Sunday, October 23, 2011

Queer Artist Centerfold: Xavier Axelson

Name: Xavier Axelson

Contact info:

Zodiac sign: Libra

Your medium/genre: Erotica

Describe what you do:
Write Gay Erotica that falls somewhere between romance and horror.

Turn on’s:
Confidence, accents of any kind, passion, compassion, conversation, personal style, courtesy

Turn off’s:
Bad breath, apathy, cruelty, arrogance, anyone who doesn’t like to eat

Describe your perfect date:
Dinner, the beach and lots of making out

Pet peeves:
False logic, people who are always “on” and don’t when NOT to be Fantastic.

Fave sex idol: Sharon Stone

1ST crush: Jennifer Beales

Fave music: Folk

Top movies that inspire you:
Tidus, The Fall, Requiem for a Dream, The Secret Garden, Dogville, The Nightwatch

Fave quote:
Pressure Makes Diamonds

Reading List:
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, Let’s Kill Uncle by Rohan O'Grady, The Silent Land by Graham Joyce, The Blue Aspic by Edward Gorey

One of your obsessions: Rice Pudding

Tennessee Williams, Stephen King, Elizabeth I, Peter Beagle, Carolyn See

Fave queer from history: Tennessee Williams

Most Pivotal Performance/event/etc:
My first reading at Homo-Centric

Fave performance experience:
Any chance I get to share my work and experience the work of others is my favorite.

What do you (does your art) stand for:
The belief in the male erotic sensibility

Fave prop or costume: My words

Thoughts on the LA queer art scene:
I didn’t know there was one until last year, so I think the fact it exists is truly amazing.

What is your Vision for the Queer Future:
A time when being who you are is not a novelty or a reason to be shunned, disregarded, or disrespected.

What do you see as the future for queer art:
A continued and widening sense of the queer creative sensibility. A continuing of breaking down walls, pushing boundaries and an insistence the queer voice is heard.

What are your upcoming plans/shows/events/include dates and info:
I have a new release titled The Birches out now and will be followed by a print collection of my last three novellas from Seventh Window Publications. My first two works will be released as audio books one for Christmas and the other for Valentines Day. I will also have another novella published in January titled Lily with Silver Publications.

Sample of Work

the birches

He pulled into the parking lot of The Birches and sat on his bike a minute. He felt nervous, like he was about to meet a celebrity and the self-doubt that plagued him made him queasy.
“You gonna sit outside or come in?”
Leo jumped at the sound of the man’s voice. He pulled his helmet off and looked around, but didn’t see anyone.
“Over here.”
Leo looked just past his left shoulder and saw a man emerging from the nearby woods that surrounded the little restaurant.
“Oh, hey,” Leo called out, his voice cracking.
“You looking for something to eat?” the man asked, coming closer.
Leo was shocked to find himself riveted to the spot, staring at the man who came towards him.
The man offered Leo a rough, calloused hand. “I’m Dock,”
“Hey,” Leo managed weakly.
“I was out back, picking blackberries, they grow wild around here. I thought they’d make a great dessert. Don’t know what kind of dessert, but how can you go wrong when you have stuff like this?” He said as he offered up a large, wooden bucket half-full of dark, purple black berries.
There were purple smears across Dock’s white tank top that seemed barely able to contain Dock’s impressive chest. There were several brown freckles on Dock’s shoulders, next to where the strap of tank top clung to his body.
“Lucky berries,” Leo said under his breath.
Sweat ran down Leo’s back, he felt so nervous. For a brief moment, he thought of hopping on his bike and taking off. Instead he said, “Um, nothing, sorry, I just wanted to come by and--”
“You want to come inside and have an iced tea or something?” Dock asked, “It’s hot as hell out here and I know I need to cool off.” He swiped a hand across his face and left a smudge of blackberry juice across his cheek.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Queer Artist Centerfold: Jamie Benson

photo by: Stacey Adams

Name: Jamie Benson

Contact info:

Come Find Me:
The Twitters:!/jamiebenson

Zodiac sign:
Sun in Gemini
Leo Ascendant
Moon in Aries

Your medium/genre: Dance (for the most part)

Describe what you do:
Mash up:
1 part classic dance (ballet, jazz, ballroom, modern)
1 part barbaric forms (noise, gesture, bodily fluids)
1 part vaudevillian shtick

Result: A Sort of Bastardized Broadway Experience

My aim, hell maybe my purpose in this life, is to develop a bridge brand between different performance forms in order to affirm their merit to a massive audience.

