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G.A.G. Contemporary Fetish Gallery

Next up in the GAG

The Art of Drummer New Outlines of Masculinity:
March 2, 2014

Start with sex. Drummer Magazine delivered what gay men wanted. Prior to 1975, many had tried to publish a leather magazine. Men (and women) looking to turn a profit took the Playboy model and swapped out feminine curves and large breasts for built men with packages busting out of their blue jeans or leather. They had it wrong. They failed. John Embry, Jeanne Barney and a handful of writers and artists knew what was going on in Leathermen’s heads. Subsequent editors and publishers added their own touches and flavors, but Drummer Magazine stared with and ended with sex.

Issue one, front page … art. Over the next quarter century Drummer would expose a subculture of gay men to over two hundred different erotic artists. Pencil drawings, watercolors, acrylics, sculpture and other media were used to illustrate erotic stories, provide beautiful covers, serve as stand alone features or humor readers with comics.

The Art of Drummer : New Outlines of Masculinity seeks to bring many of Drummer’s most prominent artists together in a new way. In each single issue of Drummer, three or four artists were bundled together among the fifty to ninety pages that month. This exhibition brings up to twenty artists together, with their appearances in Drummer serving as a common thread. Original works are juxtaposed against the artist appearance in the publication. The Curators’ vision for the exhibit is to use art as a window into the minds and libido of Drummer readers and editors alike.

About the LA&M and the G.A.G Contemporary Fetish Gallery

The Leather Archives & Museum is dedicated to the preservation of and access to fetish history and culture. Its eight exhibition spaces are open to the public Thursday and Friday 11a to 7p and Saturday and Sunday 11a to 5p. The G.A.G. Contemporary Fetish Gallery at the LA&M features works by renowned and emerging fetish artists from around the world. Curator Chester Munro assembles erotic exhibitions that entice and inspire all patrons from hardcore fetish enthusiasts to the tourist voyeur.

Previous Shows

June 21, 2013 to February 27, 2014

HIDE is an exhibition from Karl Hamilton-Cox of Art On Leather. The exhibit features erotic works painted on leather canvas. Of his first showing outside of the UK, the artist says "My work is unashamedly illustrative in nature as I prefer a realism style that I feel is more of a technical challenge than contemporary representative or abstract genres." He developed his painting on leather technique after he was asked to do a bomber jacket sample in early 2011. With some lateral thinking he has successfully adapted the concept to the UK fetish and alternative lifestyle markets.

Karl is a British artist based in the City of Hereford. He has always had a practical interest in figurative art dating back to the early 1970’s influenced by Frank Frazetta, Boris Vallejo and Gil Elvgren; Karl declined a place offered to him at Art College as figurative art was not being taught, so he joined the Army.

His service in the British Army started in 1981 as an Armourer then Artificer Weapons in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers until retirement as the UK military’s senior light weapons Warrant Officer in 2003. He served with Mechanised Infantry, Heavy Artillery, Special Forces, and Headquarter units in Germany, UK, Brunei, Northern Ireland and Middle East. His Resettlement preparation from the Army comprised completing a 5-year Open University Science Technology Degree with short portraiture and life sculpture courses in 2003 that reignited his artistic passion. He became a compliance and policy Vice President in a UK defense company until early 2013.

FLESH: Photographs by Justice Howard
February 1 to June 16, 2013

Dangerous like a whirlwind of razor blades and seductive as candy coated opium... Alpha-femme photographer Justice Howard ain't for sissies.

Justice Howard has a career in photography that spans three decades, thousands of magazine publications, and involves such names as Waylon Jennings, Annie Sprinkle, Dave Navarro and Billy Idol. Her art can be found on the set of Sons of Anarchy, the walls (literally entire walls) of the Lord Balfour Hotel of Fort Lauderdale, FL., and Tattoo Bar of Washington D.C. Playboy has said of her, “Justice Howard is a visionary provocateur.” American Cinematographer magazine went further: “Her images are well-though-out-scenes from movies that don’t exist beyond the mind of this well-respected photographer. Appearing as more than mere models, her subjects seem like dark characters from a noir thriller with a secret to hide.”

