Pop tART Pose Party at Austin Young's "Your Face Here"
It's not unusual for a colorful crowd to garner as much attention as the art at some openings, especially when curvalicious club personality/curator Lenora Claire is involved, but at Claire's latest, the crowd was the art. She and scene queen/door diva/DJ Phyllis Navidad unveiled their new Koreatown art space, Pop tART Gallery, this past Saturday in a bold yet bare-bones way: nothing on the white walls inside the space save for taped off corners where the photographs of noted shutterbug Austin Young will be placed at another show in a little over a month's time.
Lina Lecaro Kelly Mantle contemplates picture placement.
While the opening may not have featured any finished product on display, what we did observe was a lot more interesting: the process of art and the chance to become a part of it.
The idea behind Young's "Your Face Here" show is simple: patrons purchase a portrait and get to choose its size and placement in the gallery, smallest going for $100 and the biggest going for $500 (a bargain considering Young's fees are often in the thousands). The rest, including which shot from the shoot is ultimately used is left completely up to Young. Subjects will see them for the first time at the official "Your Face Here" opening along with everyone else.
Lina Lecaro Pin-up artist Olivia De Berardinis, Lenora Claire, and Phyllis Navidad.
At the gallery premiere event, Young had a mini-studio set up in the front of the space, complete with a glam squad of makeup artists and wild hair by Purple Circle. In addition to celebs like Margaret Cho and Debbie Harry, Young is known for his work with the drag and "tranimal" community, and many of the makeovers reflected his flamboyant tastes. Since the gallery is all windows up front, the shoots took on a fishbowl-like quality, with the fete's overflow of friends and fans viewing nose-pressed-to-glass from the outside at the bustling pose-fest on the inside.
Lina Lecaro Purple Circle's Andrew Marlin (with partner Lynn Hyndman) about hair: "I don't do big." He was joking.