Check out Dr. Sketchy's next night on June 27 at Bar Deluxe. Illustration: Maggie Zukowski
One thing I love about SLC is the art scene. It seems that everywhere you turn, you find some amazing art somewhere by someone you know that is usually affordable. Salt Lake City is no stranger to the art world. In fact, my family, going back to great-grandma Charlotte, has been a huge patron of local artists.
Years ago, I was looking for a new narcissistic way to be unhealthily obsessed with myself, and it came in a most unlikely form. I supported this really cool, once-a-month art show in San Francisco for a gallery that was called Creativity Explored. It was a day program for mentally challenged adults who did art throughout the month in a different theme, ending in a show that always sold every piece. The money was then used to fund the program.
At one of the shows, entitled “World,” I bought a piece from an artist, “Corky,” whose art featured different queens: African, Egyptian, Liz, etc. Corky, who had really never met an individual such as myself, became a little preoccupied with the Princess and bestowed upon me a portrait of the ultimate queen—me! It’s beautiful, genuine and nothing like me at all, but Corky’s generous offering got the tucked balls rolling on what has been a decade-long mania of collecting art of myself.
I have a giant portrait made out of wigs, an all-glitter, paint-by-numbers-esque likeness of me singing a high note in my band, a Lucite toilet seat with my image, and once, I did a party back in the dot-com era for Mattel and they made a ‘Flawless Kennedy Barbie’ that has my tattoos and a matching crochet bikini.
My newest hat in the community has been curating an art show once a month at the amazing hair studio/gallery Ulysses on State Street, next door to Decades. In the past year, I have been delighted to feature some of SLC’s finest. I have been able to give some of our most esteemed artists, like Kat Martin and photographer David Newkirk, their first shows, making me feel like I’m doing some good as well. The one stipulation they are given is that they have to put my image into their medium. I’ve acquired portraits from Original Hooligan, screen prints from Slippery Kitten Dia Diabolique and a 10-headed Barbie monster from the artist Rez entitled “Anorexic.”
This led me to the idea for what I am going to do for this year’s birthday celebration. I will be taking over Ulysses’ gallery on Sunday, June 19, from 6 to 8 p.m. for a very special art show/birthday party simply called “ME!” featuring my collection of my favorite subject, me.
As I walked through the warehouse space with its huge white walls, I began to realize that I actually don’t have enough me to fill “ME!” I called all of the photogs that take the pics of me every month for SLUG and still felt underwhelmed, until I saw an ad for Dr. Sketchy’s.
Dr. Sketchy’s is a nationwide sort of artist draw-a-thon that happens once a month at a bar where artists have a certain amount of time to sketch a live model on stage while enjoying good music and libation. Each city has its own take on it. For example, New York tends to feature the performance art set, San Francisco deals in tattooed burlesque dancers—you get the idea. I decided to venture down to Bar Deluxe a couple of months ago to take a looky-loo and see what new transplant and SLUG designer Maggie Zukowski has brought to her Salt Lake chapter of Sketchy’s.
Drawing starts at 8 p.m. and goes through a succession of models at timed increments of 10 to 30 minutes. The artists listen to jams at a low hum while voyeurs can travel around and admire the work, enjoying bevies from fashionista/barista Kaci Tokumoto. At the end of the show, Zukowski parades the art around the stage like a ring girl at a wrestling show and the audience-assigned winner gets a prize that she has decided on—this time it was a giant pack of water color pencils.
I bellied up to Miss Zukowski, informed her of whom exactly I thought I was and related her my problem of lack of me for “ME!” and offered her a solution to pack the house for her next show—and it worked. I soon found myself booked for the special gay pride edition of Dr. Sketchy’s on May 23, simply named “Tranny,” where a murder of my “gurls” and I flocked down to strut our very special stuff for the artists.
All I’m going to tell you is we—and the crowd—had an amazing time, and that I looked absolutely stunning on my leopard-print chez lounge dressed as a Grecian goddess. The end result you’ll just have to come and see on the wall I have reserved for my birthday art show, to which you are all not only invited, but also commanded to attend.
Thank you so much to Maggs and the artists who donated their talents to “ME!” I promise your work has found a very appreciative patron. Anyone who wants to submit to “ME!,” hit me up on Facebook.
I LOVE ME!
Go check out Dr. Sketchy’s show on June 27 at Bar Deluxe. See ad for times and theme.