Category Archives: Recommended Reads
WHAT A GORGEOUS BOOK! And for a coffee table art book, its very affordable at about $35! Why Drag?
224 pages of the biggest and most diverse queens across America and beyond, all answering the question, Why drag?
Everyone loves to gag over photographs of their favorite queens, and chances are, some of the photographs have been taken by talented drag queen photographer, Magnus Hastings. His popular Facebook page, Dragged Around the World, archives some of his best work.
This celebrated artist has been photographing drag queens for the past 10 years- and his artwork showcasing queens is taking the world by storm! LAST YEAR, Hastings’ first photo exhibition in New York, Why Drag?, ran during Pride, at the OUT HOTEL. The best part about this unique exhibition is that each queen he photographs explains why it is that they do drag (but you’ll have to the exhibit to see that!) – Now, you can get the book!
Magnus Hastings came up through the London Gay scene and quickly gained recognition as one of the forerunners of his type of the pop art photography. playing with campy ideas when it was not fashionable to do so and embracing drag queens as a subject and study. He says, a “child of drag,” prone to putting on his sister’s clothes and dancing around his childhood home. But he didn’t truly discover the drag world until much later, long after he himself had stopped dressing across gender lines.
He completely revamped the Gaydar franchise in 2009 and has been published worldwide in magazines such as Glamour (uk), GQ (uk), Cosmopolitan (Italy),People (usa) , US weekly (use), Attitude (uk) ,AXM (uk), Bent (uk), QX international (uk), Blue (australia), Boyz (uk), Nois (spain) to name a few.
In 2003, on a visit to Sydney, Hastings walked into the Arq nightclub and saw the drag queen Vanity Faire lip-syncing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz in a flawless Dorothy outfit. The experience changed his life.
“I started shooting drag because it’s my home and my world and it feels like my family,” Hastings said.
Watching that performance connected Hastings to a part of himself that he’d abandoned due to social pressures as a child but that he still longed to explore.
With Vanity’s guidance, Hastings began photographing the city’s vibrant drag scene and developing a polished, dynamic style of portraiture reflecting his subjects’ creativity and humor.
As he traveled the world, he continued capturing local queens with a focus on those who best represented the art’s diversity and daring, from the bearded to the “fishy,” or ultrafeminine.
His images attracted a larger audience when he started posting his photos to his Facebook group, “Dragged Around the World.”
Magnus now lives in Los Angeles with his Jack Russell named George and is heavily involved in photographing the drag scene.
‘Why Drag?‘ with photographs by Magnus Hastings and a foreword by Boy George, was published in May by Chronicle Books. BUY THE BOOK!
There’s no doubt pursuing a graduate degree can be a demanding and intense experience, and navigating your school options can be complicated and challenging. In addition to finding the best degree programs or schools, the rising tuition costs, existing student loan debt or financial constraints can make returning to school feel daunting.
In this guide, you will find a variety of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) scholarships in popular career fields such as the arts, physical or social sciences, advocacy and education, tips and resources for funding your master’s degree, and a scholarship application checklist to help you succeed in your academic pursuits.
@ GO GRAD, they have just released a useful guide, Scholarships & Financial Aid for LGBTQ Students. This guide provides a comprehensive list of scholarships for LGBTQ students planning for their graduate education. The guide is broken down by subject, and includes pertinent information for applying for scholarships, and even tips for applying and securing financial aid. Check out all of the info HERE!
Grace Jones slapped my hand in 1982 in Detroit!
I had read about Grace hobnobbing at Studio 54 in AFTER DARK Magazine. I bought her album and fell in love with the glamorous Diva.
She came to the Detroit area several times where I had the privilege of seeing her up close. The first time I saw her perform, I was in the front row.
I held my hand out to her during a song and she slapped it hard! She was fierce and presented a hard image – but then at the end, laughed!
I’ll Never Write My Memoirs
Legendary influential performer Grace Jones offers a revealing account of her spectacular career and turbulent life, charting the development of a persona that has made her one of the world’s most recognizable artists.
As a singer, model, and actress—a deluxe triple threat—Grace has consistently been an extreme, challenging presence in the entertainment world since her emergence as an international model in the 1970s. Celebrated for her audacious talent and trailblazing style, Grace became one of the most unforgettable, free-spirited characters to emerge from the historic Studio 54, recording glittering disco classics such as “I Need a Man” and “La Vie en Rose.” Her provocative shows in underground New York nightclubs saw her hailed as a disco queen, gay icon, and gender defying iconoclast.
