Okay so isn’t rife just so fucking cute? And sexy?
Yeah. I know.
You probably know all about San Francisco-based photographer Sarah Deragon’s queer Identity Project by now—I’m mostly saying that because she’s gotten a mountain of gay-stream press and is all over my Facebook feed all the time, so if that’s the kind of thing you read, you’ve probably seen it.
It’s pretty awesome. Dozens (hundreds yet?) of photographs, beautiful black & white portraits, with just a few key identity words listed underneath.
Y’all know me—I love conversations about identities, about words, about the power in the words that we chose to define ourselves, heck even in self-portraiture and images that make us feel aligned with our deep selves, if only for a moment. I love that shit. It is, in many ways, what Sugarbutch is based around, and what tons of my art focuses on: Identity theory building, formation, and liberation.
So seeing a project that is a kind of visual conversation is pretty stunning, I think. I’ve been really moved, watching The Identity Project’s social media streams, as the images come through. I don’t know if I can articulate quite why it matters, but it makes me feel like I’m part of something.
And, speaking of that, I feel really privileged to have been photographed (alone and with rife) as part of this project.
Sarah took some cutie shots of us together, too—these were the ones we used for the final project (which we got to pick), but there were others we liked too.
So far, the photos are almost entirely of people based in the Bay Area, and Sarah is raising some money to travel around and shoot in other cities, too. The Identity Project Indiegogo campaign ends at midnight on May 30th—tonight—so head on over and donate a few bucks (or a thousand) and support her for some national traveling so she can keep taking incredible portraits, capturing the current state of the queer community.
And who knows, maybe she’ll end up taking YOUR picture too!
When Kristen & I were in Toronto for the Unholy Harvest kink conference in October, we had a photo shoot with Kristy Boyce who is doing a project called What Dyke Looks Like. She’s a professional who had a vision, and Kristen and I were at her apartment and out in an alley in many different settings in front of many different backdrops with all kinds of light and flashes and fancy things to help her complete her vision. We had a blast.
These are just a few of the shots—there are many, many more and I’m excited to show you even more. Kristen looked so hot and there are so many of her in lingerie and a bomber jacket and looking badass and epic.
All this is to say, Kristy is coming to New York City! She’s shooting folks here this week, 8-15 January, and is specifically in need of subjects who are dyke-identified. If you might want to have your photo taken, contact her directly to make an appointment: [email protected].
When I visited the Bay Area in the end of August I met up with Shilo McCabe, the photographer who is behind The Sex Positive Photo Project, and we wandered around my friend’s houseboat where I was staying.
I had a great time and she made me feel very comfortable in front of the lens. These are my favorites of the photos she’s sent me so far.
This one is my favorite.
Thank you, Shilo.
from Shelby at godshomemovies.org
“The It’s all Butch calendar came about from a blog on myspace a friend of mine did about Butch women from the L word and how sexy they were. I thought to myself that most of the women on the L word were not lesbians so I decided to create a venue that showed that Butch Lesbian women could be just as sexy as the femme women. The idea was to create a diverse array of Butch women. In 2010 Maria is 68 yrs old and was a professional roller derby gal in the 70s. In 2011 Torie is 17 yrs old. There are thin Butches, big Daddy Butches, and FTM [folks].”
She sent on some shots to show off here.
More information is available at cabelgalshideout.com, including bios and personal profiles of the models.
The Great LGBTQ Photo Show
June 16th to July 10th, 2010
Opening reception Tuesday June 15th, 6-8pm
Leslie Lohman Gallery
26 Wooster St (btwn Canal/Grand) in New York City
This just in! Stop the presses! Last minute announcement of how to stalk me this week …
As if I haven’t had enough events this week and last: I was in Northwest Illinois visiting the fine folks at the Students
For Sex Against Sexism in Society club at Knox College doing my Fucking with Gender workshop this past weekend, last night I was at Columbia’s Conversio Virium talking to a whole bunch of kinksters about Gendering Power: How to Spice Up Your Role Play, and on Friday I’ll be at Swarthmore College outside of Philadelphia for the Trans Day of Remembrance.
