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Rex Drawings for The Mineshaft on T-shirts

by our Editors in Theatre, Art & Expo , 15 november 2015

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

The artist working under the name Rex is one of the most legendary contemporary gay artists, and is known for his laborious monochrome ink dot technique and his very explicit depictions of excesses in the SM and fetish scene. His work is considered so “perverse” that it was not included in the recently published Bruno Gmünder coffee table book “Stroke: From Under the Mattress to Out in the Open,” even though this is dedicated to erotic and pornographic gay artists from the second half of the twentieth century, taking their works from the hidden into the public domain.

Few people know that Rex has been living in Amsterdam for the past five years. Last year, he had his first exhibition in the Dutch capital. Those who are familiar with the art world know that life as an artist certainly is not easy, especially in a niche-of-a-niche-market as extreme gay artist. Rex has to struggle to afford his housing in Amsterdam, and is slowly eating up his reserves. It remains to be seen if he can stay in Amsterdam, even though he feels very much at home in the city. He is now working on a panorama that is inspired on Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch,” which takes place in the dark room of the Cuckoo’s Nest. An old friend of his from San Francisco has released three black T-shirts on the market, with the posters he once made for the legendary New York bar The Mineshaft.

The Mineshaft, which was closed in 1985 by order of the city, was the “sleaziest backroom bar in the city.” This is how it was characterized later in a study on the American gay rights movement, and it operated “at the extreme edge of gay male culture.” Rex remembered that people in The Mineshaft “wandered through a kind of sexual Disneyland where each new room presented a change in sexual atmosphere” and that “dark red theatrical lighting [...] flattered all who attended and helped suspend dis-belief in the sexual performances going on around you. [...] The Mineshaft was the pits where men abandoned inhibitions and lived out their darkest sexual fantasies in a non-judgmental space.”

The profits generated by the T-shirts could support a longer stay in Amsterdam. Information on ordering and sizes, but also everything on the history of the Mineshaft, can be found on Rex’s website

Unfortunately the shipping costs are considerable, as they do not seem to go below twenty-six dollars at First Class US International. A possible solution is to order all three at the same time, because those T-shirts are a great fetish gift for the upcoming holidays!



In the New Issue of Gay News, 331, maart 2019

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