253 E. Houston St.
New York, NY 10002
Linda Simpson, The Drag Explosion, digital slide projection, 50min., 2013
The Drag Explosion is an evolving multi-media “slideshow extravaganza” created by performer and nightlife personality Linda Simpson. From the underground East Village club scene and the birth of Wigstock in the late 1980s, to the AIDS activism and mainstream drag explosion of the early 1990s heralded by Supermodel of the World, RuPaul, Simpson’s snapshots document the flamboyant performances and offstage advocacy of the era’s drag community. Subjects include RuPaul, Lady Bunny, Tabboo!, Tom Rubnitz, Billy Beyond, Willi Ninja, Page, Hapi Phace, John Kelly, Deee-Lite, Lypsinka and Ms. Simpson, herself. Linda will provide live narration to accompany her photos and a Q&A will follow.
Linda Simpson began her multifaceted drag career in the late 1980s. Simpson has contributed to the New York drag scene as a nightlife personality, media maven, performer, game-show hostess and drag documentarian. Known for her witty demeanor, fine-tuned camp sensibility and a unique blend of sass and class, Linda enthusiastically embraces the role she was born to play – a reigning queen! Her recently published monograph, Pages, is her heartfelt homage to her captivating transgender friend, Page, who passed away in July 2002. Set in bygone gritty New York City in the 1990s, Simpson’s snapshots recall Page’s mysterious beauty, outlandish sense of style, and her provocative performances that made her a cult figure of downtown’s gender-bending nightlife scene. All of the portraits were spontaneous shots taken with simple, point-and-shoot, 35 mm cameras