Here’s the details:
Thursday, November 19, TES Queer SIG Presents: PIY: Porn It Yourself
Nayland Blake on photography, Blaise on filmed pornography, Sinclair Sexsmith on written smut
Mainstream porn often just doesn’t cut it when you’re kinky and queer, and that’s why there’s been a long history of people making their own. Join the queer SIG for three half-hour workshops on the pleasures and pitfalls of different kinds of porn production and publishing: filmic, written and photographic and pick up tips on how to represent the sex that’s hot for you.
Members $4; Non-Members $8 Joria Studios, 260 W 36th, 3rd Floor Doors open at 7:30 pm. Meeting starts at 8 pm.
It’ll be three different half-hour segments, one on film, one on photography, and one on written smut, with lots of tips about doing it yourself. I’m excited to see both the photography and the film segments, since I do have that nice little Flip video camera that is just begging to be used, and since Kristen is getting a bit more comfortable in front of a camera … in fact, I just ordered a pinup book to play with, and we were just looking at the Pinup Finishing School‘s pin up and hair workshops.
Want to book me for an event? Check out my profile at Phin Li Bookings, or contact me directly:
I love the photographs in Truer so much I actually purchased a print from Ms. Wallace. (Not this one below, a different one.)
Slideluck Potshow XIV
Time: November 13, 2009 from 7pm to 11pm
Location: The Aperture Foundation
Street: 547 W. 27th St, 4th Floor
City/Town: New York, NY 10001
Website or Map: http://aperture.org
Event Type: slideshow, potluck
Organized By: Slideluck Potshow & Aperture
Perhaps you remember that I was Mr. August in the New York City Sexbloggers 2009 Calendar which came out last year. Indeed there is some incriminating evidence of me spanking a particular lusty lady in order to get a perfectly pink handprint on her ass. I was packing. I wore black & white wingtips. All the pinups looked incredibly hot, the heels … oh, the heels at that photoshoot, gah. Amazing.
Outtakes of me from the photoshoot by Stacie Joy
Have I tempted you enough with the Calendar yet? You want to win it, right? Well, for my birthday, the producer of the calendar, Tess, is letting me give away some calendars, just for fun. But don’t worry – if you don’t win, you can always mosey on over to http://sexbloggercalendar.wordpress.com and buy yourself a calendar – all the proceeds go to Sex Work Awareness, which is having its first day-long seminar Speak Up! Media Skills for the Empowered Sex Worker in New York City this month.
But! If you’d like to win one of my fancy-schmancy [meaning: signed with the famous silver pen] birthday calendars, leave a comment in this thread. It can be anything – I’ll choose the winners at random
– but if you’d like to leave me a blessing for my 30s, put in a request for some sort of hot dirty kinky queer sex act that you’ve never seen me write about, or tell me your favorite birthday song (I’m partial to the John McCutcheon one myself), that would be lovely. Fuck it, there have been waaaay too many birthday wishes posts already here – just leave your name & email address at the beep. Mmkay? Merci!
And thank you, for all the birthday wishes so far. There are many more fabulous shoe photos in the queue to be published this week – it’s not too late to send one in, if you feel so inspired.
I spent Sunday afternoon wandering through the Guggenheim, visiting the exhibit of the Catherine Opie retrospective for the second time.
I’m not sure how much of it I can really put into words, which is why I haven’t mentioned it yet, here – I’ve wanted to write up just how powerful it is to see images of queers hanging in a museum gallery. How powerful, but also how strange and revealing, how vulnerable. I stood in the portrait galleries, tears streaming down my face, reaching for my handkercheif, attempting not to notice the way that other galleryviewers were watching me interact with the photographs.
There were moments when I felt like I too was on display, walking by the straight-laced folks who regarded me with their museum gaze as they held their hands behind their backs and clucked their tongues while examining the photograph’s informational card.
There were other moments when I caught the eye of another queer – there seemed to be an extraordinary amount of dykes wandering through the four galleries of Opie’s work – and it was an intimate, knowing look, a bit of reverance, a bit of support, a bit of an acknowledgement of how amazing it was to be in an incredibly fancy museum looking at images of ourselves reflected.
I highly, highly recommend the exhibit if you are able to visit the Guggenheim here in New York City. I’m including a couple of images that I’ve pulled from various places on the web here in this post, but there are many, many more that I didn’t include, her series on cities and series on freeways are both phenomenal and worth seeing in person for the scale and richness of the photos.
