A rare showing of a controversial 70’s gay artist’s most decadent illustrated series

THE SAINT AT LARGE and THE CENTER in assoc. with LESLIE LOHMAN & FOLSOM STREET EAST present ART + SIN II and REX: SEX FREAK CIRCUS to benefit the Center in NYC.
 
No artist scares guys the way REX’s work scares guys. It’s the basic difference between simple erotic entertainment and art. With [art], your way of seeing begins to change.” - Jack Fritscher, Son Of Drummer 1978

(New York, NY) - The Saint At Large, New York’s preeminent gay party producers, and The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center present a one-night-only exhibition and benefit cocktail reception featuring the rarely seen REX: SEX FREAK CIRCUS series.  A night of controversial art, the charitable event is the presenters’ second annual collaboration of ART + SIN.

During the heyday of New York’s leather scene,  gay erotic artist REX was to illustration what Mapplethorpe was to photography. Known for his meticulous pointillist style, REX established his place as one of the pioneering masters of sexually explicit art in the 1960s and 70s when his work appeared in such landmark gay publications as Drummer, The Advocate, Straight To Hell and Honcho.  His poster art and t-shirt designs for New York City’s The Mineshaft, have become icons for the sexual freedom of a pre-AIDS world.

Among his contemporaries, REX’s work continues to stand out for its challenging content and remains the enfant terrible of that seminal generation:

Rex expresses the psyche of the leather culture far deeper than Arnett, the Hun, Domino, Etienne, Martin of Holland or Tom of Finland. Those artists are each singular and great, but safely gay. REX is distinguished because he goes beyond gay and dares to draw images of marginal and perverse sexual urges we may not ever want to admit to, but that we often cum to,”continues Fritschers.

Perhaps none of his work better embodies this relentless ability to challenge, confront and even scare the viewer than his “Sex Freak Circus” series.  This notorious 12-piece collection was completed over a four-year period beginning in 1988 with each drawing taking between four to six months. The series, in its entirety, has been exhibited only once – for a special single night show at the Copacabana Nightclub on East 60th Street in 1992.  In 1994, several pieces were exhibited in a REX show at Leslie-Lohman Gallery in Soho and again in a group show at the Hudson Gallery in 1996. Since then they have not been viewed publicly.

“The Sex Freak Circus series’ connection with this year’s BPX: Black Party Expo’s Dirty Carnival theme and the fact that we’ve commissioned this year’s THE SAINT AT LARGE PRESENTS RITES XXXIV: BLACK PARTY poster invite from REX – 30 years after he was commissioned to create1983’s poster invite – make the artist and this series a particularly relevant choice to anchor this year’s ART + SIN,” states Mike Peyton, Black Party producer and principal organizer of the exhibition.

“This is our second time collaborating with The Saint At Large on an exhibition and we’re excited to bring relevant artwork to our community that they wouldn’t be able to see anywhere else.  Working with the Black Party helps broaden awareness of the Center’s cultural programming; it also benefits the Center financially from the donation of all the proceeds,” states the Center’s Director of Cultural Programs, Paul Menard.

Thursday, March 7, 2013, Cocktail Reception 7:00 – 9:30 pm  at THE CENTER: 208 West 13th Street 
Tickets: $25 @  www.gaycenter.org/ and at the door.  Dress: Fetish wear encouraged.





 
 
February 20, 2013(L to R) Joe Moran, Communications and Technology Director, Gregory Lewis, Executive Director, Jama Shelton, LMSW, Forty to None Project Director

CYNDI LAUPER’S TRUE COLORS FUND NAMES JAMA SHELTON AS DIRECTOR OF ITS FORTY TO NONE PROJECT

Selects leading expert and practitioner to address the needs of homeless gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth.

NEW YORK – True Colors Fund co-founder Cyndi Lauper and executive director Gregory Lewis announced the appointment of Jama Shelton as the new director of the fund’s Forty to None Project. Launched in June 2012, the Forty to None Project is the first and only national organization focused solely on bringing an end to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth homelessness. The creation of the project director position is part of the True Colors Fund’s expanded commitment to giving a voice to the nearly forty percent of the 1.6 million homeless youth who identify as gay or transgender—and marks the first position of its kind on the national level.

