When Asking to Borrow a Van Gogh, Trump Was Offered a Gold Toilet

When the White House requested to borrow Vincent Van Gogh’s Landscape with Snow for Donald and Melania’s private living quarters, the Guggenheim museum in New York kindly declined. It is typical for the White House to request art for temporary periods of time to be on display at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue—but that didn’t matter to the Guggenheim’s curator Nancy Spector who couldn’t allow it.

According to Spector, the painting was on its way to exhibit in Bilbao, Spain and then would return to New York.

The shade of it all? Spector did offer to provide the Trumps with a piece of artwork that she felt would go perfectly in their home. The piece is called America, by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, and instead of a painting the piece is an 18-karat solid gold toilet—that is fully functioning to top it all off!

America is artist Cattelan’s commentary on the excess in which the American people live. He describes it as “1 percent art for the 99 percent.” It’s also perfect for a certain someone to put his shithole before heading to the golf course.

It's art for fart's sake!

According to the Washington Post, Spector shared:

Should the President and First Lady have any interest in installing it in the White House, the artist would like to offer it to the White House for a long-term loan. It is, of course, extremely valuable and somewhat fragile, but we would provide all the instructions for its installation and care.

The Guggenheim has not received a response from the White House so no word yet if Donald and Melania will be sitting on a gold thrown anytime soon.

When they’re ready, I know the perfect toilet paper to go with it!



Indie Magazine Captures The Lives and Stories of Gay Men in NSFW Photos

Elska Magazine is a gay male photography and culture magazine that is put out by photographer Liam Campbell. Each of Elska’s editions ventures to a new city and features the stories and portraits of local boys. The zine, which has been around for almost three years, is an up close and personal narrative that gets readers (and admirers) in touch with the landscape of the city and social climate of the location.

Elska, which means ‘love’ in Icelandic, spends weeks scouting social media looking for guys to feature in the city they have chosen to feature. Those who get featured tell their own stories, sharing the narratives they are most comfortable with.

Elska has taken its readers to Israel, Finland, Belgium, India, Japan, Canada, Wales, Turkey, Taiwan, Portugal, Iceland, Germany, Ukraine—and its latest edition Bogotá, Colombia.

Located in South America, Colombia is the land of beauty where beach and urban life paint a backdrop for a quotidian lifestyle that can only be paralleled by vibrant colors and rich culture.

Campbell’s latest installment of Elska Magazine explores the world of one of the largest and thriving cities in Latin America. Although Colombia is known for being the hub for one of the largest drug cartels in the world and other heavy crimes, Campbell was able to capture an un-seen perspective of gay life in the streets and neighborhoods of Bogotá.

The 168 page exposé introduces readers to fifteen men who bare it all, making this the “most naked issue ever” according to Elska—but also includes beautiful and raw portraits of the men in their element.

Colombia legalized same-sex marriage in 2016 and has seen its fair share of LGBT struggles, making it one of the most politically progressive countries in Latin America. This is considering that Latin America is pre-dominantly Catholic--which comes with a great deal of judgment and righteous interference.

Instinct connected with Liam Campbell to find out a little more about Elska:

Why did you start Elska?

Although I studied photography in college, I never used it professionally, but then when I started a job as a flight attendant, the passion stirred in me all over again. Everywhere I travelled to, I'd find local guys online and shoot them on my layovers. At first my intention was to build a portfolio and use it to work in fashion, but later once I did start doing some fashion jobs, I was devastated by the way people treated each other. As a photographer, I was condescended to and my vision was never respected.  But it was particularly bad for the models, who were treated like they were stupid and constantly berated about not looking perfect enough. It made me nostalgic about the shoots I did on my layovers, where my simple and natural style felt right and where all the guys I met were perfect and beautiful to me. So I decided to try making a printed collection of portraits in a city on one of my trips, which was in Ukraine, and that was the first Elska issue. After that the mag was lengthened, more stories were added, and it went on from there.

What does Elska symbolize to you?

Well I named Elska after the Icelandic word for 'love', as in 'I love Bogotá' [Ég elska Bogota], and the concept of loving someone is key to me. I think about our friends and how we love them even if they're not perfect. And I think about our partners and how we are attracted to them even though they rarely look like the porn stars who we're supposed to lust after. If you're open-minded, up for expanding your horizons, and willing to just meet different types of people, then you'll see the beauty that exists in everyone everywhere. I guess that's a bit schmatzy but it's how I see it. 

It's like when someone will write in to tell us that they didn't like the last issue 'cos there were too many Asian guys and that they're 'just not into Asians'. My response is to tell them to go to Asia or go on a date with an Asian guy. You'll get into it, you know? Preference is nonsense. It's all about connection, and there's nobody you can't connect with if you just be open to it. 

What locations do you think you will be traveling to next?

