Category — Artheart
The fabulously gorgeous GiGi Deluxe is a woman of many talents, with her creative leanings running the gamut from painting to millinery work and now to tattooing. On top of all that, she is a supermom to the cutest pair of twins ever. Since GiGi is also one of my most favorite ladies to talk to, I had to get the lowdown and find out what makes her the badass woman she is!
+ You paint, draw, model, design and make clothes and hats, are a craft goddess, a dj, and now a tattoo artist! Is there anything else you would like to learn how to do?
I’m training with another tattoo artist and a plastic surgeon to learn how to do permanent cosmetics, and later this year, I’m attending courses to learn about laser tattoo removal. I feel this will make me a more rounded and educated tattoo artist, and I will be able to offer any service a client may need. Be it to remove a tattoo that someone is no longer happy with, or to lighten and prep a tattoo for a cover up. I also want to work with alopecia and mastectomy patients that want to utilize cosmetic tattooing.
I think at this point I want to perfect my skills. It’s all about learning new things, raising the bar and being my absolute best at all the things I enjoy doing.
+ Where did you grow up? Did it have a huge effect on the creative force you are now?
I Was born in Puerto Rico, and moved to Chicago when I was four. We lived in Bridgeport , an all Irish neighbourhood on the southside of Chicago. So from the beginning, I felt like an outsider. I was always in my own world. This also explains my love for (almost) everything Whitetrash.
+ You have a strong love for horror and the grotesque, where did that originate from?
My mom and fun gay uncle used to take me to all the horror and Bruce Lee movies when I was a kid. Sunday’s were a $1 for a triple feature afternoon at the Rat-mova Theatre! (that was not a typo- but it was really called the Ramova)
It was cheaper to drag me along with them, then to pay for a babysitter. Early exposure to the genre had a huge influence on my artwork and my humor.
+ Who are some artists and designers you admire?
I love and adore the late great Alexander McQueen, vintage Vivienne Westwood, Gareth Pugh and John Galliano. As far artists go, my peers and friends are constantly inspiring me. I’m extremely lucky to have such talented and creative people in my life.
+ If you could describe your style as the love child of any two people or things, who or what would they be?
Frida Kahlo would be my mom- and I couldn’t figure out who would be my Dad- so I asked my friend Szandora ( LaVey ) and she said Mick Jagger, because he was sexy as fuck and that I had to get my lips from somewhere! ha ha – I love that girl!
+ What are your wardrobe staples?
Shoes, shoes and more shoes. Tight black sweaters, snug black t-shirts, black platform heels and pencil skirts-these are must haves for me. Usually a corset, but at the moment I’m on the prowl for a few new ones..
+ Is there anything you collect?
I love re-ment Miniatures, and I used to collect ball-joint dolls, Blythe dolls, and Gene dolls but I don’t buy much anymore. I don’t feel the need to collect stuff the way that I used too, the happier I become that less I need.
+ Is there a particular decade in history you feel an affinity for? Why?
The 80′s. I was super lucky to have experienced that era first hand.
+ Name your five current obsessions (music, books, film, food, anything!)
- My twin 10 yr olds
- Art, art and more art
- Being goal-oriented
- Law and Order (all of them)
+ What’s next on the menu for GiGi Deluxe?
Who knows, but that’s what makes life exciting isn’t it?
August 17, 2010 4 Comments
It’s been awhile since I began my series of interviews with the gentlemen of FLNGS, but the wait is now over… Here is my Q&A with photographer Tony Stamolis! Tony just released his second book, T&T&A, which is a collection of, as you might guess, a whole lotta T&A…but with the additional sexiness of TACOS! Obviously I love that concept. Mexican food is so gratuitous! He’s taken the term ‘food porn’ to a whole ‘notha level!
Read More (NSFW!)
April 1, 2010 1 Comment
This is just a quick little Dress Obsessed post for today, with an impromptu photoshoot! You know how we dew…
I got this dress in Tokyo at a store called Drug Honey in Harajuku. Added a belt and of course some Betsey Johnson Pollys. A simple yet satisfying outfit… on a simple yet satisfying girl…what?