In 1980, the always ambitious Grace escaped a crowded disco scene to pursue more experimental interests. Her music also broke free, blending house, reggae, and electronica into a timeless hybrid that led to classic hits such as “Pull Up to the Bumper” and “Slave to the Rhythm.” In the memoir she once promised never to write, Grace offers an intimate insight into her evolving style, personal philosophies, and varied career—including her roles in the 1984 fantasy-action film Conan the Destroyer alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and the James Bond movie A View to a Kill.
Featuring sixteen pages of stunning full-color photographs, many from her own personal archive, I’ll Never Write My Memoirs follows this ageless creative nomad as she rejects her strict religious upbringing in Jamaica; conquers New York, Paris, and the 1980s; answers to no-one; and lives to fight again and again.
Read an excerpt at Simon and Schuster HERE
Buy the book I’ll Never Write My Memoirs
The Barbra Streisand Film Guide is the ultimate tribute to the Legend’s remarkable career.
Featuring over 600 rare and amazing photographs, several of which have never been published before.
With commentary and interesting facts on her movies, one of the many highlights is the outtake sections, with never-before-seen photos of deleted scenes.
Full color paperback, 268 pages.
Available exclusively on Amazon.The Barbra Streisand Film Guide
Cher also talks about her “hope” of heading back on tour, and her tentative plans of recording new music.
There is a long running joke that after “coming out”, we should get a membership card and an instruction manual! This is that manual!
James Dawson’s THIS BOOK IS GAY, provides a straightforward and witty breakdown of all things LGBT.
As a former health teacher and acclaimed young adult author, James Dawson gives an honest, humorous, and informative guide to topics including coming out, hooking up, dating, bullying and homo/transphobia, politics, religious views, and more. It includes real stories from people across gender and sexual spectrums, the smashing of myths and prejudices, and hilarious illustrations by Spike Gerrell, allowing readers to learn what it’s like growing up LGBT.
This book encourages people to realize their best self in whichever way they identify (or don’t) and whomever they love. As a comical and informative instruction manual, James Dawson tells it like it is so that the readers may go out and experience for themselves.
Whether you have recently come out or have been out – I think this book can offer something for everyone. There is great section about the bible. And how to come back at people and argue things they try to refer to to from the bible and Leviticus!
For about $10 this is a very useful book! BUY IT! This Book is Gay
After being published in Great Britain, This Book is Gay was named one of Guardian’s Best Books of the Year.
The Huffington Post is the exclusive outlet for a compelling blog written by Linda Thompson, former wife of Bruce Jenner.
A gallery of men from photography’s maestro
— Mario Testino
(ABOVE: Carlos Bokelman, London, V Magazine, 2000)
In this Limited Edition of 1,000 numbered copies, Mario Testino presents over 300 photographs in his search to define the allure of men.
Featuring an essay by Pierre Borhan, an interview with Patrick Kinmonth, and many previously unpublished works from Testino’s archive of thousands, the book traces the evolution of male identity over the past three decades. Costume, tradition, gender play, portraiture, photojournalism, and fashion collide as Testino observes masculinity in all its modern manifestations: through the dandy and the gentleman, the macho and the fey, the world-famous face to the unknown passerby.
(ABOVE: David Beckham & Orlando Bloom, Milan, 2009)
A new social networking site to INSPIRE US!
Social Networking Entrepreneur Tiffany Cooper is spreading the news about a new online social network that promotes positive social networking and allows users to improve their emotional and mental well-being.
For the month of January, Cooper is inviting users to join the www.realsoulful.com site for a different kind of resolution-setting: helping others. Beginning January 1st through January 31st, the new social network is challenging its users to find one kind act that they can do that benefits someone else.
“So many people spend this time of year thinking of ways to improve their lives, which is great.” says Cooper. “Whether it’s to exercise more, eat less, make more money, spend less – we start out strong, but often lose our way before Valentine’s Day. I believe these goals often fail because they lack true inspiration behind them.”
“It’s amazing, though, what we can do when we stop focusing on ourselves and set out to help others,” explains Cooper. “Performing daily acts of kindness has been sceintifically proven to benefit a person’s heart, reduce anxiety, allow for better sleep, improve relationships, lower blood pressure, and simply make people happier and more satisfied with their lives. Who could ask for more in the New Year?”
Realsoulful.com launched in Beta-mode in February 2014 and has over 750 global users to date, with a demographic of 58% female and 42% males. Users are encouraged to share their stories of kindness on the realsoulful.com site to help “promote positivity and inspire others.”