Generally the goal is to have each edition be set somewhere different and far from the one before, but after fifteen Elskas, we still have gaps in Africa and Australia which we're looking to fill in 2018. Also we'll be doing another US city in 2018 as well.  After that, who knows?

Where do you see Elska heading in the future?

It's a long process getting an independent mag noticed and accepted, particularly when it's not full of the typical celebrities and models in mainstream media. Then when it is noticed it's particularly difficult to encourage someone to actually buy a copy, as it's a world used to getting art for free, be it by streaming music, torrenting films, etc. But every day someone will write in and say that Elska means something to them, and that keeps the motivation alive. With every new edition we grow, and I hope to just continue that. But I suppose if I'm going to really dream, I can think of two things to aim for - a large format anthology book, and maybe a spot on "RuPaul's Drag Race" running the photoshoot challenge followed by a seat next to Michelle Visage on the judges' panel!

The photos in the latest issue of the magazine are intimate, honest, and reveal more than just the bodies of these Colombian men.

See some of the NSFW photos HERE or HERE

And purchase this and all editions of Elska HERE

Keep an eye out for more Elska on Instagram and Twitter.

A 4-Story Pink Penis Showed Up On A NYC Building

A four-story tall penis has popped up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and gotten a lot of people talking about it.

On Christmas Eve, graffiti artist Carolina Falkholt decided to paint the giant penis on the side of an NYC apartment building standing on Broome Street between Forsyth and Eldridge Streets.

As she says on her Instagram post, where she shares a picture of the pink penis, “I have never heard so much laughter and seen so many happy faces behind my back when painting as for today doing this wall on Broome Street.”

But despite all that laughter and fun, there were many people who weren’t so pleased to see the image.

Many commenters expressed their outrage and disgust towards Falkholt for placing her penis on the building and call it an act of public indecency.

"This is the most disgusting gross display of street art. It’s one thing to have this in your home but to have this in public where families live and walk by is a major lack of respect"

Others said it was wrong of her to point this up in their neighborhood.

"Y’all Wnna come mess up are neighborhood with what you think it’s cool but it’s really not. Can’t wait till it’s removed and it will happen. We don’t play that in the Lower East Side," wrote one user.

Meanwhile, The Low Down NY reports that community leaders are already working to have the art removed.

District 1 Community Education Council president Naomi Pena has asked the New Allen, a street art foundation, to remove the penis.

"Contrary to what developers and the folks you see in the street, there are thousands of people in this neighborhood who are raising their children here. While I’m gathering you may not have any children or may not live here to have to walk by and see this, i certainly was not happy to have to explain to my 8-year-old twins what this was," wrote Pena.

As for Falkholt, she says that this image, and another one on Pike Street that depicts a vagina, are meant to start conversations about sexuality.

She says they’re “about not being ashamed of your body and who you are as a sexual being." 

"Talking about these subjects in public space is a must for a healthy, nonviolent community/world," she said. "And the dialogue created around feminist public art pieces raises awareness."

h/t: NBCNewYork

Fetish Photographer Rick Castro Supports Erotic Art Fair Fundraiser

LOS ANGELES - The autumn sun was moving toward the horizon as I stood in the back lot of a sex shop on Sunset Blvd. in Silverlake. I saw about 60 men milling about considering erotic art purchases, whether to dance to a young Latino DJ’s deafening sounds, take advantage of free food or move behind a black curtain strung across a humble metal bar where a handwritten sign read “Hard Zone – donation $5.”


“Hard Art,” fetish photographer Rick Castro, 60, told me the event was called.  “And Adrian, the owner of Rough Trade Gear does it every year. It’s to raise funds for Hector Silva.”

Who is Hector Silva? The event invitation on Facebook read, “Hector…is a beautiful, gentle, charismatic and super sexy man, who has donated a lot of his work to help many different causes and to help and support other people when they needed it.”

He’s also a well-known erotic artist and his cancer, which had been in remission for three years, no longer is. 10% of all purchases at the Rough Trade event today will go to Silva for his medical bills and living expenses.

“The fetish community is a tight-knit, small community,” Castro said. Indeed. Brother In Need, a nonprofit group of local leather enthusiasts dedicated to supporting their own, co-presented the event.

Castro’s booth was chock full of his many black-and-white images available for purchase, most of them framed. In addition, his two coffee table books of mostly BDSM photography, Castro and 13 Years of Bondage, were on sale.

A photographer since 1986, Castro, who is a native Angeleno and still drives the same car he’s had since high school, calls himself “a fetish artist.”


After a “mainstream career” in costume design and fashion styling for big stars like Bette Midler, Tina Turner, Mel Gibson and Joan Rivers, as well as celebrity photographers Herb Ritts and Annie Leibovitz, Castro decided “to go into the opposite direction and explore my desires.”

