O||N||S with Jeremy, and is the founder of Second Avenue Press. Nicolas Gitton & Daphne Leclerq (They're recent Parisian expatriates, Nicolas is currently project analyst at former Guggenheim Director Tom Krens's consulting project Global Cultural Asset Management.) Matt Jones (Remarkable visual artist with work currently on display in Anonymous Gallery's show "In Dialogue", also a contributing artist to Steno Pool for Semiospectacle) John Newsom (Painter of potent predatory canvasses also with work currently in Anonymous Gallery's "In Dialogue") Julie Jung (Bobbed Neue Galerie beauty and dead ringer for Anna May Wong)Nicole Abahuni (Also a Neue Galerie beauty prize, contributing artist to Steno Pool, and exceptional performance and installation artist who recently presented the world premiere of a composition by Elliott Sharp at John Zorn's The Stone with Leesa Abahuni) Marina Press (Erstwhile Neue Galerie lovely currently at Soho's DCKT Contemporary) James Copeland and Liz (James is a poet & managing director of experimental presse and Semiospectacle co-sponsor Ugly Duckling)
Amasa Amos and Amy Chang (Amasa was particularly taken with Hippo Narcissus having been a philosophy student at UCSB, Amy is a performatrice who most recently appeared in Dark Sky Films's "Hypothermia" with Michael Rooker) Shonni Enelow (Semiospectace artist, brilliant playwright, contributor to New York Times on the web, to launch upcoming two week run of "My Dinner with Bernard Frechtman" at Brooklyn art center The Invisible Dog
Tuesday morning it was cold and rainy. Once again the weather has taken a drastic shift. Had a nice breakfast power bitch klatch at a cute little cafe with sexy and sophisticated Svetlana Mintcheva of Bulgaria who works for the National Coalition Against Censorship, and her pretty assistant Teresa who just moved to New York from Portland Oregon. Their organization is partnering with the New School, Bowery Poetry Club, Dixon Place and Anthology Film Archives to explore the impact of the decency clause on the representation of sex and sensuality in performance, film, and video. The program will take place in September at Dixon Place and is part of a larger series of eventas that include panel discussions and film screenings around the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the NEA “decency clause”.
Svetlana went to graduate school with Dr. Jennifer Doyle, who introduced her to my work. After breakfast it was time for luncheon with Glenn Belverio who will be going to Barcelona on one of his fashion journalism jaunts writing for Diane Pernet’s popular webjournal A Shaded View of Fashion.
Then it was a divine din din cooked by Russian dissident poet and artist Slava Mogutin at his 14th Street studio he shares with humpy artist lover Brian Kenny. The sacred dinner table was held together by Billy Miller of STH, singer and artist god Gio Black Peter and his gorgeous beau Neil Young who works as a designer for Calvin Klein. Slava gave me some delicious playing cards he photographed for the Play Smart Visual AIDS campaign. One of the cards features Brian Kenny wearing a jock-strap mask that gave off a whiff of Francis Bacon, and another was placed the most beautiful Asian boy in a singlet. Slava is one hell of a talented photographer,consummate artist, and his collaboration with his lover Brian and others is unbeatable. Slava&Brian and Gio&Neil are featured in the latest Vice Magazine in a photo series on gay power couples by Richard Kern, that also includes AA Bronson,Jenny Shimizu, Eileen Myles and her child bride. Slava is always giving me wonderful gifts, and also presented me with a copy of the magazine Crush which features his striking portrait of the sultry French/Arab actor and boxer Salim Kechiouche. Dinner featured organitron hambuggers and a divine golden beet avocado salad. When Brian and Slava come on Vaginal Davis is Speaking From the Diaphragm show at ps122 they will be wearing Yoshi Yamamoto and Jeremy Scott as the designers adore them and gift them with samples on a regular basis.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

So much work has gone into Vaginal Davis is Speaking From the Diaphragm. My wonderful child of high art Jonathan Berger has designed an incredible installation set in collaboration with the gifted tag team of Alexander Hollenback& Julia Rexon , the amazing Joshua Lubin-Levy & Ms. Sarah Maurer. Its been such a spirited effort with so many lovely volunteers from NYU coming in and painting, doing carpentry, sweating and grunting to get this piece up and running with such a miniscule budget. We borrowed, begged and stole. Its been really lovely working with everyone including the highly skilled and tireless PS 122 tech crew of Eileen Goddard doing the lighting, Lauren Brown on sound and Derek Llyod the tech manager. Also loved working and whooping it up in girlish fashion with Carleigh and Laura in the Tree House Marketing Dept of PS 122.
Hector Martinez my old Chicano pal from Los Angeles who is now a top executive with Affleck Insurance came to New York and helped me install the piece, and I wound up putting him on the chat show installation as a guest talking about whether President Obama’s insurance plan will work. I didn’t want my piece to exist within a bubble of only people who are artists, filmmakers and musicians. Having Hector on the show opening night elevated things in a direction that was very ripe. And speaking of insurance executives, my favorite poet Wallace Stevens’ day job was as a top insurance executive. Hector has become quite an accomplished photographer. The photos he took during dress rehearsals, installing and back stage were quite impressive.
