On the day we started to hang artwork, some folks who work in the building asked that two images in the show be covered up. The first was a photo of Violet Chachki’s cock and balls, and the other of Violet’s gaff (an undergarment used to cover a queen’s tuck).
When the drag queen Divine ate dog shit at the end of John Waters’s Pink Flamingos, he knew he was participating in a great publicity stunt. What he didn’t know was he was about to become an icon of American culture.
Two weeks after Sharon Needles took home the coveted title of America’s Next Drag Superstar on Rupaul’s Drag Race, she sits on the floor of her room at the Out Hotel—a “straight-friendly urban resort” in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen—across from a psychic named Jesse Bravo, which is at least partially my doing. I had been enraptured by this glam-goth/witch-house/art-sleaze drag queen ever since seeing her on television, and had to meet her. But what would compel a performer known for vomiting blood and accessorizing with Ouija boards to hang with me? What could I propose that would be campy, creepy, and absurd enough to work? One word: séance. And here we are, a tattooed Sharon in a nude-colored lace dress, a rhinestone collar, and cotton candy-like platinum hair piled high sitting among flickering candles, tumbler of scotch in hand, while the psychic tells her he sees stars—entire constellations—all around her.
Read the rest