American born Justice Howard has come in great strides through her career to the heights of her predecessors such as Herb Ritts, Robert Mapplethorpe and Helmut Newton sinking her eye teeth in and making her own distinct mark in the industry. Internationally acclaimed for her works in over 25 countries with hundreds of print features, dozens of anthologies, many successful art gallery exhibitions, works in hardcover coffee table books and magazines that stretch from French Vogue to Easyriders, she has proven herself as a force to be reckoned with. Born in San Francisco, Howard took herself from modeling to an apprenticeship with celebrity photographer Andrew Dolinskis in the 1980’s, and her artistry and lens have been in demand ever since.

Woof! Richard Yates
July 6, 2012 thru January 27, 2012

A photographer with over 25 years of combined experience, Richard is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His work includes portraits, weddings, commercial product, advertising and marketing, with a specialty in male erotic photography. His work can be found on the covers and inside many of Minneapolis' GLBT community magazines. Over the past two years he has focused on men within the Gay community, specifically men in Leather/Kink/Fetish wear. He has successfully captured the images of numerous current and past various Leather titleholders, including the current International Mr. Leather, with plans to capture even more in the coming year. Richard was recently awarded "Best of Show" in the BDSM Art Show at CLAW 11, 2012. Richard's work can be seen on his website as well as his Facebook page. The Archives is pleased to welcome back Ashland Arms as a sponsor for this exhibit.

Of Myths and Mortals
January 27 thru July 1, 2012

Of Myth and Mortal focuses on legendary myths borrowed from Greek, Celtic, Egyptian and Christian mythologies. Among the statues on view are Cernunnos, the horned Celtic god of fertility, Anubis, the Egyptian god of the dead, Prometheus, the Greek god of fire, Thor the Norse god of thunder, The Black Knight from medieval lore, and Jesus, central figure of Christianity. A selection of torsos, reminiscent of classical ruins, are also on view. The pieces created with concrete, steel, and fiberglass, start with multiple cast impressions from live models.

Of Myth and Mortal also showcases limited edition prints, signed by the artist, many of which are featured in his book Dark Impressions, The Art of Philip Hitchcock. The images are signed and numbered archival digital prints at 16 x 20” which are framed to 22 x 28.”

About the Artist:

PHD Gallery owner Philip Hitchcock has challenged people with his art for over 20 years. His life-size “Christ Embracing the Cross” is part of the permanent collection at Saint Louis University Museum of Art (SLUMA) and he recently completed the portrait bust of Dr. Richard Chaifetz on permanent display at The Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis..

His works have been featured in solo and group exhibits and are in collections such as Leslie-Lohman Foundation, New York, NY; Saint Louis University Museum of Art (SLUMA); Mark Taper Family/Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles, CA; Henry Jewelry, Hong Kong; Barbie Benton, Aspen, CO; and Michele Rodriguez, Cagliari, Italy.

Rock Paper Fetish
August 27 thru January, 2011

Mary Chiodini, a St. Louis based artist, specializes in the creation of fine art mosaics handcrafted with vitreous glass tesserae, stained glass, mirror, stone and any other inspirational materials. The Archives is pleased that Mary will be joining us for the opening reception.

Katie Diamond is a radical queer comic artist and graphic designer. A graduate of the Maine College of Art, she's done many illustrations and cartoons about gender, sexuality, and sex education. She's also designed many pamphlets, flyers, and posters for various local organizations.

Tyler Buck
April 22 thru August 21, 2011

Taylor's continues a tradition started by artists such as Tom of Finland, Etienne and Steve Masters while also delivering his own fresh and innovative take on the fetish world.

Inspired by his background in fashion and fetish, Taylor Buck reinvents the classic homoerotic genre with his structurally modeled images of fetish-clad male beauty. His graphite and ink figures offer a subtle sensuality that is at once both intimate and powerful. Through variations of organic contours, he creates young men who embody the sexual delicacy of youth and the bold pride of the new fetish world. These are the boys of Buck’s generation, the fresh fetishists who audaciously express sex and self, unapologetically.

Unlike the classic images of the 20th century, the subjects are not framed by architectural noise – they stand alone, comfortable in their own latex and leather skins. They do not snarl or threaten, nor are they engaged in priapic sexual aggression within the seedy backdrops of a basement bar, a dark alley, a military barracks. Buck’s unique style relies in the static atmosphere of erotically charged potential, whether the subject is the lone-standing Rubber Boy, or the kinky buffet of Slave Auction #1, his subjects are sovereign figures of their own creation. With such a brave statement of self-assurance and sexual awareness, they simultaneously become the men we want to be and be with.

