Monday, October 15, 2012

Drag Queen

Drag Queen.  Stitched words:  I was meant for this.  Xylene photo transfer on tea-stained muslin.  Hand embroidery and beading.  Unframed:  25" x 19"; Framed 31" x 25".  Click on image to enlarge.

I met Carla at Runaway Runway 2010, a local fashion show featuring outfits made entirely from recycled materials.  The Lady Chablis (best known as the incredible drag queen from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil) headlined the opening act of wild and wonderfully talented local female impersonators.  Carla was one of the best.  We exchanged business cards after the event and chatted about art.

Later, I corresponded with Carlos.  Our emails arranged for me to come to a great drag show only a mile from my house.  It started at midnight.  Boy.... this series has provided some exciting adventures!  The show was wonderful. 

Back stage, watching Carlos transform into Carla was amazing.  I don't think I ever owned as much make-up collectively in my entire life.  I wouldn't have the slightest idea how to apply most of it.... but Carla knows.  She knows all about wigs, artificial eyelashes, push-up bras, and how to maneuver sexy pivots in four-inch heels after climbing makeshift steps onto the bar-turned-stage.  She knows what to wear.... and where to have it made.  She is able to wiggle into and out of exotic costumes in tiny dressing rooms without much air-conditioning.  She is sensitive to rhinestones, sequins, beads, and fabulous jewelry.  She has taste in music, dance, and acting.  Communicating with an audience is second nature.  She's smart too. 

Our conversation drifted effortlessly from personal experiences to environmental concerns, about people we know in common, best places to shop, and arts businesses in our area.  Carla directed my camera for the best angles and knew how to use the space to create a Hollywood, backlighting effect for the image.  We talked about the decision to perform in drag and about the wording for this portrait.  All in all, the stitched words truly reflect the decision:  "I was meant for this".  She was.  He was.  It was obvious!

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