Checked out the only reason to buy the new Purple Magazine with Lohan on the cover: the Aurel Schmidt book that came with it which is titled Pussy…pretty amazing!
March 29, 2010 8 Comments
This weekend I went to the opening of Nick Cave’s (not that juan) “Meet Me at The Center of the Earth” exhibit at UCLA’s Fowler Museum. The show featured “Soundsuits,” which are sculptures made up of layers and layers of different materials such as sequins, yarn, beads, buttons, porcelain, vintage clown toys and even neon-colored weaves! My friend Phillip described them perfectly as “Club Kid ritual outfits.” The raver kid deep inside of me wanted to give one of these things a BIG OL’ HUG. Some of these grandiose pieces are made to be worn and performed in, creating another element to the work with sounds and movement, referencing the artist’s days as an Alvin Ailey-trained dancer. Interestingly enough, the first Soundsuit, constructed out of twigs was made in 1992 as a response to the Rodney King riots. I wasn’t able to take any pictures at opening night myself but here are several of them to get an idea of how incredible his work is.
Still, these photos don’t do the pieces justice. This is definitely something you have to see in person. Luckily the exhibit runs until May so there is plenty of time! Here are a couple of videos that show the artist at work and describing how the Soundsuits came to be.
January 12, 2010 4 Comments
Photo by Jon Dragonette
If you grew up in the 80′s, chances are you watched Jim Henson’s musical puppet show, Fraggle Rock. Dr. Romanelli did a collaboration with Fraggle Rock which includes sweaters and t-shirts as well as a cute interactive website where you can hear the Fraggle Rock theme song remixed by peeps such as Mike Posner and DJ Skeet Skeet. A couple of weeks ago I went to the DRx X Fraggle Rock launch party at Kitson to support my friend Nathan Cabrera who is the talented designer behind DRx. I was even able to get an exclusive interview with a FRAGGLE.
photo by Jon Dragonette
photo by Jon Dragonette
Adorable little Doozers inhabited the windows of Kitson …
Special guest of the evening, Red, came all the way from Fraggle Rock to celebrate the launch with us and she was kind enough to answer some of my VERY difficult questions…
+ Hi! I’m Marie nice to meet you!
+ So what do you like to wear every day? Is it the same thing?
I pretty much like to wear a red shirt most of the time.
+ If you could wear anything else what would it be?
I think some of these shirts here look pretty fun. I would love to wear one of these. Do they make them in my size?
+ Haha yes! I think they make them in your size for sure! Is your favorite color Red?
+ Hahaha good answer!
Yes I gotta admit, it’s red you know.
+ Do you have a favorite fashion designer?
Ooh gosh…Well…there was a designer in Fraggle Rock but you probably haven’t heard of her so I need to learn more about the silly creature designers.
+ Sounds good…mystery is good.
::Red laughs (at me)::
+ Do you have any favorite places you like to go on vacation??
Ooooh well I like to go to the Crystal Cavern and uh, let’s see well I always like to hang around the Fraggle Pond but I still need to explore more of outer space to find out what you silly creatures like to do around here.
+ What do you like to do over at your favorite spots?
I like to swim and run around fast and I like to jump off cliffs into the water aaand I like to play rock hockey and play tug a tails!!
+ Do you like to dance?
YES!! You silly creatures have some wonderful music at this party I cant stop my feet moving.
(Red starts to dance)
+ What other things do you like to do besides dance?
Ummmm More dancing!! Watch my feet, here they go! Wooo hooo hoo hooo! Dance Dance Dance!
+ Hahahah!! I’ll dance with you! Thanks for interviewing with me!
Thanks for coming by! I’m glad you had a fun time at our party! Woo hoo!!
What the HALE kind of life do we live?!? Thank gawt ‘lil Rojo Fraggle was camery shy. I couldn’t stop laughing! Just imagine THIS going right in front of you! How am I aka “Gigglez” supposed to keep a straight face when that’s going on!?
Here’s my outfit!
+Forever 21 leopard coat and beret, Target gloves, pink lace tights, boots from hoochie store, black skirt and top.+
Sidebar, I just found out that thee Kellie Martin of Life Goes On but more importantly Death of a Cheerleader was there too! I could have asked her for tips on recreating my favorite Lifetime Movie cover. Let’s just see it again for old times’ sake/good luck. YES! #1!