He even used his real name, as opposed to following the advice of his agent, who told him to come up with a pseudonym to protect his career.

Castro, his first book, came about after Durk Dehner, who was involved personally and professionally with the late famous erotic artist Tom of Finland, pitched Castro a publishing deal. The two knew each other from “the One Way, which was the best leather bar ever.” Castro added: “No longer there of course.” 

I asked Castro to share one surprising-slash-unique memory.

Nothing surprises me, because I’m very jaded,” he said, joking (I think). He then recalled a hustler he picked up on Santa Monica Blvd. back in the 90s. “This is before the Internet and before cell phones, so I approached him directly.”

“You want me to model for you?” the young sex worker asked, surprised. His face showed significant scars.

“He was very nervous,” Castro said. “I did one photo…and he ran out the door.” The hustler bolted before Castro could pay him – or find out the story behind those provocative facial scars.



Queer Califas Art Exhibition Opens in West Hollywood

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA – Artist Ruben Esparza wanted to do something different: curate an art exhibition featuring Latino artists of all persuasions. queer, gay, lesbian, trans, gender non-conforming, plain ol’ bi…you get the idea. That’s what the “x” in Latinx is for: however any of the Latino artists choose to define themselves.

Esparza applied for a grant with the City of West Hollywood’s Arts and Culture Department. And got it.

The result is Queer Califas: LA Latinx Art, what the City of West Hollywood’s website says is part of the Getty initiative Pacific Standard Time: Latin America & Latino Art in Los Angeles, “with special thematic programming called WEHO ARTES.”

With the grand opening this evening, I caught up with Garza this afternoon as he put the final touches on the exhibition, taping little white cards with little black letters on them to the wall (using blue painter’s tape), remembering he needed to print out a price list for would-be art collectors – and perhaps most important, getting his skirt ready.

“Find somebody that loves you, not somebody to love” Esparza told me the sentence, in Spanish, silkscreened onto his skirt means. Those same words appear in a similar piece of clothing worn by a model in a photograph on display by Manuel Rodriguez (aka Sad Boy) . Rodriguez gave Esparza his own skirt to wear at tonight's opening.

Esparza wanted an eclectic show, one featuring photographs, collage, drawing, painting, mixed media three-dimensional pieces and more. He succeeded.


While the space at West Hollywood’s Plummer Park is humble, not some fancy Westside gallery, and some of the pieces are not quite fully-realized, quite a number of them are worthy of attention. 

For instance, Gregorio Davila’s “We’wha,” a spray paint stencil evokes the pop art power of a Warhol crossed with Native American iconography. Roy Martinez created “Untitled,” an odd-yet-elegant execution featuring a bouquet of faux roses in chains hanging upside down against a wall. (Your guess is as good as mine, but it is captivating.) And Ben Cuevas really, really likes yarn. His “Totes Queer” and “Not Masc For Masc But Yass for Yass” transform what we think of as a grandmother’s pastime into postmodern commentary on sexting and modern speech.

Queer Califas: LA Latinx Art runs through December 9 at Plummer Park in West Hollywood and is open 1-7pm, Friday through Sunday.




NOTE: the prior version of this article incorrectly named the artist of the Untitled roses and chains piece.


A Body Painter Made This Beautiful Tom of Finland-esque Design

Photo by Michael Meijia

“Skin Wars” Season Three contestant Michael Mejia loves to share his beautiful body paint artwork with the rest of the world, and we should all thank him for it.

His latest work was this hot Tom of Finland-esque workup that’s all about the masculine male physique.

Here’s the original concept art:

And here’s the real thing:

Think its cool? No? Well, check out a few more of his “bodies of work” and then come back to us.

h/t: Queerty

These Same-Sex Performance Artists Are Going to Get Married in 24 Countries

Fleur Pierets and Julian P. Boom are two women who make up the artistic duo called JF. Pierets, and the two are getting ready for their biggest performance yet.

The performance artists have decided to go around the world and get married, in 24 different countries (including Belgium where they first got married).

The project, which is being called 22, after the 22 countries that had legalized marriage equality when the project became a concept, is still in its planning stages. (Note: the two said they won’t be renaming the project as it’s supposed to act like a time capsule).

According to the project’s website, 22 is meant to depict “the zeitgeist of a world in the midst of change when it comes to gender equality and human rights.”

The artistic duo want to show the majesty and globalization of marriage equality, but also they want to spotlight the fact that still so few countries have actually legalized it.

More: Anti-Marriage Equality Group's Logo Use's Bisexual Flag

In fact, the first concept for the project came when the two realized that not many people “are aware of the fact that there are so few countries where same-sex marriage is legalized.”

Right now, the two are in New York planning out the first wedding. Then, they will move on to the next country where they will stay for two weeks before then moving on to the next. This will continue until October 2018 in New Zealand.

