Esopus Space presented an exhibition of 44 never-before-seen photographs of the extraordinarily inventive drag queens who performed at New York’s legendary Pyramid Club in the mid-1980s. The photos, which were taken by artist, documentarian, and social activist Clayton Patterson in the dressing room of the club in 1986 and 1987, chart the boundless creativity of these artists, who, with little or no money, managed every week to devise entirely new personas, each one more outrageous and compelling than the last. Patterson calls his subjects “availabilists” (after the term coined by performance artist and musician Kembra Pfahler) who utilized everything from shards of broken safety glass to abandoned lampshades to create the ultimate artworks of the period—themselves.
– PRESS RELEASE w/ HI-RES IMAGES [PDF]
– EXHIBITION CHECKLIST [PDF]
– ESSAYS BY JEREMIAH NEWTON [PDF] AND IRIS ROSE [PDF]
- RELATED PIECE IN ESOPUS 24 [LINK]