by Guest Contributor Aymar Jean Christian, originally published at Televisual
In Brooklyn one night in May I was treated to my very first performance from Monstah Black, an artist who defies categorization, but whose show I would characterize as part-rock concert, part-live art theatre, with a black queer bent. Despite my awe I managed to divert my eyes long enough to dwell on the audience, mostly avant-hip black Brooklyners, but with two notable exceptions: indie filmmaker and artist Hanifah Walidah and, looking a touch out of place, internationally renowned artist Chuck Close.
I started thinking that something rather trendy was going on. Monstah Black seemed to be just one of a several black artists, performers and personalities working today trafficking in what he calls “genderfuckery.” (Though maybe I was just flush from an unusually art-glamorous day at internationally renowned artist David Salle‘s salon with such art world luminaries as Dana Schutz, Amy Sillman and Eva Respini in attendance!).
Has black queer (and, in many cases, black androgyny) come back in style?