Bruce LaBruce: Faggotry

25 retrospective years of Faggotry with Bruce LaBruce now available at Tom of Finland Store.

Following retrospective gallery exhibitions and programs in London (Gallery 46), Madrid (La Fresh), Los Angeles (Lethal Amounts) and New York (MoMA), the online platform TOFS now offers over 100 photographs that LaBruce has produced over the past twenty-five years.

The presentation includes photographs from film sets, candid shots of fellow artists, friends, and collaborators, photographs made for movie promotion and posters, excerpts of shoots for magazines, photography for gallery shows and documentation of live performances.

We asked LaBruce if he could give us the back stories for some of the photographs, and here is what he had to say:

Vaginal Davis Shrimping, 2001

Vaginal Davis is the queen of shrimping, and a true artist per excellence when it comes to sucking on the toes of desirable young men. Feet are very personal, sometimes even shameful part of the anatomy, and subject to neglect, so Vaginal takes it as her mission to liberate them from their ignominious and taboo status, particularly in sexual terms. Here, Vaginal is shrimping Toronto It-boy Justus after a joint screening of her film The White To Be Angry and my film Skin Flick in 1999. It is obvious, from this photo, that the Kardashians have stolen most of their style and aesthetics from Miss Davis.

On the Set of Hustler White, 1995

This is a candid, behind-the-scenes photo that I took during the filming of Hustler White in 1995 in Los Angeles. We were shooting at the westside apartment complex of one of the stars of the movie, Glen Meadmore, whose true-life hustler stories were incorporated into the script. In this shot, our intrepid cinematographer, James Carman, is using his trusty 16mm Bolex camera to capture the moment where our star Tony Ward, who had just broken up with Madonna, slips on a bar of soap and hits his head on the side of the Jacuzzi; a queer updating of the scene in Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard in which hustler William Holden lies dead face down in Gloria Swanson’s swimming pool. That’s my co-director of the movie, Rick Castro, in the foreground.

Polizei, 2004

Here we have a production still from my movie The Raspberry Reich, which was shot in Berlin in 2004. The movie is inspired by the shenanigans of the RAF, the extreme left-wing terrorist organization of seventies Germany. In my version, a group of would-be terrorists, patterning themselves after the RAF kidnap the gay son of a wealthy industrialist, in order to have their political demands met by the government. Their fearless leader, Gudrun, believes that revolution must include homosexual revolution, so she makes her straight male followers have sex with each other in order to prove their revolutionary commitment; it’s a porn movie. When one of the terrorists becomes disillusioned with their cause, he escapes with their kidnap victim, with whom he is having a torrid affair, and heads to Hamburg on the Autobahn. They are stopped by a cop at a truck stop, so they overpower him and leave him on the side of the road with his hands bound behind him with gaffer tape.

Skin Flick Production Still, 1998

In 1998, I made a porn movie called Skin Flick (porn title: Skin Gang) for Cazzo Film, the first-ever porn company in Berlin founded by my long-time producer, Jurgen Bruning. Jurgen started the company after he and I gained reputations as pornographers for making my first three feature films, No Skin Off My Ass, Super 8 1/2, and Hustler White, all of which featured explicit sex and/or extreme sexual fetishes. We shot Skin Flick in London, based on a script I wrote about a gang of neo-Nazi skinheads who break into the home of a mixed-race couple, one black and one white, and sexually terrorize them. We tried to make the film as authentic as possible, so Jurgen smuggled in some Nazi memorabilia to decorate the sets! In this shot, the neo-Nazi skin gang chills on the wall on the bank of the Thames Rivers. On the far right, so to speak, is Slava Mogutin, the well-known Russian poet, and artist, who recites some of his poetry in the film.

Ryan, and Eddie, 1998

In the late nineties, I was spending at least three or four months of the year in New York City, back when it was a little more chill. I can’t remember exactly how we met – I believe he sought me out because he was a big fan of my sexually explicit queer movies – but one of my besties was famed photographer Ryan McGinley, who at that time was a student at Parsons School of Design. He introduced me to his circle of friends, including artists Dan Colen, and the late, great Dash Snow, along with other members of Dash’s graffiti crew – IRAK, such as Earsnot and Semen. Ryan lived in a crummy apartment on 7th street in Alphabet City, where we indulged in all manner of stimulants. Ryan’s room was at the front, and his walls were already covered with the polaroids that he would later become famous for. Ryan lived with a deliciously shady character named Eddy from New Jersey, and that’s him posing for me on Ryan’s bed, with Ryan shows off his meagre guns (he did that every time when he was drunk).


Bruce LaBruce: Faggotry

Exclusively available at TOFS through June 11th, 2018

Text: Bruce LaBruce, Katja Horvat, PR

Photos: Bruce LaBruce