Photography by Danielle Levitt
“I grew up with the ethic, ‘Work hard and hopefully something good comes of it,’” says Nix, a photojournalist-turned-artist whose very good, often post-apocalyptic dioramas are built by hand, taking seven months each to complete. The work is bleak in content but not in character: Destroyed bar stools lie alongside brightly colored, long-disused pinball machines; the head of a stone lion is surrounded by lush foliage; and a bleak, blue-red sky echoes more Rothko than Guernica. She may be obsessed with the apocalypse, but Nix retains an artist’s eye for color.
Known to most by his drag name, Tabboo!, East Village artist Stephen Tashjian has been a muse, writer, performer, puppeteer, and underground inspiration to many (RuPaul included). This year’s book, Tabboo! The Art of Stephen Tashjian — a combination of his visual art and writings, 1980s photographs, and other ephemera — does its best to capture his ebullient persona, though summing up a man who can say, “I met Andy Warhol and he took my picture and he paid for my tickets to go see Liberace at Radio City Music Hall” is no easy task.
Photographed at Fast Ashley’s Studio in Brooklyn, N.Y., on September 5, 2013