"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> JAYNE COUNTY'S MAD TEA PARTY
APRIL 9, 2010,
by Pierre Skene & Richard Gatkowski
The Chelsea Hotel was trembling with excitement on April 9th as legendary transgender glam / punk Warhol Superstar Jayne County appeared on stage for a very special and rare, short set of classic anthems for her adoring NYC friends and fans. She had left her many lovely cats and the comfort of her Georgian home just two days prior to launch a special three day underground art happening, the highlight of which was the premiere exhibition of her artistic works. Jayne's art has been part of a handful of minor shows in recent years in the USA and UK but this was the first time she was the star attraction.
Jayne's one of a kind work demands a unique environment for her talent to be fully appreciated and the space used was certainly not one of your typical snooty Chelsea galleries. Kymara Lecchi Lonergan (of Kymara 21st Century Happenings) along with partners in crime Miestrom and Milo Rock acted as party hosts and transformed what was a large, gutted space next to the legendary hotel into a multicoloured and hallucinatory gallery using classic, funky underground rock and dance clubs as their inspiration ending with the perfect setting for a killer art and rock show. The rough wooden floors were covered with shiny colourful pieces of metallic aluminum and confetti while the long walls were filled with giant fluorescent graffiti. A massive mural filled with very sexually charged images was created by artist Alexander Kaminsky who was also doing body painting in the front window. In fact, according to the space's owners, the mural was so obscene they demanded the wall be repainted after the event! The large space owned by The Chelsea is one of the few spots in NY still appropriate to host events of this nature and Kymara couldn't have chosen a better place to show the world Jayne's work as an artist.
More than 20 paintings from Jayne's different artistic phases were on display for the event along with some of her classic stage costumes and wigs. The work is strong and provocative and uses a wild mix of imagery ranging from penis trees, aliens and Egyptian goddesses to ghouls and animals, all mixed together with Jayne's right on religious, political, musical and sexual views and opinions. What looks like a mix of children's crayons, brushes, pens, oil and water paint is used by the artist, almost anything really and the results are vivid and contrasting. Jayne isn't afraid to experiment with whatever she has on hand be it canvas, sheets of paper or even paper bags making the results unique and full of interesting textures.
We regular folks mingled with the likes of special guests from the underground rock and art demimonde such as Billy Name, Debbie Harry, Penny Arcade, Ultra Violet, Bob Heide, Ms. Ligaya, Ivy Nicholson, Penelope Palmer, Hoop, Colette, John Gilman, Gazelle, Isis Vermouth, Tony Zanetta and Guy Furrow from the Toilet Boys.
Billy Name recently named Jayne as one of his Ante Art Superstars along with Ruby Lynn Reiner, Ian Couch, Milo Rock, Anton Perich, Miestorm Pierre Q. Serpent, Fernando Carpaneda, Kymara Lecchi Lonergan and Prairie Prince who were all there to show their work as well. Other artists featured included Mick Rock, Christopher Lynch, Louis Waldon, Walter Steding, PunkGlobe Cover Designer extraordinaire The Floydian Device, Dave Street, Amanda Burns, Ultra Violet, Alex Kaminsky, Shepard Fairey and John Conroy.
Jayne opened the rock'n'roll portion of the evening with an unveiling of her third "Candy Darling on a Penis Cross" painting which is even more fabulous than the first two. The first version, as we all know, was stolen before a show at Manhattan's Gershwin Hotel and has yet to be returned while the second painting was sold to an antique dealer in NY. Jayne told her audience that bidding was to start at $3,000,000 - the equivalent of 15 sex changes!
She performed live accompanied by her extremely tight and well rehearsed new band, The War Holes which included Milo Rock (Agitpop) on bass, Frank Coleman (The Bentmen, The Dead Ramones, The F-Units) on drums, Bob "Toxic" Kuch (The Feak Radars, The Dead Ramones) on guitar and Ron Raymond (The Dead Ramones, The Skeevotz) on guitar.
Her fans had been waiting for her return to the NYC stage for a few years and expectations were high since live performances are extremely rare for the legend. Jayne did not disappoint. She opened her set with "Max's Kansas City" and from the first notes the crowd was in awe and bopping along. Jayne made herself comfortable and walked through the crowd while performing, all the time greeting her adoring fans! She followed "Max's" with "Man Enough To Be a Woman", new song "Rush the Magic Crackhead" and "Storm The Gates of Heaven" which hadn't been performed for over 30 years! The set closed with the lady's all-time classic "Fuck Off " which featured the night's most hilarious highlight when Jayne's good friend Tony jumped her as she frantically kicked her heels up while lying on the floor! Jayne was so freaked out that she momentarily forgot where she was in the song but quickly regained her composure and kicked back in to finish off the number. Jayne and the War Holes returned one last time to perform one encore, the classic Strangeloves nugget "Night Time" which let the band show off their rock'n'roll chops. How they only had a couple of hours rehearsal time is beyond me!
Jayne proved to all that she is still on top of her game and one of the world's most energetic, interesting, important and FUN performers.
Cameras were rolling throughout the show and captured live footage for two upcoming documentaries. Director Nicholas Abraham was in town to interview and film Jayne live for his film on her life while a second crew were around working on a film on the life of Jobriath, the first openly gay rock singer and good friend of Jayne's.
Other events during the three day Art Happening included a fashion show from "Live Fast NYC", a screening of Gorman Bechard's award-winning movie "Friends With Benefits" and live performances from the legendary Walter Steding, Dave Street and Co and The Supertones.
Jayne's live appearances may be increasingly rare but there's no doubt you'll be seeing more and more of her artwork!
For info on Jayne's artwork, please call Kymara at 207-286-7399 or email at kymara@kymara.com