“I can’t kill my heroes, ‘cos they’re all dead,” some melodramatic queen once warbled… but are they? Are they all dead? No. In spite of Prince, Bowie, Cilla Black, and Vanity herself, all crossing the great divide seemingly en masse, research shows that there is in fact still some hope left in this life. Though our cultural icons may have left us to dwell here, in this wastelandscape, empty of their preposterous talents and mind boggling outfits, their decomposing greatness has surely fertilised a whole forest full of newly flowering queer iconoclasts. Below are just a handful of such creatures, to be relished and devoured whilst they are in full bloom. And if you do want to see these fledgling superstars take their talents all the way to the Superbowl, the Man Booker Prize List and Caesar’s Palace, then you know what to do. That’s right, lover, support them with your generous attention spans, your retweets and, gosh, maybe even your money.
New York-based fashion label B.Calla has taken the Bushwick queer underground aesthetic of drag, sex and stimulants, stitched it up and slathered it on the planet’s most famous booties. Gaga, Azealia and Miley have all made headlines in these camp-as-fuck, genderqueer creations. Imagine an incongruous stash of blow-up dolls, sequin pantsuits, fun fur and body-conscious frocks ripped apart by a Rottweiler and then sewn back together by a dutiful Sunday School teacher on a 72-hour LSD trip, and you’re (some way) there. And joy of joys, B.Calla is even available to those of you who are yet to make the Forbes 100, as reasonably priced (never say cheap!) garments are available via the official website now.
Lasana Shabazz is a one-queen vaudeville theatre: watching him layer his characters atop each other like an incendiary club sandwich is equal parts mouthwatering and mortifying. His critiques on race, gender and sexuality are presented with such aplomb that he has the audiences reeling from raucous laughter to pin-drop silence every few lines. Reminiscing wryly on such scenes as the instruction he received from Asian schoolmates, on how to be “more black”, or his encounter with Zwarte Pietr in Holland, his deft, fearless and bawdy monologues are currently sending London up in smoke.
As if being one of London’s most admired performers wasn’t enough, the sophisticated Ms. Styles has also taken to scribbling away for Elle, becoming the magazine’s first trans columnist. A noted performance artist with over a decade’s worth of material, and enough queer showbiz gossip to re-sink the Lusitania, Ms. Styles’s opinions and the delivery of, are now making her a bona fide media personality. In addition to performances with fellow art stars Marissa Carnesky, Eddie Peake and Arcade Fire, Ms. Styles is also popping up on the BBC, and rumours abound that Hollywood is calling her name. (They need a new tea lady, but hey, it’s a start!)
Mr. David Mills, is the debonair visage of contemporary stand-up. Always dressed to kill, his cynical, ice-cold wit opens up onto a psychotically surreal set of seemingly free-wheeling monologues delivered with such dexterity as to belie their intricate craftsmanship. Never afraid to demean himself (or his audience) to set up a cacophony of hilarity, Mills is capable of those 24-car-pile-up punchlines that are the trademarks of such greats as the dearly departed Victoria Wood. Don’t believe me? Ask Meryl Streep, from whom Mills can be seen stealing scenes in the newly released Florence Foster Jenkins.
Boston-born, Berlin-based visual artist Winston Chmielinski really is the boy with everything. Emerging from a background in philosophy, he’s now carrying a resume stuffed full with international gallery appearances, having shown everywhere from Stuttgart to L.A. via the Venice Biennale. Though not exactly figurative works, figures abound in his canvases, or at least there are presences to be felt and traces to be glimpsed amongst the swampy brilliance of the startling colour ways and the Bacon-esque streaks sinister of paint. New York Arts Magazine and Art in America have both lauded his intoxicating work, so W.C. is already something of an art-world darling. But with an ever expanding oeuvre including text and installation, combined with good looks that should in all honesty be confined to L’Officiel Hommes, it’s only a matter of time (months? weeks?) until Chmielinski is right there amongst the names one drops into conversation in order to appear slightly more cultured than one really is.
by La JohnJoseph
And who the hell am I? If you’ve been following the blog at all, you may have wondered out of which horny hole this perverted punk has stepped. I won’t reveal too much – a bit of mystery is sexy, right? But a few things may be in order.
First, I was born in that part of the world that most people think is actually Canada, but it’s not. I was born in Alaska. Who would have thought that place could produce more than oil and Sarah Palin – two decidedly unsexy things.
Second, I’m no stranger to sex on screen. I appeared in two arty porn films with DVD releases: one in San Francisco and one here in Berlin. There may be other footage of me out there, but if so, I don’t know where. And yup, I moved to Berlin from gay ol’ San Francisco, where I learned to be a proper fag and how to be a writer all at the same time.
There’s more from San Francisco coming your way via Dandy Dicks, so stay tuned.
But I left San Francisco. And took my heart with me. Five years now in Berlin and I can’t think of a better place to be. I’ve been making it here as a writer ever since and I’m happy to report there’s no going back.
I think I’ve given you enough of the basics. More you’ll just have to find out either through this blog or a little Google. But I hope with that you stick around Dandy Dicks – for this blog and of course, the boys!