We were spared that nasty hurricane here on the West Coast but it’s still been a social whirlwind since returning from Mexico. Saturday found us at a birthday party for some guy we didn’t know at our friend Cheyenne’s swank WeHo digs where Scott and I were the only people wearing shirts. This was the epicenter of Boys’ Town so I guess we should have expected as much a week either side of Halloween.
Before all these skinny, semi-naked queens made me feel overdressed and kind of chunky, we had the wonderful honor of joining our friend Stephanie Farago at the opening soirée for Steven Arnold: Cabinet of Curiosities at ONE Archives Gallery & Museum on Robertson Boulevard. Steven and I go way back, even though we never actually met. He passed away the year I moved back to California but, through our mutual marvelous friend Margot, I came to know his brilliant circle that nurtured me through my wild first L.A. years with wisdom and patience. Surrounded by his work and his friends, I was inspired by his vision and challenged by how fiercely he put his sexuality on display at a time when I was struggling with my own.
Fast-forward to 2012 when Steven’s surreal black and white photographs are being exhibited at the adorably bare bones ONE Gallery until 13 January 2013 alongside some of his erotic drawings, paintings and late 60s poster art. It was an interestingly curated show and, though a few of my favorite photographs are absent, there are many that I hadn’t seen before. On the way to the gallery, in fact, I texted Margot that I wished she were here and moments later was able to message a picture of her posed between two abstract buildings in one of Steven’s photographs. I wrote, “I guess you are here after all.” She replied that even she had never seen that picture before. If you’re in the L.A. area, I suggest you go see it, too.