Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Cynthia Powell and Subdivision Arts Present a Photographic Exhibition by Leee Black Childers!

"Gotta Cigarette?" This simple request opened up a new world for Leee Black Childers, a simple young country boy from Kentucky, as he ventured onto the streets of Greenwich Village. Towering over him, wearing a giant frizzy wig, extremely thick black false eyelashes, and six inch platform boots was the woman of his nightmares -- his first New York City Drag Queen! "Gotta cigarette?"

Leee didn't smoke and he didn't have a cigarette, but he soon learned that that was not a real question. There are boys in Rome,Paris, and Hong Kong who know very little more English than "Gotta cigarette?" In dark streets and alleys worldwide, that is the accepted introduction of one outlaw to another. In this twilight world of prostitutes, drag queens, thieves, pickpockets, and rent boys, Leee had found his welcome home.
He soon found a successful career in rock and roll photography going from Andy Warhol's Factory to David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust to the notorious punk Anarchy in the UK Tour, but throughout it all, he always kept photographing his favorite subjects -- drag queens and rent boys.

Sadly, like many wild creatures, they have found their natural habitat shrinking. Times Square in New York, London's Soho, and many other "seedy" urban neighborhoods are being turned into family friendly tourist spots. The outcasts found themselves being cast out! But, with remarkable resilience, they have learned to cope and adapt to the times. Leee was glad to find them with all their familiar charm and beauty on the internet. Now we can find 53rd and Third right in the comfort of our home computer screens!

In this show he features many of his favorites from past days, as well as a selection of photos of the live chat boys from the internet.

The entire show was styled and quality controlled by John Connell.

Opening Reception: Sat. Sept. 26, 6-9PM

Subdivision Art Tel: 718-482-1899
48-18 Vernon Blvd. #7 Train to Vernon Blvd.
Long Island City, NY 11101 (one stop from Grand Central Station)

1 comment:

Craig H said...

Leee is so fabulous! I interviewed him on camera for my documentary "Superstar in a Housedress" (the redhead drag queen above is Jackie Curtis, the subject of my film). His portfolio is filled with treasures that capture a New York that no longer exists.