Buck’s generation of fashion-conscious sexual expression was never fully addressed in the classic works of Tom of Finland or Etienne – Buck gives us an unabashed series of delicately sculpted, sleek images where fetish is fashion, sex is self. If this is the promise of a fresh, self-reflective generation, a new direction for homoerotic art and the future of the kink community, then be grateful Taylor Buck has given us these indelible images.

Brian Smith, Adjunct Professor of Art History, School of the Art Institute, Chicago

From Canvas to Cover; a CLAW Retrospect in Art:
August 13, 2010 through April 15, 2011

Art ultimately has three purposes; those being, a pictorial representation of the times or conveyance of a thought or idea from the artist and finally for the sake of art and the act of creation itself.

CLAW introduced the BD/SM Erotic Art Show during its weekend activities during its fifth year. Thus creating a venue for the erotic BDSM artist to freely express and show their works to a wide audience of viewers at one time normally difficult to assemble in a mainstream gallery

Since its inception we have had over 50 artists in the show, with over 180 works being displayed. What has made the show unique is that there are no judges on a panel choosing the best work or artist within each show. The many guests during CLAW weekend pick the winning piece based on popularity and appeal. However there is a panel of judges that do preliminary judging merely to pick the artists for the show based on three things; subject matter, composition and technique.

CLAW is a pansexual organization celebrating the unique individuality of a chosen lifestyle. CLAW has grown in leaps and bounds year after year, and now celebrating shortly it’s tenth year. With CLAW’s introduction of the first erotic art show, it paved the way for erotic artists to show their works in a gallery type setting, free of bias and censorship. One more example of what CLAW has done to raise awareness and acceptance within our culture.

Nimidus – Art Director, CLAW

Burlesque Bondage
April 30, 2010 through July 30, 2010

Leon, originally a native of Oklahoma, began experimenting with photography while attending the University of Oklahoma. He moved to Chicago in 1998 and became a part of the pansexual BDSM community shortly thereafter. He is well known for his leadership and activism in the Chicago BDSM community and is currently on the Board of Directors for the Leather Archives & Museum.

Leon has helped popularize rope bondage in Chicago and has taught a variety of topics ranging from techniques of rope bondage to D/s theory at lifestyle events and organizations throughout the region.

His fascination with rope art, sex and BDSM has led to the majority of his work being some form of erotica. His subjects are primarily members of the BDSM community ranging from the professional dominant to the submissive who plays for fun. Leon incorporates the spontaneous interactions of his subjects as well as more deliberate studio work in his art. His fetish and BDSM photography has been showcased on Eros-Zine among other respected online publications.

Partial list of credits:

Mette Toov
Goddes Feral
Cunning Minx
Miss Jaded
Mistress Simone
Goddess Sumi
Natalya Sadici

Oct 20, through Apr 17, 2010

Born in 1944 and raised in Chicago, John Randle received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1968 and taught art in high school for 31 years in suburban Chicago. He also received an MA degree in Interdisciplinary Arts from Columbia College in 1989. He has been retired for 10 years and enjoys travel and working for small theater companies. He was resident scenic designer for the NeoFuturists for 5 years and created two shows of drawings and paintings for their productions of "Alice" and "The Last Five Minutes of the Complete Works of Henrik Ibsen". He had a show of drawings and paintings this year at Touche'.

Under Orders
Apr 17, through Oct 16, 2009

Artists, like the rest of humanity, are like little gods. They create objects from thin air. Choosing the materials, selecting the medium, caressing their image into reality and into form, each step of the journey the artist is making choices both consciously and subconsciously bringing to life that which they see in their mind's eye. Once the object is complete, the artist then looses control of that image as it becomes unleashed into the larger world and interacted with by a wider audience. What happens when we relinquish that control during the creation process and become mere tools for another's vision? Does the integrity of the work suffer? Are we frustrated by a lack of command over what the art will look like? It's hard enough for an artist to let a piece go after completion much like sending a child away to school for the first day. This show is an exercise in letting go of that control from the beginning.

After getting to know each other and with a burgeoning dominant/submissive relationship unfolding, I consented to be told what images to work on by Sir Dan Perry of Dallas. Having knowledge of my artistic style and craft, he would provide the inspiration by either a phrase or an actual photo to work from and I would set out to make it in my own unique way. After the piece was finished there would be a presentation of the piece to Sir much like a cat brings a dead bird in its mouth to its owner for approval. It all started out as an experiment but quickly developed into its own series: Under Orders.