Catherine Opie: American Photographer
1071 Fifth Avenue, New York
September 26, 2008 – January 5, 2009
Since the early 1990s, Catherine Opie has produced a complex body of work, adopting genres such as studio portraiture, landscape photography, and urban street photography to explore notions of communal, sexual, and cultural identity. From her early portraits of queer subcultures to her expansive urban landscapes, Opie has offered insights into the conditions in which communities form and the terms that define them. All the while maintaining a strict formal rigor, working in stark and provocative color as well as richly toned black and white. Influenced by social documentary photographers such as Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, and August Sander, Opie underscores and elevates the poignant yet unsettling veracity of her subjects. [Text from Art Tattler.]
So stunning. I don’t even know if I can write about these, there is just so much emotion that comes up in me just looking at the images.
Opie’s Portraits series
The Portraits series may be my favorite. You’ve probably seen some of her shots around in queer community events or galleries or homes before, I certainly have. There is especially a lot of exploration of gender celebration. Many folks have made note of how the portraits use portrait painting techniques, and the subjects become nobility in their rich colors and stature.
Opie first came to prominence with her Portraits series (1993-97), which celebrates the queer community in San Francisco and Los Angeles, including practitioners of drag, transgendered people, and performance artists. Set against brilliantly colored backgrounds, these figures confront the viewer with intense gazes, asserting their individuality and destabilizing conventional notions of gender. Opie describes these sitters, all of whom she knew personally, as her “royal family;” by adopting a style inspired by portraitists like 16th-century German painter Hans Holbein, she offers an affirmative and tender portrayal of a subculture rendered invisible by dominant cultural norms. [Text from Art Tattler.]
Icehouses & Surfers
Also particularly stunning was the gallery of Opie’s Icehouses series and Surfers series, set across from each other on opposite walls. They are visually stunning, huge photographs. The surfers especially explore waiting, the moment of solid grey where sea and sky are undifferentiated and there is just infinite patience. Icehouses, in contrast and in similarity, explores temporary communities. I love how the (somewhat absent) line of the horizon mimic each other in seeing both series across from each other.
If you’ve been to the exhibit, what did you think? Do you have other queer photographers you’d recommend? I’m not too terribly familiar with the world of visual art, I’d love the recommendations.
They sent me that first one, the other two I swiped from their family blog, which includes this description:
Read by Denise, to Stephanie: “Our life is full of conversations spanning commutes and gazes spanning evenings. I’m a person of action. I try to show my commitment to you every day by loving you with everything I have, and I will continue this for the rest of our days.”
Read by Stephanie, to Denise: “To quote one of my favorite authors, ‘Today I feel that my love for you has more density in this world than I do, myself: as though it could linger on after me and surround you, keep you, hold you.’ …And as we stand here this morning, I am overwhelmed by the journey that’s brought us to this moment, and honored to be your partner, your best friend, your wife, on the journey that stretches out before us.”
Says Femme: “It was August 21st 2004, and getting married? It was (and is) fucking fabulous! The best day EVER. We had a churchful of family and friends cheering us on which was incredibly special. The public statement was infinitely more important than either of us had realised it would be. We would (and will) do it again in a heartbeat. Of course, it would be wonderful to be able to do it legally.”
The opening reception for Pink& Bent: Art of Queer Women is tomorrow night here in New York City. One of the contributing photographers, Sophia Wallce, sent me a few of the shots that will be in her show. I love them all, but this one might be my favorite – the colors in the background are so stunning.
I first saw Sophia’s work because of her project called Bois and Dykes, which has some beautiful photographs of female masculinity shot in New York City. It was fascinating to look through this project of hers; the photos are just so familiar. She even shot my weekly happy hour watering hole and the barber I see about twice a month.
Here’s the information about the exhibit.
Pink& Bent: Art of Queer Women
Curatated by Pilar Gallego & Cora Lambert
Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation presents
Pink & Bent, an exhibition of international artwork by queer women.
Exhibit runs May 21-June 28th
The Leslie/Lohman Gallery
26 Wooster Street
New York, NY 10013
(between Canal & Grand-closer to Grand)
Hours: 12-6pm, Tues-Sat, closed Sat-Sun
Opening reception: Tuesday, May 20, 6-8pm
Panel discussion: Thursday, May 29, 6:30-8pm
Women in the Arts Speak Out
$7 suggested donation at the door