Then, once all the weddings are over, the two will release an art and video depiction of the event.

Again, you can check out their website to find out more about the performance project and if you want you can click here to read about JF. Pierets’s earlier projects.

Artist Re-Creates Nintendo Characters As Burly Bears

For Argentinean artist Leonardo Gutierrez, Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. just got better—in his own head. The artist, who is fascinated by the game, has created a portfolio of characters that have been re-imagined as big, sexy bears because, you know--why not?

As you peruse through his Instagram page you’ll see how Gutierrez’s Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Pikachu and their friends will make you want to Power Up on that BBC--Big Black Controller, that is!





















Leonardo Gutierrez also runs Oso Apparel, an apparel line that caters to gamers and geeks who love all things BEAR! !

A post shared by Leo (@leoleus) on


Game On, @leolus!

Transgender Artist's Controversial Work Earns Honor

18-year-old transgender high school student, Jasper Finn Behrends developed his AP Studio Art portfolio to focus on the resonating themes of sexuality, gender, and body dysphoria. While these are all topics that the young artist holds near, Jasper's school administrators did not approve of the artist's queer perspective and colorful voice. His art was questioned for depicting topless images, even though other students' work had never been targeted.

Jasper shared with Pride

After starting my concentration, the school vice principal came to me after my art teacher informed the administration about my 'potentially sensitive' concentration subject. He said that although he had 'no problem' with the LGBTQ theme, there is a 'time and a place' for 'these things' and that it did not belong in public schools. After a lot of arguing, I just decided to ignore everyone and keep doing it. I just kept making art and didn’t listen to the administration. I wasn’t able to put my work in any of the school art shows, I wasn’t able to even show my parents, but I was proud of what I was doing.

Following his heart, Jasper received high honors on his portfolio exhibit, demonstrating there is always room for individuality, invention, and ingenuity.


Take a look at beauty of Jasper's work and why it is so important to embrace one another and celebrate creativity that others can identify with.

See the rest of Jasper Behrend's portfolio


Bullying is very common in the lives of LGBTQ+ youth. Insults such as queer, gay, fairy, fag, and pansy are thrown at kids daily. 

Having had personal experience of queer friends taking their lives or attempting to take their lives due to bullying has left marks on my life, I was inspired to create this piece. 


Throughout my transition, it often feels like I am mentally transitioned but the rest of my body has yet to catch up to my identity. 

The sunflowers represent the mental growth and lack of physical growth of my identity. 

This was the first piece of my concentration which created inspiration for the rest of the collection. It is the most basic form of dysphoria and disconnection that a trans person can face. 

This piece signifies that gender is not simply anatomy nor is it physical appearance. Gender identity goes further than the surface. 

This piece is a self-portrait that shows the raw and personal moment when a transgender person takes off their binder. It is a happy moment due to the relief of the pain, but it is also a moment filled with dysphoria and often grief. 


I often feel trapped due to my assigned gender and biological genitals. It not only makes me feel like I am missing out on a lot of experiences, but also makes me feel isolated and confined within my biological sex. 

This piece represents these feelings.

Most of the pieces in my concentration highlight specific hardships of LGBTQ+ people. Being queer, especially being transgender, is often seen as "confusing" or "complicated" to those who are not LGBTQ+. This piece shows that being queer is, at its foundations, simple and pure. Love is what brings us together.



'Why Not!' Photo Exhibit Showcases The Spirit Of Drag

Continuing the work he did for his 244-page book Why Drag? last year, celebrity/drag photographer Magnus Hastings has a gallery exhibit entitled Why Not! showing at Mr. Musichead Gallery in Los Angeles.

The show includes some iconic shots from his book in addition to some exciting new images of drag queens like Sasha Velour, Ginger Minj and Glen Alen—and drag adjacent The Kiss Boyz and House of Avalon.

Hastings is a British born photographer whose had work featured in Paper Magazine, GQ, Sunday Times Magazine, Glamour Magazine (UK). He has exhibited his work in New York City and has photographed subjects in London, Sydney, and Los Angeles among many others.

According to an interview Hastings did with Paper Magazine, he grew up with the enjoyment of dressing up in girls’ clothes and playing with dolls—from this place of curiosity, Hastings has always come from a place of respect when working with the drag community. From this admiration and love, Hastings has turned his hobby into one of the most sought-after photographers on the scene.

Hastings tells said:

It's more just about boys being gay and queer. They represent me as a six years old going to school in a dress and refusing to take it off. It's about saying 'we will do what the f*** we want' and the spirit of drag.

Why Not! The drag exhibit by Magnus Hastings is available at Mr. Musichead Gallery until August 12, 2017

Here’s a little taste of Why Not! by Magnus Hastings