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Interview: “Pushing The Illusion” The Art of Jose A Guzman Colon: Opening in LA at Pop tART Gallery 4/26

A glamour meteor is about to hit Los Angeles! If you are familiar with the art and beauty that photographer Jose A Guzman Colon creates, you know he doesn’t  do anything small. Just one week away at POP tART GALLERY in Los Angeles, Jose A Guzman Colon is so thrilled to announce his first solo show called “Pushing The Illusion: The ART of Jose A Guzman Colon” featuring his new work with some of your favorite gals from RuPaul’s Drag Race and many other lovelies from around the globe. We have seen the list and our jaw hit the floor!

Jose tells Accidental Bear,”I always wanted to capture the star quality of the girls. The hardest part so far of putting the show together was timing and getting the girls because they are all so busy. The hardest ones to track down right now are Sharon Needles and Chad Michaels, but I am going forward with blind faith that it will happen.” The show will be happening at the Pop tART Gallery in Korea time which Jose tells that “Korea Town has been the hottest spot for artists, I don’t want to say trendy but, it is the place for artists and new things that are happening right now.”

Jose goes on to tell Accidental Bear that he is excited for the opening because  he has some pieces that he hasn’t shown some of the  queens from previous shoots and is excited for them to see them. He then leaks to us that a certain well known individual takes it all off for him which was really nice because he is all about gender bending. “To push the boundaries between sensuality, sexuality  and gender is a big part of who I am” says Jose.

Jose stated, “It isn’t just about me just Pushing the Illusion with my gal pals, but also for the individuals that come to the gallery to question not just what they see on the wall, but themselves.”

“So, what’s it like having this type of show in LA instead of our gender bending loving city of San Francisco?” we asked.

“Here in LA it is a little trickier because you have to mold into the idea of  what “drag from my experience, but what I have found is, the more I spend time here (LA), there are “like”  people down here, they just don’t do it at the level that some of these other queens do it. There is a huge hungry culture for that here and in a way it almost becomes this amazing underground scene that’s just not talked about as much and that excites me!”

Accidental Bear,”Will Putanesca (Jose’s drag performing name) ever show up again, in a possible self-portrait?”

Jose, “Ohhh no! Puta is a thing of the past. For me, I don’t want to have to rely on photo shopping my way through the rest of my drag career.”

Accidental Bear, “Is the opening going to be a big red carpet event?”

Jose, “I don’t want it to be about celebrity, I want it to be more about the experience. I don’t want people to feel like they are under or over a level and I want it to be accessible for everybody.”

Accidental Bear, ” What’s the one thing you want people know about the show?”

Jose,”I want people to know that it’s called Pushing the Illusion and I want people to come and see how far we pushed the girls. For some  of the girls it was easier than others and for some I was just glad to shoot them. You’re going to see some elements of different styles of drag and you might be lucky enough to talk with one of the queens that are on the wall and you will be able to ask them how the experience was. Then it becomes a greater form of art because not only are you going to be able to discuss the pieces with me but you will be able to talk with the models themselves. It’s going to be very badass!”

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In 2010, art director turned photographer Guzman-Colon successfully co-published a pictorial exploration of trans-gender glamour with Marianne Larochelle entitled “Glam Gender.” In his first ever solo exhibition, Guzman-Colon explores his keen and poignant work by capturing one of the largest collection of television drag stars, club personalities, and trans-culture based artists in moments of “realness.” This photographic experiment will take the subject beyond their comfort zone by challenging them to question the safety of previous photographic experiences and their own persona as it stands in popular culture today. The outcome of such an exploration yields to the observer a deconstruction of the subject’s persona and a transformation of the traditional portrait.

Each subject has been carefully chosen as a paradigm of queer pop culture perhaps constructed more by media than themselves. It is through the decomposition that Guzman-Colon intends to reconstruct the subject and create a new sense of identity stronger than they originally had anticipated. It is throughout the subject’s own vulnerability that Guzman-Colon creates an undiscovered portrait of an already extended version of the subject as a drag queen, club or flamboyant personality. Hence, pushing the illusion of their own idea of themselves as a performance artist.

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