Jack Smith was a pioneer of underground cinema and widely considered the founding father of American performance art and drag culture. He helped to create the “trash cinema” aesthetic, literally working sans a budget, as well as being one of the earliest directors to incorporate the DIY ethos into his filmmaking. Smith’s transgressive films, including “Flaming Creatures,” were liberated expressions of a growing sexual awareness in American culture, bringing him into conflict with government censors who labeled them as pornographic and ultimately brought about a criminal trial. His work greatly influenced experimental filmmakers such as Andy Warhol, Ron Rice, and the enigmatic Kuchar brothers, among others, and inspired a multitude of future artists. In keeping with his manic creative output, Smith was also a collaborator in John Vaccaro’s Playhouse of the Ridiculous, creating sets and costumes for the elaborate productions.
September 27, 2017
August 30, 2017