Found at realsouful.com, the “Soulful Networking” site is designed to go beyond sharing everyday happenings (like on most social networking sites) to connecting people on a higher level in areas such as personal growth, gratitude, inspiration and supporting one another’s dreams in a purely positive space.
Cooper explains that many social media sites deal with our basic extrinsic needs, which revolve around status, image and success. While those needs are valid, the idea behind RealSoulful is to connect people at a more profound level to help meet intrinsic needs such as helping others, discovering purpose and creating a better life.
On realsoulful.com users create their own content. They can make a personal space, a “MySanctuary” page, and also post and make comments on a central forum called the “SoulCentral Stream.” In these ways it’s like other sites, but it is with a more soulful context and free of the negativity that exists on other sites.
Realsoulful.com is a free site open to anyone who is willing to abide by the site’s “Playground Rules” which include checking your ego and judgments at the door; being kind and supportive, and saying something nice or nothing at all.
Times change and so has sex work. In the 70’s and 80’s I used to hear about young men (and women) who turned to selling their bodies because they were
A). Homeless and/or
B). needed drug money.
I don’t know how true that was but sign onto any escort site say in, Chicago or any other big city, and EVERYONE is an escort! Everyone wants some extra money. And a good number of guys make a good living at it.
Male Sex Work and Society
is the first volume to explore male sex work from a rich array of perspectives and disciplines across the social sciences and humanities.
In recent decades, male sex work has emerged as an important area of study, as well as a social activity in its own right. As new ways of thinking and speaking about male sex work have emerged, it is no longer conflated with homosexuality or the female sex industry. Historical and cultural variations in male sex work are now acknowledged, enabling this activity to be understood in complex and dynamic terms, thus challenging older perspectives that view male “prostitution” as deviant and pathological.
Previously neglected aspects of male sex work, such as servicing a female clientele (the gigolo) and upper income types of service (escorts), have gained both scholarly and popular attention. The collection also looks at male sex work representations in popular media, including film and literature.
This is a fascinating book that aims to help enrich the ways in which we view both male sex work as a field of commerce and male sex worker themselves.
Leading contributors examine the field both historically and cross-culturally from fields including public health, sociology, psychology, social services, history, filmography, economics, mental health, criminal justice, geography, and migration studies, and more.
The data and observations compiled here are quite remarkable. Different countries are looked at, the escorts themselves and the men who hire them.
Male Sex Work and Society 512 pages!
Much-needed…. Most of the articles are research centered and bring quantitative analysis to historical, national, and cultural events. This research constitutes the most evident strength of the collection…. Scholars researching male sex work will appreciate this crucial step in the right direction.
SAME SEX COUPLE RETIREMENT INFORMATION
LGBT Ally James Lange, an author and CPA/Attorney, Celebrates New Legal Rulings by Offering a Free E-Book for Same-Sex Couples Across the Nation.
Retire Secure! for Same-Sex Couples: Live Gay, Retire Rich is endorsed by the top IRA, Social Security, and legal experts in the country and available as a FREE download for a limited time at www.samesex-equalrights.com
Last week was a historic week of victories for same-sex couples across the nation as 8 more states, West Virginia, Alaska, Utah, Virginia, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Indiana won the right to marry. The courts struck down the bans to marry in these states, expanding the rights for same-sex couples to marry in over half of the country. Within hours, county clerks in those states were issuing marriage licenses to couples who had been waiting for a decision to come down. Additionally, 4 more states in the 10th circuit and 4th circuit are on the verge of marriage equality as well. Colorado, Kansas, South Carolina, and Wyoming have cases pending verdicts and are expected to overturn their marriage bans in the near future. To celebrate these rulings attorney and CPA, James Lange is offering Retire Secure! for Same-Sex Couples: Live Gay, Retire Rich for free for a limited time on his web site, www.samesex-equalrights.com.
Pittsburgh LGBT Ally James Lange of Lange Financial Group, LLC has been working to help same-sex couples understand and take advantage of the tax and Social Security laws since 2002, but his campaign was re-energized when the Windsor case was decided in 2013. The laws and regulations for estate planning, tax planning, and Social Security planning have changed so significantly for same-sex couples over the last year that Jim has dedicated a large portion of his firm’s time and funds toward writing a book on gay retirement planning. Retire Secure! for Same Sex Couples: Live Gay, Retire Rich can be downloaded for FREE by going to www.samesex-equalrights.com before October 31st.
