2009 Bridge Art Fair: Like the Spice & Queer Batman (NSFW)

This is the only art fair I’m blogging about this year and only because everyone else seemed to hate it for being cramped and underwhelming. I liked the fact that it was small and loved how you came in and out at opposite sides of the block.

The gallerists  were friendly and had very little attitude. I liked McCaig Welles‘s display, which included this metaphoric painting of a toy robot climbing a tower of donuts to reach the Buddha statue on top. There were also some lovely big prints by Swoon, Chris Stain and Olivier Kosta-Théfaine (pictured below) at a spunky Paris gallery called Galerie L.G.

Olivier Kosta-Théfaine at the Bridge Art Fair

Below I posted a quick video interview I conducted with Marissa Sage of the Like the Spice cultural sensation in Williamsburg.


[in case the video doesn’t appear for feed readers, click here]

Btw, Marissa mentioned that gallery rents in Chelsea right now are close to what they were in Williamsburg.

Now for my favorite piece at Bridge…Mark Chamberlain’s “Queer Batman” series is perfectly sardonic and juvenile. When I was a gay teen I read comic books hoping I’d find super heroes that were like me. When French Canadian superhero Northstar of the Alpha Flight comic came out as a gay man it was a big deal for me. I didn’t know other LGBT people besides one South Asian-Canadian lesbian teacher, two male high school French teachers and an awkward couple of lesbian ex-cons who used to come into the variety store I worked at in the early 1990s.

“Queer Batman” is a fantasy world for boys who wanted to date a football player and not a female cheerleader. The images are small and personal. They looked like something a school boy would sketch in his notebook if he was ballsy enough.

Scenes from Mark Chamberlain "Queer Batman"

Tons were very campy (like the one below that swiped lines from the film Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? & this one).

I remember once hearing a great line about that high camp classic:

If camp was a bicycle than Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? would be the training wheels.

It’s delightfully colorful:

Scenes from Mark Chamberlain's "Queer Batman"

Some are quite sweet:

Scenes from Mark Chamberlain "Queer Batman"

And others are essentially porn:

Scenes from Mark Chamberlain's "Queer Batman"

This one is even more out of control. There was one that I didn’t much care for since I thought it was chocked full of non sequitors.

Soon, I’m going to post something about how much I hate art fairs. Though if there was more comic book porn I think I’d enjoy them more.

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