By Johnny Ray Huston
They've got passion to burn, whether there's 100 percent pride or a potent dose or two of critical shame in their game. They're the dozen-plus-one LGBT artists who constitute this year's lineup of flaming creators -- individuals and groups adding radical perversity, butch dyke glitter, b-boy funk, punkified monkey love, dandified bear flair, and more to the Bay Area. It seems apt to pun off the title of Jack Smith's still-revelatory 1963 film Flaming Creatures in uniting this wildly varied group: all of them ignore or defy the conformist strains of mainstream gay culture to blaze new trails of truth and fantasy. As part of our Queer Issue, we pay tribute to them.
NAME Keith Aguiar
WHAT I DO Currently, I am photographing a community of queer artists who continue to resist assimilation and express themselves freely without compromise to both hetero and homo normative values that have imprisoned so many of our generation. I want the viewer to enter my world of rich color, texture, and chaos to find the intricate beauty that comes from reconnecting with more primitive forms of expression. More recently my work has been progressing to include portraits, erotic photography, and even a few landscapes. I'm currently seeking funds for my next show and have started to do commissioned work on the side.
MOTTO Create your own reality. Live your own myth. Be your own God.
NAME Dreamboat, Where Are You? (Carrie Baum and Jessica Fudim)
WHAT WE DO We're a punk pop duo with choreographed vaudevillian antics and a penchant for monkeys, monsters, and Yiddish innuendos. We've been described as "the Buzzcocks meet the Muppets." We'll be leading a Dancers' Group Rock Theater workshop July 21, and we also have our own projects: Carrie's Exit Sign: A Rock Opera and Jessica's dance show Please Feed My Animal will both be previewing at CounterPULSE's "Rock 4 Art" benefit Aug. 4. (Carrie also runs Big Star Printing; Jessica is a certified Pilates trainer.)
MOTTO Be sure to share your cookies.
NAME Edie Fake
WHAT I DO Food fetish zines (Foie Gras), dirty comics (Gaylord Phoenix, Anal Sex for Perverts, Rico McTaco), apprentice tattoos, perv-formance art, rare appearances, desert adventures, and general feminism.
WORDS OF WISDOM Someone was yelling on the bus the other day that anal sex produces no children.
But that is false!
Anal sex produces
ILLEGITIMATE GOLDEN CHILDREN
and they grow up to become
THE PERVERT SAINTS OF THE CATACOMBS.
NAME Emerson Aquino
WHAT I DO I'm cofounder and executive artistic director of the nonprofit professional dance company Funkanometry San Francisco. In 2005, I helped establish the Funksters Youth Dance Company through summer camps and dance-intensive programs. I've trained and danced with groups such as 220, Anarchy, Culture Shock Oakland, and SWC and showcased my choreography with Funkanometry SF in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Diego, and Bogotá, Colombia. My most recent project is an all-male performing group called Project EM, featuring 12 principal dancers.
MOTTO Life's not about how much money you make; it's about the number of people you inspire.
NAME James Gobel
WHAT I DO Paint, serve as a member of the California College of the Arts faculty, chub 4 chub.
WORDS OF WISDOM I hope my paintings make people want to be big, bearded, and queer. I could be wrong, but I think it was fellow whiskered gay chubby chaser and one-time San Franciscan Alice B. Toklas who said, "I loves 'em tubby, and so should you!"
NAME David King
WHAT I DO I make collages, which often syncretize the camp and the spiritual. Some of my work can be seen at Ritual on Valencia during June.
WORDS OF WISDOM I don't have words of wisdom. I have dissertations of wisdom, to which I subject only my most tolerant friends, who have other reasons to love me.
NAME Torsten Kretchzmar
WHAT I DO Present good old electropop music with a German twist.
MOTTO My motto is "I know what girls like." I really do! With the hip music of the Men of Sport, I present this old Waitresses song in my three new video clips. The DVD release party will be Aug. 5 at Club Six, and I expect a lot of guys to show up to find out about my secret.
NAME Dolissa Medina
WHAT I DO Experimental films mostly, but I plan to move into more multimedia and installation work at UC San Diego, where I'll be starting an MFA program this fall. I'm interested in San Francisco history, Latino and queer experiences, and mapping urban space through mythologized storytelling. Last year I produced Cartography of Ashes for the 100th anniversary of the 1906 earthquake; we projected the film onto the side of a fire station in the Mission District. My film 19: Victoria, Texas will also be on display at Galería de la Raza this August and September.
MOTTO Viva la caca colectiva!
NAME Lacey Jane Roberts
WHAT I DO I make large-scale, site-specific knitted installations that often involve guerrilla action. My work, which is knitted by hand and on children's toy knitting machines, aims to traverse boundaries of art and craft, the handmade and the manufactured, as well as categories of gender and class, through fusing seemingly contradictory materials, methods, and contexts. Additionally, my work seeks to illuminate the connections between craft and queerness and shift this position into one of agency and empowerment.
MOTTO I don't really have a motto, but I would like to thank my friends for always showing up and helping me install, especially in places where I am not supposed to.
NAME Erik Scollon
WHAT I DO I try to queer up our ideas about what art can do by remaking and repurposing functional objects. At the same time, I'm trying to retell new histories in old languages. I want to make objects that exist in between the sculptural and the functional in an effort to insert art back into everyday life.
WORDS OF WISDOM Art objects are useless; craft objects are utilitarian.
NAME Jonathan Solo
WHAT I DO Draw, eat, sleep, sex, draw, dance, laugh, cry, scream ... not in that particular order. I roam the city and its late-night haunts with my beautiful, crazy, talented friends, protected by a black rose on my chest and my custom Jobmaster 14-hole oxbloods. I have a piece in a current group show at Catharine Clark Gallery and a solo show there next year. I also have contributed to the Besser collection at the de Young, opening this October.
WORDS OF WISDOM I observe the beauty and decay of humanity. Aren't the strange the most interesting, powerful, and telling of who we are? I'm fascinated by the amount of energy we use to oppress our true selves. I say fuck 'em! Own who you are and walk forward boldly it's made me a more sensitive artist, lover, friend, son, and brother.
NAME Matt Sussman
WHAT I DO I am a freelance film writer, and I DJ under the moniker Missy Hot Pants. My friends and I run a party in Oakland called Dry Hump. Our sets include everything from Gui Boratto to Baltimore club remixes to Ethel Merman doing disco. We're playing Juanita More's Playboy party at the Stud on June 30, so come work off your post-Pride hangovers.
MOTTO "Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen." Robert Bresson.
NAME Jamie Vasta
WHAT I DO Working with glitter and glue on stained wood panels, I create "paintings" of figures exploring dark, dazzling landscapes. I am interested in predatory beauty and the balance (or imbalance) between nature and culture. My work is currently on view in the group show "Stop Pause Forward" at the Patricia Sweetow Gallery. I'll be having a solo show there in mid-October.
WORDS OF WISDOM Glitter connotes an image of cheapness made glamorous the superficial, the frivolous. But to dazzle is to have power this is something drag queens have known all along.