Shelton, who will assume her new responsibilities on March 1st, is a nationally recognized expert and leader on the issue of gay and transgender youth homelessness. During her 9-year tenure at the Ali Forney Center in New York City, she played an integral role in the building of the most expansive housing program in the nation for gay and transgender youth.  She is a professor at both Hunter College and the NYU School of Social Work, and has developed and conducted extensive training for service providers around the country. Shelton is a leading authority on the unique needs of transgender and gender non-conforming youth experiencing homelessness, which is the topic of her dissertation research. She is currently finishing her PhD in Social Welfare at the CUNY Graduate Center and is expecting to graduate in May.

“I’m honored by the confidence that Cyndi and Gregory have shown in my ability to lead the Forty to None Project.   In my years doing this work, I have learned that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender homeless youth have very specific needs. As the first director for the Forty to None Project, my work will focus on making sure that those young people’s needs are met, and that they have a voice that is sorely missing in society today,” she added.

On behalf of True Colors Fund, Lauper and Lewis said, “We’re ecstatic to have someone of Jama’s stature and vast expertise join the True Colors Fund and play such an integral role in moving our work forward. We are confident that under Jama’s leadership the Forty to None Project will continue to transform the conversation around this issue and make significant strides in ensuring that no young person is ever homeless again because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Jeff Krehely, the incoming chief foundation officer of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and a co-chair of the Forty to None Project advisory board, said, “I could not be happier that Jama is joining the Forty to None Project. Her expertise – both her years of work with LGBT homeless kids and her academic record – will bring new energy and power to a community that is too often neglected.”

Shelton is the newest hire in an expanded leadership team at the True Colors Fund who bring more than thirty-five years of combined experience in non-profit management and innovation. Her wide array of experience will play a vital role in fulfilling the initial five year strategic plan for the Forty to None Project, which primarily focuses its efforts on ending gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth homelessness by educating and engaging the public, advocating within government and media, creating empowering experiences for these young people, facilitating leading research, and aiding service providers in building their capacity and creating an inclusive environment within their agencies.

The True Colors Fund was recently awarded a 3-year $75,000 grant to directly support this position by The Palette Fund.  “Our partnership with the True Colors Fund continues to highlight how The Palette Fund loves to work:  identifying forward-thinking leaders, supporting their efforts to create something new, and staying the course so that lasting transformation occurs. The hiring of Jama to lead the newly developed Forty to None Project does exactly that and we look forward to working together in this important area for years to come,” stated Terrence Meck, Co-Founder & President, The Palette Fund.

A young person who Jama has worked with shared the following upon learning of her appointment: “I remember when she pulled me aside and told me to basically work on me. It’s like she knew the hardship I endured while growing up that lead to the actions I was performing on a day-to-day basis.  I know that she will help this program to be a success while changing lives at the same time. Some have the gift to sing – Jama has this gift to motivate and change!”

Click here for Jama’s full biography and photo.

True Colors Fund was co-founded by Cyndi Lauper to inspire and engage everyone, especially straight people, to become active participants in the advancement of equality for all and to raise awareness about and bring an end to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth homelessness. For more information please visit www.truecolorsfund.org.

 
 
XELLE - the trio of JC Cassis, Rony G, and infamous drag queen Mimi Imfurst  from Ru Paul's Drag Race are  bringing to you  their single "Hologram". The trio have dominated the national and international stage for a decade and  worked with many of the big stars in show biz such as  Lady Gaga, Mya, C&C Music Factory, Salt-N-Pepa, Joan Rivers  and more. XELLE is produced by longtime hit-maker Zach Adam, who also directed the "Hologram" music movie.

XELLE will premiere "Hologram," the longest running "choose your own adventure" music movie, on Tuesday, March 5,  2013 at  6:30p.m. at  the Norwood  on 241 West 14th Street  in  NYC. The movie will followed by a Q&A.  

Some of the guests  celebrities will include Janeane Garofolo (Reality Bites, Romy, Michele's High School Reunion), Kevin Allison (MTV's The State), Kerri Kenney-Silver (Reno 911!), Joshua McKinley (Project Runway), Michael Musto (The Village Voice), Mike Ruiz (RuPaul's Drag Race), and Martha Wash (The Weather Girls) 

For  more information or to RSVP visit www.xellemusic.com.