After encountering strange humans and scary monsters at Kitson, some of the Doozers said bon voyage to LA to work in the windows of the Colette boutique in Paris where Cassette Playa X Fraggle Rock clothing and merchandise will be launching tomorrow! Ooh la la!
Check it out: http://www.drdoozer.com/
December 22, 2009 6 Comments
From the dark corners of hotel rooms and the depths of crumpled bedsheets, Chase Lisbon, the man behind Supercult.com and previous Dear Menz guest columnist, has summoned several of his peers in the world of erotic photography to form a collaborative blog called Late Night Feelings (aka FLNGS.com.) Nathan Appel, Bob Coulter, Merkley???, George Pitts, Tony Stamolis, and of course Mr. Lisbon himself, regularly contribute pieces of their work and writing on FLNGS, which serves as a meeting place for this X-rated Knights of The Round Table. Your RSS Reader will undoubtedly be seduced with this roster, which also features special guests such as Katie West and Steve Diet Goedde.
I have the pleasure of interviewing each one of these talented gentlemen and first up is Nathan Appel, whose personal stories add a whole other dimension to his already breathtaking photographs.
December 15, 2009 7 Comments
From Looney Tunes t-shirts at the fair to a portrait of the Virgin Mary on the hood of a lowrider, the wonderful world of airbrushed art has always been one of my favorite things ever. Sadly, long gone are the days when you could get your man’s name easily airbrushed on a pillowcase at the Glendale Galleria. I was about to give up hope in finding my own magical airbrushing wizard until I stumbled across Diane Burrier’s website. Once I saw the portrait she did of Lady Gaga, I knew she was The One! Needless to say, I placed an order immediately! She was also nice enough to answer some questions about her work.
+ How did you get your start in airbrushing?
In 1983 I was doing caricatures and portraits while people posed. I saw someone airbrushing at a show and decided to give it a try. It was difficult at first, but I made a go of it.
+ What is the most fun part of your work?
Painting in public for tourists, shoppers and onlookers. Unfortunately this rarely occurs anymore since I now work in graphic design during the week and airbrush in my basement on weekends as a mail order business from my website.
+ What is the most challenging?
Finding time to update the web site since so much weekend time is spent airbrushing.
+ What are your thoughts on being a female artist in a male-dominated scene?
I worked in Virginia Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, and Daytona Beach. Those places had lots of airbrushers, all male. Although some had large egos, I’m fairly certain I earned respect from of all of them as an artist. I’ve lost touch with most of them, but occasionally get e-mails or calls from long-lost airbrush friends. I’ve known some of the original masters of airbrushing and a few who’ve passed away. I’ve met a few newer and younger artists too. The biggest problem is actually with public perception. I once wrote an article for Airbrush Action Magazine called “Where’s The Airbrush Guy?” It was a long time ago, but this commentary still stands true. If I don’t have that brush in my hand painting, the nearest male standing around is who people assume the artist to be. I’m a “one-hander” which could be a woman thing since I’ve never seen anyone else paint that way. I don’t try to talk people into ordering a shirt like the guys do. I try to let my work do the talking. I’m the same way in my cyber airbrush business. I always try not to discredit anyone else’s work to a customer, even if I personally think their work sucks. Art is always in the eye of the beholder, who am I to say?
+ What was the weirdest thing you have been asked to airbrush?
There have been many so weird things. I guess I have to say the one bike week I worked in Daytona Beach in the 80’s. I’m a lady and won’t describe, but it was embarrassing. I’ll never paint those things again and won’t own up to them if any still exist.
+ Favorite airbrushing you have done?
Live airbrush portraits and I still love doing those loose quick beach scenes.
+ Who are some artists that you admire?
Classical artists of the Renaissance and French Impressionists. I love Maxfield Parrish’s work. The man was a genius on so many levels.
+ The celebrity signed shirts from your collection are quite impressive! Andy Warhol to Madonna! What are some of the stories behind those?
The first signed shirt I got was at a Cars concert in Norfolk, VA. I wore a giant portrait of Rik Ocasek, he saw it from the stage and sent someone to bring my friend and I backstage. I was surprised and nervous but he was very nice and the next time they played there, I made another shirt with the whole band and they all signed it.