Artist Kelly Courtney

Beauties Service
Jan 2009 - Apr 2009

Unlike most understood feminist notions of “beauty” being pushed onto women, which in the curator’s opinion actually reaffirms the old notion of what a woman’s place was. Kate Tastrophe, who speaks of her images as if they where real ladies, works toward contemporary theories of 3rd wave feminism and shows that this newly found sexually liberated woman, is nothing new. The images show women who use and accentuate their “assist,” and in doing so take hold of Beauty and make it their servant.

These ladies want to be looked at. They want to be studied. They want to inspire those dirty little thoughts. And it’s their rendering of “Beauty” that grants them the power in that moment.

Oct 2008 - Jan 2009

_ask, a mixed medium exhibition and fashion show celebrates the mask and its ability to transform its wearer into dual persona of subject/object.

_ask reviews the latest in fetish inspired masks and works by local, national and international artist and producers. The show will explore the mask as an adornment through which the wearer alters or amplifies an aspect of themselves that is normally out of reach due to social attitudes of the gaze. With the adoption of the mask, the wearer has the allowance to suppress themselves and become the mask, which in itself is a fetish.

However, if the mask is in the hands of a dominate, the persona of the wearer becomes an object of submission and the mask a removal of humanity.

In the end, allowing the mask to become a signifier through which the dominant can forgo the “ask” of boundary politics.

YES, the Soul of a Sexual Outlaw
Apr 2008 - Oct 2008

In “Leather” the design of role-play, subjectivity and symbolism plays a fundamental position in the acquisition of pleasure. Through this a normalized routine of actions and posturing have come about and with the efforts of so many strong-minded individuals in the “Leather Community” relics have been preserved and are now part of normalized society. i.e. The Leather Achieves. This “Old Guard” mentality still permeates the understanding of the framed ideal of what “Leather” is by continually presenting what it was as homage, celebration, or commercial identity. This no doubt offers a pathway to sexual identification and an easily definable trajectory of association. The aim of this show is to expand those definitions of “Leather” into other extremes through “Queer” mindedness and negate the normally leather clad/rope bound body.

Lochai, rope artist * photographer
May 2007 - Nov 2007

I became interested in photography as a child, playing with my uncle's cameras whenever I visited him. I also used to make pinhole cameras as a grade school student & then started making them with my own students when I was an art teacher.

I feel the best stories to tell come from the heart and everyone has something hidden that is bursting to come out. I feel I can touch something within each person who views my work. For me, I see the real person when I create my fetish images. The real person comes out thru their alter ego.

Since I am a lifestyle player, when I shoot I see fetish from the inside & try to convey the emotions as well as the visuals.

I tied up my first "girlfriend" when I was six on the school bus and from that moment on I knew I was "different". I have been a student and educator of BDSM including but not limited to age play, pony play, corporal, discipline, pain for pleasure play as well as a kinbaku artist (Japanese bondage). I consider myself a top and some consider me their dominant.

this is my vision of fetish...

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Directions to the LA&M

The Leather Archives & Museum is located at 6418 N. Greenview Ave.  Just 2 doors north of the corner of Devon Ave. & Greenview Ave.  We are nextdoor to the Citgo gas station @ Devon and Greenview.  The closest major intersection is Clark St. & Devon Ave.  Greenview is 2 blocks east of Clark St.

Via Public Transportation

CTA Bus #s 36-Broadway, 151-Sheridan and 155-Devon stop at the corner of Devon and Greenview.

CTA Red Line – Loyola street stop.  About a 10 minute walk to the LA&M, or board the #155-Devon bus westbound at the Loyola stop.  Walking : Out of the El station, walk south (under the L tracks) on Sheridan Road.  At the second stoplight, Devon Ave., turn right.  Walk about 6 blocks to Greenview Ave.  Turn right at the corner of Devon and Greenview.

Via Car

From the loop or boystown : Get onto Lake Shore Drive northbound.  Take Lake Shore Drive until it ends at Sheridan Rd.  Turn right onto Sheridan, so you'll be heading north.  Sheridan will curve to the left.  Stay in the left lane, as Sheridan Road becomes Devon Ave.  Continue west for 6 blocks to Greenview Ave.  Parking is available on the street.

From the north or west : Take I-294 or I-94 to Touhy Ave.  Take Touhy Ave. east to Western Avenue.  Go right on Western to Devon Ave.  Go left on Devon Ave. to Greenview Ave.  Turn left on Greenview Ave.  Parking is available on the street.

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