Along with the ability to get married, Lange suggests that there are many other points couples in states with marriage rights or on the verge of those rights should consider. “Married same-sex couples who live in states that recognize same-marriages will now be able to enjoy significant Social Security marital benefits and estate planning benefits, particularly if one member of the couples has a significant IRA or retirement plan,” says Lange, author of the book, Retire Secure! for Same-Sex Couples: Live Gay, Retire Rich. Mr. Lange offers four tips for same-sex couples:
- Go Into Marriage with Your Financial Eyes Wide Open. The couples who will benefit the most financially will likely be same-sex couples in their 60s or older where at least one person of the couple has a significant IRA or retirement plan. Some other couples will actually do worse financially. Finances are an important, though not exclusive, reason to get married or stay unmarried. If you are already married, speak to a tax advisor to take advantage of all the marital benefits.
- Consider How Marriage Affects Social Security Benefits. For many couples, one result of marriage is the opportunity to collect a much higher Social Security benefit. If you qualify and it is appropriate in your situation, apply for Social Security spousal benefits. There is a fantastic technique called “apply and suspend,” which is newly available to many same-sex couples in states that have recently changed their laws and to many residents of states that already afforded marriage rights. Most Social Security recipients, however, do not understand all of the possible spousal benefits of Social Security. There are significant advantages while both spouses are alive and after the first spouse dies. Find out the enormous financial benefits for free by going to www.samesex-equalrights.com before October 31st.
- Marriage and IRA and Retirement Planning. Regardless of your state of residence, as long as you were married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriages, you and your spouse will enjoy significant tax benefits on inheriting an IRA or a retirement plan.
- Seek Professional Advice. As with all important financial decisions, Lange suggests that couples speak with a qualified retirement and estate advisor, preferably a CPA, as well as an attorney who works with same-sex couples. “Couples need to be sure they have all the knowledge they can to prepare for their financial lives as a married couple,” says Lange. For more information about how to get a FREE copy of Retire Secure! for Same-Sex Couples: Live Gay, Retire Rich or for information on how to schedule a meeting or media interview with James Lange visit www.samesex-equalrights.com or call 412-521-2732.
Mark MacKillop is a singer actor dancer. Originally from Vancouver he studied ballet in Vancouver with Li Yaming at Pacific DanceArts and spent summers training with the Boston Ballet and American Ballet Theater in New York, both on full scholarship. After three years dancing with the Atlanta Ballet Mark moved to New York to pursue musical theatre and just finished a year on tour playing Riff with the international production of West Side Story – which leads us to this story about Mark!
The new book comprises 80 black-and-white selfies of MacKillop in various stages of undress, shot in various hotel rooms around the world while he was in the midst of an international tour of “West Side Story” last year.
Though the steamy images will no doubt set pulses racing, MacKillop sees Rm. XIV as capturing “physicality, composition, reflection” as opposed to being intentionally scintillating.
“I had just finished a year touring all over Europe and Israel with the international production of West Side Story. During the course of my time abroad i started taking pictures of myself in each hotel room I stayed in. This quickly became a staple of my experience on tour.”
“ Surprisingly traveling around with 30 cast members and a 30 piece orchestra left me feeling incredibly isolated and at times lonely. I used the photos as a way of connecting with friends who I was separated from to give them a unique, intimate look at my life on the road,” MacKillop, who originally hails from Canada, told The Huffington Post. Noting that he shot all of the images on his iPhone with a self-timer app, he added, “I definitely wouldn’t call myself a photographer. I would just call myself an artist exploring in various mediums.”
MacKillop, who is openly gay, said the photos also represent a very personal journey, and were partly inspired by Tom of Finland in addition to his own ballet and modern dance training.
A very successful kickstarter campaign was launched and the book was printed!
(Photo Right : is from one of the MANY fashion shoots Mark has done. Photographer Walter Kurtz Emporio Armani Underwear. See more on Pinterest.)
Having performed in the 2014 installment of “Broadway Bares,” MacKillop will donate a portion of the proceeds from Rm. XIV to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA). In addition, the book will feature an introduction by Tony Award-winning “Kinky Boots” star Billy Porter and a foreword authored by New York artist Robert W. Richards.
Sick of deeply personal accounts written in the first person? Seeking an exciting, interactive read that puts the “u” back in “aUtobiography”? Then look no further than NEIL PATRICK HARRIS: CHOOSE YOUR OWN AUTOBIOGRAPHY! In this revolutionary, Joycean experiment in light celebrity narrative.
