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August 23, 2008

Jeremy Kost's photo of Amanda Lepore at the DPA re:Form Charity Auction

We at MAO just love Jeremy Kost's new photo of Amanda Lepore which will be at the DPA re:Form Charity Auction on September 3rd.

The DPA has managed to get quite an impressive list of amazing art donations.  But one that stood out from the pack was Jeremy's boobolicious photo of Amanda Lepore.  Amanda is the self proclaimed Number 1 Transsexual in the world, she is a walking piece of plastic ass performance art.

Amanda de Milo

(Photo #1, Jeremy Kost, "Amanda de Milo", 2008, 33" x 24", injket on paper, edition of 5)

This work, a digital print is made from 3 collaged and enlarged Polaroids,it addresses issues of Objectification, Celebrity, Beauty and Sexuality.  The fabulous print, clearly and suggestively references the 1970's work of Andy Warhol, Robert Mapplethorpe and David Hockney.  Kost lets the viewer get a peek into his underworld of the exclusive and subversive NYC club kid scene.

Much of Jeremy Kost's artwork borders on intense voyeurism. Like Nan Goldin (insider-as-diarist), he documents his nightlife activities, following around the tragic Paris Hilton, and Lindsay Lohan hip celebrities types of the moment trying their best to be fabulous.

Most recently Jeremy has focused his Polaroid camera on steamy hot young hookers, entrepreneurs,would be models beautiful boys. Where he has been deconstructing them into pure objects of beauty and sexuality. Checkout his recent hot hot hot Fawbush edition.

You can also see more of Jeremy Kost's work at his DC gallery Conner Contemporary, and his own artist website.

MAO had a chance to catch up and ask this hot up and coming artist a few questions..

MAO Q : Why photo's of Celebrities? Club kids, Drag Queens, hustlers/boys

JK : Well, I think that they all relate to each other... My work really started with the East Village (tranny, drag queen, go-go boy) work and transcended to Celebrities, Boys, and international work (a la Thailand)... To me they all build subtle narratives without being so direct, and I think they also all speak to different notions of celebrity... the  boys are a little different b/c they speak to ideas of intimacy, vulnerability, and so forth... the series of boys is really inspired quite a bit by Mapplethorpe, Warhol, and Pierson to be honest...

MAO Q : Where did you take this photo? When?

JK : It was in a dressing room at the old Boys Room.. I'd guess about 7 months ago maybe...

MAO Q : Why is it in 3 parts? Is one polaroid not big enough for Amanda?

JK : Well, I had been making these photographs of boys for my "Total Package" edition to coincide with my show at Colette in Paris... I was shooting 6 polaroids (3 from the front and 3 from the back).  When one thinks about plastic surgery, the connotation of cutting and reassembling flesh is fairly apparent...   I titled it "Amanda de Milo" b/c for some reason, well, I thought the posture reminded me of Venus in a very twisted downtown NYC way

MAO Q : How does this work fit into your body of work?

JK : It sort of ties a few different things together.... Amanda is well represented in my "downtown NYC work" for sure... how could she not be?  As I continue the development of these Hockney and Mapplethorpe inspired collage works, which are scanned and then printed much larger as inkjet on paper prints, currently in an edition of 5... as they get MUCH larger, I think the edition size will decrease significantly.

Amanda de Milo!! What an exciting artwork for the Drug Policy Alliance! Thanks Jeremy for the generous donation.

So, If you've not bought your tickets to the DPA's re:FORM art charity auction..get them quick before the event sells out. Go Here to Buy your ticket.

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great photo. love it.

nice post... great cause...

But is boobolicious a word?

The construction of this photo is perfect, and the simplicity of it is the added awe you find when you see a solution that had laid in front of you for weeks. I further visited Kost's site, so as to venture deeper into this polaroid artists portfolio, and discovered even more that I liked. His series on objectifying Go-go men is fantastic, an awkward juxtaposition of sexual objectivity, usual subverted for women, imposed on men is fascinating. And the celebrity candid shots are intriguing, with faux personal appearance. But the comment that Kost is like Nan Goldin bothered me at first. I can visually see that the aesthetic of his images mirrors hers in its blurred position between "posed" and "experienced". But I suppose there is a deeper "insider-ness" that is missing. I'll grant that Kost naturally doesn't have a 20 year catalog of images, but there's still this lack of character to the photos you find in the underlying tones of Nan Goldin's work. I'd be excited to see Kost push his ideas further. Blur and invade the lines of sexual objectification for the boys, or choose a select few celebrities and attach himself to their lives so as to build this plotline of photos.

I find this photography humorous, to the point of awkward embarrassment. I feel a little like Joe Francis while looking at some of Jeremy Kost's work. They are beautiful photographs, especially the collaged polaroids, but disturbing nonetheless. Boobs. That is what we are seeing, and that is what we are supposed to see. His works in movie-star mania captures the celebrity world in a very spectator sort of way. Kost becomes the guy with the polaroid getting Paris Hilton AND the cameras bumrushing her as she strolls the red carpet. Neat.

wow! really cool pics. i love it.

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