The Angels of Light - Tashi Shimada

The pioneers of psychedelic gay liberation theatre

The Angels of Light experimented with drag, make up, drugs and performance in their journey for sexual liberation

"Myth Thing, Flaming Hot Exotica Erotica, Titillating Titresses of de Amazon, Ghoul Diggers of Transylvania and Peking on Acid. If that sounds like something you're into then you should really get familiar with the legacy of The Angels of Light. Founded by the now-late Hibiscus (aka George Harris Jr, who passed away in 1982) – a fascinating character with a huge beard, who experimented with drag, make up, drugs and performance in his journey for sexual liberation – they were a free theatre group that formed in early 1971 in San Francisco, and took a fancy to headlining their performances with such names.

Self-confessed hippies, The Angels of Light riffed on the ideology of communal living, sharing and the end of private property for the group’s performances. Previously members of The Cockettes – a psychedelic theatre troupe who included members like "queen of B-movie filth" Divine – who caught the attention of Andy Warhol and Truman Capote, and gained the cult following that ultimately led to a disagreement between the group over being paid for gigs and remaining as a free entity (the latter, something Harris Jr was passionate about). From this split, The Angels of Light formed, putting on shows that challenged gender and sexuality, with loosely scripted fantasy stories, homemade sets and hand-crafted costumes.

While images of the troupe are scarce, one of its early members, Tashi Shimada, is releasing a set of 10 photos as postcards, revealing an intimate slice of the 70s, with the images never having been published before. Launching at the New York Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1 this weekend – published by Wild Life Press – we get a glimpse at them here."

via DAZE


Lars Deike


"Lars Deike 1963 was born into a family of publishers in Constance. He graduated from there training as a publishing assistant. After a move to Berlin, he worked as an editor at a large Berlin newspaper.

Lars Deike deliberately want to provoke in his paintings. The artist wants to cover with his pictures the entire spectrum of varieties of gay male sexuality - Leather, Rubber, Skins, Sports, or even a complete "snax - scene" can be reflected in his paintings."


Steve Locke

"Steve Locke (born 1963) is an African American artist who explores figuration and perceptions of the male figure, and themes of masculinity and homosexuality through drawing, painting, sculpture and installation art. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, raised in Detroit, Michigan and is currently living and working in Boston, Massachusetts where he teaches at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Locke’s art explores the meaning applied to male portraiture. His works comprise several portraits of men - for almost a decade, he has reworked the particular gesture of a man with his tongue hanging out of his open mouth. "It’s hard to make a painting of a man and not have him look important. So I came up with this weird gesture," Steve Locke explained in an interview with the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. "I like that they’re not heroic, and not attached to any body,"he said of his pieces, which straddle the line between sculpture and painting. "They’re floating around in the atmosphere, waiting to possess somebody, or get inside your head and transform you." He aims to "make paintings of men who were vulnerable, or exposed, without using the obvious trope of nudity."His work provokes broader social, sexual and art historical conversations."


Rolf Koppel

"German-born American photographer Rolf Koppel creates an artist’s book with his own technique of fusing traditional black and white photographs (shot on film) with photograms, to make a lyrical and personal fantastic voyage. Koppel, whose work has been shown at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and other venues throughout the United States and Europe, uses himself and his spouse, Will, as nude models for this work. He adds simple natural light and ordinary household objects for photograms. Basement Arcade is a journey of imaginative scenarios that also comments on the nature of photography and perception. While the work seems on one level to be the erotic musings of an individual, it also has a gripping universality."

text  rampub.com
+  photos leslielohman.org/