To promote his new book, Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography, the recently married actor released a trailer to give you a taste of what his ‘choose your own adventure’ style bio will be like, as BuzzFeed points out. In the video, a host of Neil Patrick Harrises proliferate onscreen, looking like a very NPH Brady Bunch.
In each separate window Neil offers an entertaining alternative from hearing him talk about his new book. Our favorite definitely has to be the “romantical” moment in the upper left hand corner where Harris and husband David Burtka share a plate of spaghetti and meatballs, recreating the iconic first kiss scene from Disney’s Lady and the Tramp.
BUY THE BOOK Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography
With new stories, new partners, a new look, and a new program, I’m From Driftwood is taking its mission of increasing empathy and understanding to a whole new level.
Every single Wednesday, you’ll find a brand new Video Story on ImFromDriftwood.com. While the stories will be new, the message to the LGBTQ community will be the same as it has been since IFD launched almost 5 years ago: No matter who you are, what you’re going through, or where you are, you are not alone. Subscribe to IFD’s YouTube channel so you’ll never miss a story.
The most pressing issue facing the LGBTQ community today is homelessness that affects queer youth, particularly trans women of color. Their voices and stories need to be heard. That’s why IFD is launching the Weekly Video Story program with a story by Angela Louis. After being kicked out of her home as a teenager, Angela lived on the streets and in shelters before moving in with an abusive boyfriend. She then turned to escorting to help support herself, all while going through the process of gender transition. It wasn’t easy for Angela but even as thoughts of suicide began creeping into her mind, Angela decided that she would not give up, and with the guidance and support from some special people along the way, she found herself thriving back in NYC and doing better than ever. Her message will inspire you; Watch Angela’s story and help get the word out by sharing it on Facebook.
In addition to helping I’m From Driftwood find storytellers, IFD’s Resource Partners pick up where the stories leave off, providing resources and information about the issues covered in the story. This week’s Resource Partner is The Forty to None Project, which “works to bring the number of homeless youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender from 40 percent to none.” Forty to None’s Project Director, Jama Shelton, explains further:
Up to 40% of youth experiencing homelessness identify as LGBT; this is an issue that requires our attention. The mission of the Forty to None Project, a program of the True Colors Fund, is to raise awareness about and bring an end to LGBT youth homelessness. It is imperative that young people’s voices are included in our efforts, and we are so proud of Angela for sharing her story and so grateful to I’m From Driftwood for raising this issue.
If you, or anyone you know, needs more information or resources concerning issues facing homeless LGBTQ youth, be sure to check out The Forty to None Project.
Stories, stories, stories.
That’s what you should see when you visit ImFromDriftwood.com. I’m From Driftwood has collected nearly 900 stories since launching in 2009 and while the new layout of the site focuses heavily on the Weekly Video Story, it also brings the older stories back up to the home page. Some of those older stories have literally saved lives so there’s no reason they should be buried under years of content. The older stories will be based on story themes and tags. Ready for some stories, old and new? It’s still in the beta phase, but head on over and check out the new site.
is a first-of-its-kind publication, documenting the new forms of
nightlife practitioners to emerge since the turn of the millennium.
Through profiles of over 30 artists, including the royalty of Manhattan
nightlife like Susanne Bartsch and Ladyfag; hybrid forms like Xtapussy
and FCKNLZ; the continuation of minimal wave and goth communities
through Pendu Disco; and the vibrant queer scenes of JUDY, Frankie
Sharp, and My Chiffon is Wet, THE FUN documents the rich
contemporary cultural activity keeping NYC as weird and innovative as
voices in the nightlife, including artists Rob Roth and Genesis
P-Orridge, curators and critics Claire Bishop and Jake Yuzna, as well as
journalist Michael Musto providing both historical context and
contemporary understanding of nightlife as a vital artistic practice
that has been marginalized by the arts sector for hundreds of years.
from the explosion of large and small discos throughout the 1970s like
Studio 54, which paved the way for 80s megaclubs; the candy-colored club
kid movement of Michael Alig and the Limelight in the early 90s; the
parallel expansion of the boundary shattering merger of drag,
performance, and music in downtown venues such as the Pyramid Club and
Mother; the rise of Brooklyn as a new focal point in the 2000s with the
emergence of Luxx, Secret Project Robot, Silent Barn and other hybrid
arts/music/nightlife venues; and on into the many vibrant forms found
from Paris Hilton and Lydia Hearst to the Backstreet Boys, Foxy Brown
and Gwen Stefani was drawn to their taste for sparkly streetwear glam.