Of course my time in New York has all been about work. I am not on holiday. It was great having Hector here and he was taking me out to breakfast lunch and dinner. We also walked about the city a bit and ran into young rich male ingénue Daniel Radcliffe of the Harry Potter series. Mr. Radcliffe is quite dimunitive in stature. He was sitting reading a book at Madison Square Park across from the Flat Iron Building. Hector boldy went up to him and invited him to my piece, and he came on opening night.
My Saturday opening was SRO with lots of celebs in the audience including entertainment lawyer Norman von Holtzendorf and writer David Coleman Howard of the New York Times, Sex and the City’s Cynthia Nixon who may make a surprise guest appearance on SFTD, landscape artist Baby Brian, activist Jim Fouratt, clarinetist Evan Christopher, Scarlette Johansen, artist and independent curator Scott Hug, diva Justin Bond, folk singer Scotland Zief with pop star Jason Mraz. Are they boyfriends? Will get the full list of attendees from the marketing department and add to this blog later, so please be patient.
Opening nite featured an electric live performance from super duper truper star Ms.Kembra of the Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black showing all in attendance how it is properly done on stage when it comes to singing a showstopping modern classic. There is no one better who can wow an audience like the Lady Ms. K. and with her beauty and fashion sense she mesmerized the room with her perpetual wit and wisdom. Also Jr. art starina Aliza Shwartz who gave her first public interview on SFTD. Many media outlets have wanted to hear from her since she burst on the scene while still a student at Yale, but having her on the program was a definite coup. The Skype guests like Rick Owens from his manufacturing homebase in Italy was also thrilling. Mr. Owens brilliantly art directed his Skype appearance. I have known Rick since the mid 1980s and I was one of the first people he designed costumes for exclusively so I count as his first muse. Cute and cuddly Jamie Stewart of the indie pop group Xiu Xiu even performed a delightful ditty with a tea pot. I adore Jamie. Before he was a huge star he performed at my punk rock beer bust Club Sucker. Our last Skype guest was the divine Jackie Reynal who came on the program from the Cannes Film Festival. Jackie was recently anointed the honor of arts & letters steward making her a Chevalier in France. For those of you not familiar with the great Jackie Reynal, she was a film editor working for Jean Renoir and also Eric Rohmer and is a superlative feminist filmmaker in her own right. Her film masterpiece being Deux Fois from 1968. She also ran the Bleeker Street Cinema and Carnegie Hall Cinemas in New York from 1975-1992. I first met her in Berlin at the 2006 Berlinale when my colleguen Marc Siegel curated the Ubersee Overseas program for Forum Expanded. That’s when I first fell in love with her spirit of 68 wild spirit. She and the other Zanzibar filmmakers like Phillip Garrel were the French versions of the Warhol scene. I have a crush on Phillip Garrel’s sexy young gay son the actor Louis Garrel. I think Louis Garrel is in New York now so maybe he will make a surprise appearance on Vaginal Davis is Speaking From the Diaphragm.
I just adore my Chat Roulette Clatch of Ms. Goldie, Ms. Barbara, Punk Rock Dave, Cutee Chris, Rockefeller Jonathan, and Ginger Otter Prize Joshua. They really add a lot to the talk show installation dynamic with their talent, beauty and sterling personalities. This project has been a very fruitful collaboration, and it has been so great working with downtown legends Carmelita Tropicana and Jennifer Miller who gave us some notes after the premier which were excellent, and music soundscape talent Jason Martin and video expert Jean Kim. Oh and special shoutout to Ross Menuez of studio Salvor who provided the architectural textiles for the outfits I am wearing for this piece that are designed by the gorgeous and exotic hearththrobs Nikko Lencek-Inagaki and Arjuna Balaranjan. My expert make-up design is by pretty and demure Justin Chin.
On Sunday the entire timbre of the piece changed with guests like writer, filmmaker and cultural critic Glenn Belverio, novelist Bruce Benderson who is the first American to win the prestigious literary prize The Prix de Flore for his tome The Romanian, controvertial knitwear designer Pierrot who brought his model Emma who is an Aussie entertainment lawyer by day and high fashion super model and muse by night, and the legendary Canadian lesbian rock icon Carol Pope(the first famous out lesbian rocker), who among other things performed with Bowie, was the lover of Dusty Springfield and wrote the memoir Anti Diva which is soon to be a major motion picture starring Zoey Deschanel. Via Skype was Dr. Jennifer Doyle of UC Riverside who looked amazing after just breaking her arm playing football. In the audience was menswear designer Neil Young and juicy Russian artist Slava Mogutin, Corey Sabourin an editor with InStyle Magazine who is also an amateur chief and known as the Alice B. Toklas of the East Village, Christine Martin the legal consultant to the shtars, writer Nancy Stout, Brady the lovesexy ginger dancer with the Mark Morris Dance Company, Jean Pierre, Carol Pope’s French Canadian manager. Broadway Ganymede Cheyenne Jackson, filmmaking Bros. Josh & Benny Safdie, vivacious writer Tsipi Keller of the book Jackpot and MagGruder star Will Forte. The last performance was from the high voltage singer, musician and artist Gio Black Peter and hunky art star Brian Kenny. It was the perfect way to end the proceedings. After the show a huge group of us ate perogis at Odessa’s on Avenue A.