Nov 29, 2006
Based upon New York’s cinesalon scene, which I blogged about on 26 July after attending a revival of sorts, Shortbus examines the interconnected of New Yorkers in a city so big and unreal that Mitchell portrays it as a cartoon between movie segments. He moves from window to window, filling in pieces of the puzzle as he goes along, and the picture alternates between disturbing, depressing, delightful, and delirious. The ups and downs of love and life have rarely been looked at so honestly and unflinchingly.
Sook-Yin Lee plays Sofia, a “pre-orgasmic” sex therapist–meaning she’s never had one, not that she’s about to have one. Her boyfriend masturbates to S&M porn in the living room as she tries to move from pre- to post- in the kitchen, with the aid of a Jack Rabbit vibrator. Paul Dawsom and PJ DeBoy plays James and Jamie, boyfriends of five years contemplating over adding a troisième to their ménage à deux. Jay Brannan plays Ceth, said third. Lindsay Beamish plays Severin, a dominatrix with–surprise–problems connecting to people emotionally. And New York fixture Justin Bond (of Kiki & Herb fame) plays the Mistress of the salon, a whirlwind of a personality, sweeping from room to room and commanding (demanding?) attention.
With this variety of characters, plus cameos from every face in the theoretical Who’s Who in New York City Nightlife handbook, the movie could easily fall into cliché. Alas, Mitchell is of the rarest breed of directors–ones who have the ability to toe the line between art and reality so that each is heightened by the other, not diminished. And the much-hyped graphic sex? As in life, it’s just another factor. When the characters fuck, you want to be in the middle of the crowd; when they cry, you want to hold them as you wipe away your own tears.
Much credit to the heretofore unknown actors, especially Lee, Dawsom, and Brannan. In a show of brazen fearlessness, they strip down to their barest forms, in every imaginable way, and make it possible for the audience to truly connect with the story.
Nov 28, 2006
What made you decide to take up art?
In 2002 I had a fall out with my employer and decided to quit my job in professional fundraising. During unemployment, I started painting in order to pass the time, giving away paintings to friends as gifts. I have always loved crayons and coloring books, so I started out with basic colors and shapes. I am slowly finding way through forms and styles, always making it original and fresh.
How long have you been doing this for?
I would say five years going on six, and I have been so fortunate to have received such support and recognition of my work in such a short period of time.
What are some of the people that are influential to you?
That is a difficult question because all people, in general, are very influential. Personalities and lifestyles interest me, they vary so much, from the vagabond on the street, to my mother, to other artist like Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, Joan Miro and M.C Escher to name a few.
I understand you won the Vox Out Award last year, how did that make you feel?
I had many emotions about it, but most of all I was humbled by the experience. The funny thing is that I had heard of the VOX Out Awards and always wanted to be a recipient. The best thing about the experience is getting emails or letter from other gay Latinos who think of me as a source of inspiration.
You’re also big when it comes to charities and recently competed in the AIDS Marathon in Florence . What made you decide to do this?
Currently in 4th, AIDS will soon be the 3rd major cause of death world-wide. I decided to run the marathon because at the time when I was deciding if I should run or not, my best friend told me he had just tested positive so I decided to run for him. However, because I just adopted two boys from Guatemala , and came home earlier than expected, I was not able to run I in Florence . I think running would have been great, but raising the money for my training was just as important.
Have you decided on what you next big challenge will be yet?
I am sure my two six month old sons, Cole and Parker, will keep me on my toes and influence the colors I pick up and the lines I will create.
Being a fellow Chicagoan you represented us in the Mr. Gay Competition what was that like?
AI had a great experience. Like the Gay Games, it is always a great thing when you can meet and socialize with other gay men around the country and world.
After having the Gay Games here in Chicago and you being named the Gay Games VII Commemorative Poster Winner, what else do you want to achieve?
I am looking forward to my summer show, “Is That Oil On My Hands?” But, most recently Extreme Makeover: Home Edition family wrapped up in Chicago and a painting of mine is being used as the art piece for their living room. So, this January I will taping that edition.
I knew a few of my readers would like to know if you’re single or with a partner?
I have a great partner of five years! I’m the right brain. He is the left brain. So, we work very well as a team!
Two of Erik's up coming events are
Sunday, December 10, Art Show and Wine and Cheese tasting, at Uptown Recording, 4656 North Clifton, from 5:00-7:00 pm Uptown Recording
For mor information or to Contact Erik you can reach him at his web site.
Erik R. Sosa
Posted By Chicago's Bi Guy Labels: Stories