“The clothes were attention getting and fun,” Heatherette’s longtime
friend and muse Amanda Lepore remembers. “They had a distinct look,
which at that time — everyone wanted it. David LaChapelle was using it. All the
celebrities wanted it. It was in demand.” (from Paper Mag).
while Rich is set to launching two fashion lines this spring: Rich
& Warr, a mens line, and a womens, Chantilly Rich, with Chantilly
Lace designer, Chantelle Warr. Although busy, Rich still has his eye on
the club scene. “It’s been fun watching the new generation of kids. When
I moved to New York I was ‘the new’ to the old nightlife generation,”
Richie says. “Now it’s fun to see all the new kids coming on the block
and dressing up. I feel like the style is coming back. Who knows, maybe
Heatherette will too.”
Now THIS should be a movie!
bloodline, shunned by the aristocracy, he has finally found an identity
as one of the most brutal fighters in the war against the Lessening
Society. But his life is not complete. Even as the prospect of having a
family of his own seems to be within reach, he is empty on the
inside, his heart given to another…
Qhuinn. And it’s about time: The male has found his perfect match in a
Chosen female, and they are going to have a young—just as Qhuinn has
always wanted for himself. It’s hard to see the new couple together, but
building your life around a pipe dream is just a heartbreak waiting to
happen. As he’s learned firsthand.
Fate seems to have taken these vampire soldiers in different
directions… but as the battle over the race’s throne intensifies, and
new players on the scene in Caldwell create mortal danger for the
Brotherhood, Qhuinn finally learns the true definition of courage, and
two hearts who are meant to be together… finally become one. Gay gay gay!!
God’s word: Gay is good!
Legendary club kid, doll maker, makeup artist, costumer, and penis-sculpture enthusiast JoJo Baby costars with his clubbing companion, Sal-E, in Bernard Colbert’s lush new 12″ x 12″ coffee-table book Getting into Face: 52 Mondays Featuring Jojo Baby and Sal-e
For 17 years, Bernard has been perfecting his craft, working in the field of commercial and advertising photography.
‘In the vibrant community where I live and work, I find what I have
always been searching for- a sublime energy. Nightlife activity blends
with the arts and diversity of self expression abounds. Here, I can
freely pursue my dream: to document and celebrate that spark within,
which defines the unique nature of our human experience.’
performance artists JoJo Baby and Sal-E use their bodies as canvases to
become inspired and whimsical conceptual characters, executed with
expert skill using original, theatrical makeup and costumes. In more
than 100 portraits, photographer Bernard Colbert rigorously captures
these two performance artists in genius moments as psychedelic Hindi
gods, comic book villains, fantastical creatures, astronauts, and much,
Colbert’s stunning portraits document these delightful
transformations over a five-year period and are the same body of work
featured in the Clive Barker documentary titled JoJo Baby. Through
Colbert’s collaboration with JoJo and Sal, viewers can experience a
front row seat to an ongoing show which has been entertaining club goers
in Chicago for two decades. This is a portfolio for the visually
adventuress and fans of true creative vision.
Every Monday night, JoJo Baby with friend Sal-E have gone to work as
hosts of Chicago’s largest and longest running house-music dance party,
the Boom Boom Room, which is currently on hiatus from its usual location
at Green Dolphin St., 2220 N. Ashland Ave., while the building
undergoes renovation. It took the duo hours to prepare, and Colbert was
there every week to capture the endlessly entertaining process. He said
he usually only had 10 to 15 minutes to photograph them before they went
“Sometimes they would show up and I would look at what they were
wearing and try and quickly comprehend what they were up to, because
sometimes it’s high concept and it’s not obvious right away,” Colbert
said. “It’s interesting right away, but it’s like, ‘What the heck is
going on?’ So I scramble and try and make it happen.”
Colbert, who took courses in commercial photography at Columbia from
1989–1991, said he loves portrait photography and has been drawn to
performers such as models, musicians and athletes—people who are both
interesting and like being photographed.
The combination of unplanned imagination and spontaneity kept Colbert
continually inspired. He said the most successful images captured an
indescribable magic that would often occur.
“It was something that would elevate it from an interesting time to
really high art, and it’s something that fascinates me,” Colbert said.
“It feels elusive, but when you find that you can do it time and time
again, it’s really fun to keep trying to do it.”