My most cherished celebrity moment was meeting Andy Warhol in his NYC studio. I made him a gift shirt with his portrait and he loved it. I wore a shirt with a portrait of him on front and another on the back. He was fluffing and straightening it, turning me around and asked why I didn’t paint one on the back of his gift shirt. He signed mine and invited my friends and I back, but I wasn’t in NYC again before he died 2 years later.
I was airbrushing in Virginia Beach making good money so I rarely took off to go to a concert. I knew concert producers and they would place the shirts in the stars’ dressing rooms and ask them to sign one for me. I heard Madonna put hers on during a sound check but no one had a camera. We thought Rod Stewart or someone on his staff took both his shirts and kept them, but the next day his signed shirt came Fed Ex from Chicago.
Two guys from Warrant came into a mall where I was airbrushing in Hampton VA across from a venue where they were opening for Motley Crue. They wanted 2 leather jackets airbrushed and told me I could come backstage for the concert but I had to be there within 2 hours. I knew I couldn’t paint their album covers on those jackets that fast. At least I got a photo of the one guitarist (oops forgot his name but love the photo) posing in it when he picked them up.
I met Robert Plant on a Honeydrippers tour. He signed a shirt at the concert and we were invited to a party with them afterward. I was completely star struck and he was sooo gorgeous in person. I could barely get any words out of my mouth. My girlfriend kicked me and told me to thank him for signing my shirt. The rest of the party I chatted with a band member from Spain and felt more comfortable.
I don’t have time to make celebrity gift shirts anymore, or even any shirts for myself these days.
+ Do you dabble in any other forms of art besides airbrushing?
Before airbrush it was pencil, pastel, charcoal, Sharpies and oils. Now it’s digital. I love the program Corel Painter. You can “paint” with a Wacom stylus pen like you’re actually using real media instead of pulling Bezier curves in Illustrator or tricking out in Photoshop. It’s the closest thing to real painting without the mess. I’m a graphics and multimedia software junkie. I work in dozens of programs and can hard code web sites. Digital or tangible, they’re all just tools for the art I do.
I have been a graphic, web and multimedia designer for the U.S. Army full time since 2000. That’s when airbrushing became part time. I was married with a young child and traveling around airbrushing long hours was a lifestyle that no longer fit. Although I had a bachelor’s degree in art, it was outdated without computer skills. I went to school at night while still airbrushing full time until I picked up what I needed to start a new career. I recently went to graduate school for Interactive Media Design. I’ve done some high profile design work for the Army. I don’t get personal credit for this kind of work and anything released is public domain. I’ve done exhibits, murals, posters, books, presentations, animations, official seals and web sites. I’ve gained tremendous appreciation for our military and feel privileged to do this work for them. But when I get home, there are always people waiting for their airbrush shirts to be painted and sent.
Would you like to be immortalized in airbrush like yours truly? Perhaps you might even want to get an “In Memory of Michael Jackson” jacket or a pillowcase of Mariah Carey to add to your collection? Email Diane at firstname.lastname@example.org and see more of her work at Burrart Design!
July 3, 2009 11 Comments
Bettie Page Heaven Bound, an art show paying tribute to the life of Bettie Page, and curated by Lenora Claire, opened this past Saturday at the World of Wonder gallery. As you can imagine, the girls and I had the most glamorous slash craziest time ever which is always expected at Lenora’s events.
Nikki, Nicki, Reyna and I with the legendary Olivia!
A couple of Olivia’s pieces
Polite in Public had a spanking machine in their photobooth. ME GUSTA! Notice how my face is the least surprised and affected…
Then the amazing Bobby Trendy joined in on the fun…I know. I die. This is going to be my Christmas card everybody.
Let’s talk FASHION! This crazy gold spider on my head was actually made by me! I’ll be writing about it more in the next post.
- Gold Widow headpiece made by me
- vintage dress
- one silk glove with gold stacks
- black heart ring & leopard head ring
- black heart purse -H&M
- Betsey Johnson black glitter Polly heels
I also made an octopus one for Tiffany to wear. Looked good on her blonde ‘do! Here we are with the beautiful Lenora Claire.