Turn on’s:
-Insatiable Curiosity
-An Inclusive Spirit
-Lithe, Strong, Active Bodies & Minds
-A Surly Sense of Humor

Turn off’s: Snobbery, Excessive Self-Involvement

Describe your perfect date:
Comedy Club, Vegan Cuisine, Light Drinking, Heavy Sexing
OR anything surprising, unexpected. (monster trucks?)

Pet peeves:
People who only talk about themselves! Being rushed

Fave music:
Quirky Electronic, Soulful 60’s & 70’s R&B, anything you’d have an itch to sing at a piano bar.

Top movies that inspire you:
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind! I love you Phillip Morris, Girl Trouble

Reading List:
Howard Gardner’s “Intelligence Reframed”
Bill Bryson’s “A Short History of Nearly Everything”
Dave Praeger’s “Poop Culture”
Jeffrey Sachs’ “Common Wealth”
Suze Orman’s “The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke”

One of your obsessions: Prosthetic Limbs

Tiny Fey, Louis C.K., Pina Bausch- any smart, successful, self-generating funny/creative type.

(1 of) Fave queer Artist(s): John Waters

Most Pivotal Performance/event/etc:
1st Performance at Highways Performance Space- I was hired for pennies by choreographers w/ legitimate backgrounds to pretend to dance as if I was water (in a very literal sense). While feeling a little silly dancing to 80's acid jazz & waving my arms around, I realized, if these hot shots are choreographing then I damn well could be too.

Places performed:
Los Angeles Theater Center (LATC) Luckman Fine-Arts Complex, Pasadena Armory, Bootleg Theater, Electric Lodge & Highways Performance Space

Dance Department, Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, WA (self-proclaimed “Juilliard of the West”)

What do you (does your art) stand for:
I rummage through the humor & profundity in everyday rituals & landscapes to discover ways to demystify the enigmatic, sometimes annoyingly cryptic, art form of dance.

Creating an alliance between the ethereal realm of dance & tangible, everyday experience creates an accessible forum for integration, not only for the dance community but the general public too.

Fucking Fun:
I make damn sure that my shows are fun.

(1 of) Fave performance experience / Fave prop or costume:
Portraying “The Shit” in our Satirical Ballet “Bowel Movement” (
I deeply loved the costume that corresponded - complete w/ kernels of corn & designed by the undeniably talented Andrae Gonzalo (
photo by: Jeannette Vidalia

For more images of the work see here (

What is your Vision for the Queer Future:
When the collective unconscious gets to a point where a dude or dudette doesn’t have to experience damage to be their own queer self. When religion is no longer used as a crutch for blatant bigotry & people realize that by encouraging others to be themselves fully, they achieve “god’s” plan. When we can let the unknown be unknown so we are free to follow the trail of human decency (etc., etc.).

What are your upcoming plans/shows/events/include dates and info:
photo by: Maggie West

October 21 & 22 2011, Highways Performance Space

In Mixed Marriages (, an evening of tragic, dance comedy, Andrae Gonzalo & I will be slamming opposing attitudes, objects & concepts together from our past & present to reveal universal themes of love & loneliness.

Due to the size of the venue & my, what seems imminent move N.Y., this event WILL sell out - may be my last show in L.A. for awhile. GET TICKETS at or RESERVE at 310-315-1459.

Note: We’re sharing the night with the remarkable Carmela Hermann & Terrence Luke Johnson & their work HOMESTRETCH. All the more reason to come!

Sample of Work:
photo by: Petra Rajnicova

Dance Reel :

Mass Transit Performance Slide Show :