When we bumped into Justin Vivian Bond going to see jazz legend Marilyn Maye perform (at a mere 92 years young), we wrongly assumed that was their reason to be in PTown. Mx Bond was actually here for the Opening of their rather stunning latest Art Exhibition : 69 Witch Eyes at the AMP GALLERY.
Most of the paintings are the magical left eye of people that have made significant contributions to the queer community and have inspired Bond over the years They said “these are the eyes of real people, people who stand up to bullies and who defend others, or they are abstract eyes I have ‘tranneled’
They were inspired by none other than Joan Crawford who legend has it (!) was asked by director Robert Aldrich when filming Autumn Leaves in 1959 if she could cry. The Academy Award winning actress is reported to have said ‘Out of which eye?”
Crawford also deserves her place in this Exhibit as it was she who rushed to support the movie actor Billy Haines when he was fired by Hollywood for being gay. Haines became a very successful interior thanks to Ms Crawford both employing him and promoting his talents. It was good to see that Haines’ eye was also featured in this Exhibit alongside that of his patron.
Mx Justin Vivian Bond has a remarkable string of talents to their name besides their art : actor, teacher, writer, formerly part of the punk rock duo Kiki and Herb, Bond is also a leading trans activist.
69 Witch Eyes runs at AMP Gallery until mid October, and is one of the very few shows in PTown this summer that deservedly sold every single piece by the time the Opening Night finished. Still go see why it was the East End’s hottest ticket of the 2020.