BRUCE LABRUCE "KEMBRA & FRIENDS LA" PHOTOGRAPH, 2001
"Censored, slandered, and delightfully outré" - that's how the Advocate recently described notorious Canadian artist, filmmaker, pornographer and writer Bruce LaBruce.
LaBruce has always had a strong connection to erotica and pornography, in whatever medium he is working in. He frequently addresses themes of sexual and personal transgression against societal norms.
During April and May 2015, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City honored Bruce LaBruce with a special two week retrospective of his films. Could there be any greater validation for an artist/film-maker?
In addition to his work has a filmmaker Bruce LaBruce is also an accomplished and collected photographer. Since 1999, LaBruce has had numerous exhibitions of his photographs around the world: Pitt Gallery (Vancouver), MC MAGMA (Milan), Bailey Fine Arts (Toronto), Peres Projects (Los Angeles) and John Connelly Presents (NYC) This limited edition photograph was part of a portfolio created by Bruce LaBruce and given to an investor who supported "The Raspberry Reich".
It features performance artist Kembra Pfahler performing one of her most infamous art pieces. Kembra Pfahler is an American performance artist, actress, model, and rock musician. Pfahler's bold and sexually explicit art performance's helped usher in modern day "shock art", and earned her a cult following. She's modelled for Mugler, Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, Rick Owens, Rodarte, and Helmut Lang.
Pfahler's distinct performance look consists of massively-teased black hair à la Bride of Frankenstein, dramatic face makeup with Divine-inspired eyebrows, and her naked body fully covered in boldly-colored body paint. Juxtaposing the vulnerability of her naked body within a horror-tinged shell, Pfahler's aggressive aesthetic and explicit exhibitions boldly confront the viewer. Through transforming her own frustrations with society's treatment of women and their bodies, Pfahler has built her own brand of rebellious, feminist art.
The artistic synergy between Kembra Pfahler and fellow provocateur, Bruce LaBruce, is clear. The two share a long-term friendship and this work represents a special collaboration between them. In 2001, Pfahler asked Bruce LaBruce to photograph her infamous "Wall of Vagina" performance before retiring the act. The performance involves Pfahler and her female band members from the VHOKB, all nude and painted in different bold colors, laying stacked on each other.
The photoshoot took place in the flower garden of the Highland Gardens Hotel in Los Angeles. This image shows Pfahler (in blue) with two of her friends who participated in the performance piece. The women posing together in a sunlit garden with Pfaler's signature bold look invokes a bizarre, alien-esque ambiance. Recalling imagery of the trio of muses seen in classical Greek art, this threesome look to be the perfect muses for the transgressive LaBruce.
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"Kembra & Friends LA"
Signed, numbered, and dated by the artist on verso
From an edition of 5
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