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Art Seen

MARNE’S MANDWICH

A Look at MANDWICH REDUX: A New Exhibition by MARNE LUCAS

By Lori Zimmer

May 2012

PMc covergirl Marne Lucas is making waves, with her upcoming show at Vegas’ Sin City Gallery. The sultry photographer is finally showing her long awaited photographs of pin-ups, of the male persuasion. The series–called “Mandwich Redux”–shows a collection of leggy cheesecake, through the eyes of Marne.

Feeling that straight guys shouldn’t have all the fun in pin-up photography, Marne has turned the tables, giving the ladies and gay men an eyeful. She’s chosen a mansome cast of artists, musicians, adult film stars and performers who illustrate her wit and interest in the history of eroticism with each hunky picture.

Marne, through her own art, has challenged the roles of sexuality in art, photographing models, sex workers and strippers for years, as well as appearing in sexually charged films and fetish photography herself. The show opens on May 3rd. We recommend snagging one of the works early because the show kicks off the Nevada Gay Rodeo.

LZ: Did you intend for “Mandwich Redux” to be connected to the gay rodeo?

ML: Absolutely. When Sin City Gallery offered me a show in 2012, I specifically asked for May, because I knew that the gay rodeo happens in Las Vegas that month. I’ve always wanted to photograph the gay rodeo circuit. The Big Horn Rodeo opens May 11th, a week after my show opens, so I saw it as a way to cross-promote both events and reach new audiences. Being an out-of-town artist can be tough if you don’t already have a draw in that particular city, so having a tandem event that could bring in more folks makes sense; I’m all about sharing! I’ll meet the rodeo staff and hopefully establish connections with them for future projects.

LZ: How do you find your handsome subjects?

ML: I find my models through friends, and many of them are artist peers. It’s a very intuitive process, I just know who I can make good pictures of, and they do not need to be within my personal ”type” or aesthetic. I find that shooting different types of men pushes my limits and I love a challenge to create a beautiful aesthetic within an unfamiliar situation or, in the case with male nudes, a new kind of man! When I went to Dallas for the month of January for a CentralTrak artist residency, I found four guys to pose for Mandwich during production of my film project “Sodom, Gomorrah, Milk, Salt.” I try to mix up the types of guys, but I still need more “bears.”

Adult film actor Kris Anderson came to me via Facebook, he is so dreamy to work with. Performer Chad Ferro was in the first Mandwich show ten years ago and was my first model for the new series. I met Paul Soileau a.k.a Christeene while on my Dallas residency. I met BDSM film talent Master Avery through a photography pal. NYC artists Walt Cessna and Scooter LaForge are friends who appear in this work. The series is ongoing, I’ll still be photographing guys until I have enough material to publish a book, so the “Mandwich Redux” show is by no means a final product.

LZ: Your imagery goes beyond just pin-up photography, how do you incorporate the locations into each piece?

ML: My visual vocabulary is influenced by having worked in fashion, design, filmmaking, and installation art, so it feels to me a natural progression to make highly-stylized portrait photography to express my own sensual aesthetic. I always shoot on-location and in color, but I think in black & white, in terms of what is graphically bold, how shapes or forms are repeated throughout the image; and about keeping the color palette very simple, maybe one or two colors. The locations dictate much of the mood and I encourage the model to relate to the relatively small space that they’re occupying as their “stage” or personal environment in which to express an attitude. The diptychs in “Mandwich” are mostly a fantasy: a redhead man in a mahogany-detailed hotel room in NYC is juxtaposed against an antique chess set in a murky 1920s Hollywood apartment building lobby; but the tone and the colors work together. A model in a bikini in front of his mantel and red 1960s Op Art is presented with a shiny red upholstered vinyl bankette found at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo. I’m creating vague narratives which inhabit romantic or sexual metaphor.

My heavily art directed male and female nudes series share a very similar process and aesthetic with my artist portrait series. In my heart, cinematography is king and film stills are what I’m subconsciously oozing.

LZ: What projects do you have cooking next?

ML: I’ve been shooting pin-up of both men and women for 13+ years and have yet to put a book out, so I’m developing a coffee-table book, perhaps half “Mandwich” and half “Velour Girls”–that would be dreamy. I’m developing a multi-channel video installation shot with B&W IR technology in collaboration with Jacob Pander, editing my “Sodom, Gomorrah, Milk, Salt” short film that I made in Dallas and will continue working on the “Eco-Baroque” installation art, to put it out on tour, so to speak. All that and perfecting my “Broken Robot-Sex Doll” dance moves.

‘Mandwich Redux’ is a photography project celebrating the male physique and character, as New York City artist Marne Lucas sees men through her fantasies. A series that began in 2001, ‘Mandwich Redux’ is a show of all new work, premiering at Sin City Gallery, in Las Vegas on May 3rd-27, 2012. The Nevada Gay Rodeo Association will have their kick-off party for their upcoming Big Horn Rodeo as part of her artist reception.

LINKS:

MANDWICH

Sin City Gallery

Written by Lori Zimmer

Photography Courtesy of Marne Lucas (©2012 Marne Lucas Photography)

Design by Marie Havens

Captions:

Page 1/Cover:

‘Adam, Mantel’
Photography Courtesy of Marne Lucas (©2012 Marne Lucas Photography)

Page 2:

‘Brett, Chess Set’ (Photographer Brett Lindell)
Photography Courtesy of Marne Lucas (©2012 Marne Lucas Photography)

Page 3:

‘Royal, Smoking’ (Royal Albert Paris, hair and wardrobe stylist)
Photography Courtesy of Marne Lucas (©2012 Marne Lucas Photography)

Page 4:

‘Scooter, Suit’ (NYC artist Scooter La Forge)
Photography Courtesy of Marne Lucas (©2012 Marne Lucas Photography)

Page 5:

‘Sodom, Gomorrah, Milk, Salt’ (stills from a short film project, made on residency at CentralTrak, Dallas.)
Photography Courtesy of Marne Lucas (©2012 Marne Lucas Photography)

Page 6:

‘Kris Anderson, Cowboy Hat’ (adult film star Kris Anderson, www.relaxwithkris.com)
Photography Courtesy of Marne Lucas (©2012 Marne Lucas Photography)

Page 7:

Joe, Statue’ (Austin musician Joe Stacy)
Photography Courtesy of Marne Lucas (©2012 Marne Lucas Photography)

Page 8:

Paul, Cape’ (performance artist/ musician Paul Soileau aka Christeene)
Photography Courtesy of Marne Lucas (©2012 Marne Lucas Photography)

Page 9:

‘Adam, Glassware’
Photography Courtesy of Marne Lucas (©2012 Marne Lucas Photography)

Page 10:

‘Chad, Orca’ (NYC performer Chad Ferro)
Photography Courtesy of Marne Lucas (©2012 Marne Lucas Photography)

Page 11:

‘MLSP Bathroom’ (Marne Lucas Self-portrait) © 2011 Marne Lucas Photography

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