Elvira as Bettie Page by Austin Young!
Reyna and I taking turns sitting with Bettie Page’s actual shoes!
Always nice to see Mr. Jason Savvy!
Here’s a wild little video Nicki took of me giving the lowdown of the show. The end is the best…crazy Micks.
In the meantime!
May 4, 2009 17 Comments
Photo by Marla Rutherford
My favorite redheaded gal pal, the one-woman powerhouse known as Lenora Claire, is an art curator, model, writer and web series host. Anybody else with that much on their plate would have trouble keeping it together but Lenora Claire manages to pull it off with grace, all the meanwhile looking gorgeous. She gives us the scoop on her beauty secrets and style inspirations and talks to us about her upcoming art show Bettie Page: Heaven Bound.
+ Tell us all about your upcoming art show tribute to legendary icon Bettie Page.
I knew it was going to be difficult to come up with a follow up art show after my Golden Gals Gild Wild show which featured erotic art based on the Golden Girls and got nation wide press ranging from NPR to the National Enquirer but I had the amazing opportunity this summer to pose for the legendary artist Olivia and we started a really lovely friendship. When Bettie passed away the idea for a tribute show featuring Olivia’s beautiful work as well as several other amazing artists was born.
Lenora Claire by Olivia
+ How do you describe your personal style, from day to day to a night on the town?
I’m the queen of the slinky black cocktail dress. I pretty much wear variations of that (I have about 100) paired with my trademark neon red hair. I get compared to everyone from Jessica Rabbit to Bozo the clown so I must be somewhere in the middle.
+ Any beauty secrets you can share?
Since I have been dyeing my hair red which is the most impossible color to keep for ten years I’ve mastered the art of keeping up my crayola color. Since heat makes molecules expand (yes, I’ll blind you with science) that opens the hair shaft allowing color to leave so never wash with hot water always wash with cold. Also, I dump some of my dye in to my conditoner bottle so I freshen up my hair every time. On my face I love mac studio fix and always, always, always, work those false eyelashes. Also, ladies ask your best drag queen friend to teach you how to contour. We all have Ms. Potato Head faces so if you learn the art of contouring you can create the illusion of cheekbones or change around anything you don’t like.
+ Do you have any particular style icons?
Jayne Mansfield, Leigh Bowery, Dianne Brill, Vivienne Westwood, and Grace Jones.
+ What are your inspirations?
The Pierre et Gilles color pallet, Japanese street fashion, Thierry Mugler, and too many cult films to name.
Photo by Austin Young
+ Favorite artists?
James Bidgood, Joe Coleman, Henry Darger, Olivia, Mark Ryden, Colin Christian, and Alejandro Jodorowsky.
Photo by Austin Young
+ Who would you love to work with someday?
I would love for Thierry Mugler to make me an outfit that Pierre et Gilles would shoot me in for the poster for my film directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky or John Waters starring myself and Paul Ruebens.
If you are in the LA area this weekend, Bettie Page: Heaven Bound opens Saturday, May 2nd with a gala opening reception at World of Wonder Gallery and runs until May 29th. Lenora’s events are not to be missed! I plan to be right in the middle of that three-ring circus as I always am!
Bettie Page: Heaven Bound
May 2, 2009 8pm-Midnight
World of Wonder Storefront Gallery
6650 Hollywood Blvd Hollywood, California 90028
(323) 603 6300
More Lenora Claire here:
April 28, 2009 7 Comments
If William Beebe and Jacques Cousteau could send us love letters in photographic form, I’m sure they would choose Bruce Mozert to be the messenger. These underwater photos Mozert captured in the 1940′s are so beautiful I can’t stop looking at them. Originally shot as publicity photos to promote the immense clarity of the water in Silver Springs, Florida, these gorgeous images can be found in this book that came out last year. The methods he used to create these amusing aquatic scenes during a time when Photoshop was just a glimmer in a geek’s eye, continue to inspire today. Releasing condensed milk from a can to imitate smoke for the barbecue picture?! This man was quite the clever and creative fella….
More about it all here. Let’s swoon together.
January 22, 2009 7 Comments