Unable to stop leering at his video “Haze.Boogie.Life”, I have delved into the art of Mykki Blanco and it has become a favorite playground for dual desires.
Playground. Desires – two words rarely paired into a sentence. And that’s the thrill: el mundo siniestro de Mykki Blanco.
Explico: Mykki Blanco is the cultural product of author/performance artist/bestia sexual Michael David Quattlebaum (Long, multisyllabic names always struck me of history, deceit and art). Blanco’s weapon of choice is rap, which she delivers as a fierce transgender sex bomb. A debut album “Mykki Blanco and the Mutant Angels” followed a book of poetry “From the Silence of Duchamp to the Noise of Boys”. This spring/summer she released the EP “Spring/Summer 2014,” which includes the song “She Gutta”; Watch it here. A tour is en route: Providence, RI (7/19). Brooklyn, NY (8/07).
Mykki Blanco bloomed in New York City, a reminder of what the city is also capable of doing. “Things were very different—the artist exodus and yuppie-fication of things were definitely under way, but things were still way grittier. I just remember the city being a really dark playground”, she told Interview magazine.
And that is where Blanco hits the mark so well; he forces us back to that New York we craved for. When I came to NYC in 1999 and again in 2011, I yearned for the dark nights on LES where artists traded secrets. I was a passing visitor in that world. In antros like The Cock you could bump into the city’s grittiest glitterati. (I once met Rufus Wainwright in line for the bathroom who assured me his next album was going to “rule the world”).
While that universe has not fully been obliterated with what Blanco calls the “yuppie-fication” of the city, it has been obscured by a more “affable” playground: one designed to walk along the High Line holding hands sipping off of the same lemonade cup. Not the playground I came here for.
You could also argue that Blanco has terrific timing. His transgender persona has landed in a time in which Time magazine “honors” transgender actor Laverne Cox and gender bender artiste Big Freedia can shake her can can on the Jimmy Kimmel Show.
That’s a pretty great playground…
…and I think it’s time we all play.