What Happens When A Pornstar and a Chef Come Together?
This was the question I sought to answer when I founded Wyldefire Hot Sauce with Chef Royce Burke (Secret Lasagna) and Pornstar Danny Wylde.
We wanted to create a quality hot sauce that also provided a platform for critiquing the absurdity of celebrity branding and the incongruities that it often produces.
The hot sauce is also part of a larger body of work that "Danny Wylde" and I have been developing as we explore issues related to gender performativity, sex work, and social media through para-fiction and film.
As the brand manager I have overseen the production of our commercials, photoshoots, and press releases. As part of this process Danny and I worked with artist Maggie West to design our label and are actively seeking out artists for future brand collaborations.
Because the essay blurs the lines between fact and fiction, I wanted to create an illustration that would take the reader further into Chris' world and invite them to participate in his flesh's commodification.
So I created a mixed media collage that combined scenes from his pornos and personal life, extracted his blood, and used silkscreening to create a mass market commodity.
But any good advertiser knows that a successful commodity needs a brilliant ad campaign and a healthy amount of ritualized abuse.
So I co-wrote a commercial with director Matthew Kaundart in which I ritually tortured Christopher and then engaged in aggressive product placement. Legendary performance artist Sheree Rose served as a technical advisor and Greg Keuhn (TSOL, Bob Dylan) provided the score. You can purchase one here.
Christopher and I are now creating an immersive photographic novel and a hot sauce.
The Cardboard Artist
The Cardboard Artist is a short film about LA based street artist Calder Greenwood who creates location specific works out of cardboard. The film was directed by Matthew Kaundart and produced by myself in association with 72U. The "Cardboard Artist" is a prototype film for "The Rolodex", a documentary film series that Matthew and I are developing with veteran producer Tiffany Naiman.
As part of this screening Calder created a special installation for the theater's marquee. There we also screened a work in progress version of our second film "Randy Land".
The Cardboard Artist premiered on Vice Magazine's Creators Project and was later picked up by LAIST and other sites. The film went on to screen at the American Documentary Film Festival and was an official selection at the Toronto Arthouse Film Festival.
Matthew and I are now in production on several short docs that explore performance art and food respectively.
"The Cardboard Artist"
Headmaster № 6
Headmaster Magazine: The Biannual Art Magazine for Man Lovers reached out to me to be their first ever visual artist to tackle the "Headmaster Saga"; a reoccurring chapter in each issue that documents the epic and insane life of the magazine's hero.
My chapter begins shortly after Headmaster has been kidnapped in Africa by Bad Boy Jensen and forced onto an airplane headed for parts unknown.
In crafting the visuals I tried to both draw on the rich and playful legacy of 20th contrary erotica while also crafting a visual love letter to my favorite artists from George Platt Lynes and Andy Warhol to Robert Mapplethorpe and Clive Barker.
Headmaster is carried at Marc by Marc Jacobs and the New Museum. The magazine has been showcased at MOCA, MOMA PSI, RISD and elsewhere.
More info at: www.Headmastermagazine.com
Unhinged: A Curious Happening
I was the Producer for this immersive art happening concepted by 72U. The experience was designed to encourage curiosity and challenge perceptions.
Upon arriving at the party our guests were told to enter the party through one of three doors; each with its own elaborate facade.
One room was filled entirely with mirrors and other reflective surfaces and felt like a disco infinity room. Another was a storage space filled with an admixture of curious objects and 3 feet of packing peanuts. The final room was pitch black labyrinth that required visitors to crawl their way into the event.
The main room optical illusions projected onto the walls and a special performance by the experimental hip-hop group BLOK.
It was definitely one of our most talked about and provocative events that our 72U group produced at 72 and Sunny.
Unhinged - A Curious Happening
Superhuman Happiness asked 72U to create a music video that had not been done before. Because the song deals with the ups and downs of life we tried to create an experience that captured that. Craigslist and other message boards capture such ups and downs because they are full of genuine opportunity, scams, and absurdism. As such, we created an interactive craigslist page on a budget of $1000 that has over 150 pieces of content. The project was covered by ADWEEK, FAST CO, and PSFK
My favorite moments came from working with Anne Petrokubi to craft some of the darker and more bizarre content throughout the site. Including several legal postings which Ad Week singled as:
Perhaps [the] best (that is to say, most true to Craigslist form) is the legal category—one post, titled "Free Divorce Advice," wonders "Where are all the almost single ladies at?" Another, titled "You pay I counsel," reads, sic, "I just got paralegal very professional master certificate from university. I sue to make you feel so good. Forget about about wife, husband, car, work. Why worry? Relax time. It’s gonna be good. You pay in form of gold watch, expensive jewelry, deli meats, credit card, or traveler check. No American Express. NO AMERICAN EXPRESS."
You can check out the experience for yourself here:
'Catch A Break' Superhuman Happiness (Interactive Music Video)
Explorers Cocktail Club
The Explorers Cocktail Club is a shadowy sect committed to spirited adventures. As part of 72U I designed the organizations logo and helped craft its copy.
I had a lot of fun exploring the rich history of 19th and 20th century occult movements and drawing on it in my design and in the copy we crafted.