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Art Shred: Performance Art Piece with El Celso

March 4, 2010

Yesterday I served as artist Celso’s assistant in his performance art piece Art Shred, during which we shredded about $19,000 worth of art. (The phrase “x dollars worth of art” is itself somewhat questionable, but considering the current state of the art in question, a re-appraisal would be impracticable).

From Celso’s Flickr set






And here’s a gallery of more photos of me shredding people’s hard, hard work.

Photos from the Williamsburg Spelling Bee Finals

December 17, 2009

Congratulations to Wilson Southerland and all our finalists, and thanks to Eric Walton for the photography.

All (well, most) of the Finalists!

The top three!

The bee starts up again on February 1, 2010 — save the date!

Photos from the New York City Spelling Bee

November 3, 2009

Winners! Bobby is a vampire nerd and I’m Spellvira, Queen of the Dark. However, after spending about an hour getting into my “costume,” I realized I still looked pretty much the way I always do.

These women are dressed as a misplaced modifier (“I only have eyes for you”) and a “cereal comma.” Ha!

Visit for future Manhattan-based orthographical bacchanalia!

New York City Spelling Bee Photo

July 21, 2009

Thanks to photographer Rob Goldberg! Click here for the set, featuring winner Dominique Vance and 30+ other sesquipedalian spellers.

Quick Photo Post

May 4, 2009

From the NYC Spelling Bee (photos by Gina Rini) and Chelsea Mind Games.




The contestant above is trying to descramble “A BARD SOB” into the name of a country. (Hint: Rihanna).

One-Woman Show Pics

February 23, 2009

My show went great! Thanks to everyone who came! And god bless Abbi Crutchfield for taking pictures!

Here is Abbi’s photo set. If you watch it in slideshow mode, it’s almost like being there, except without all those stupid “words.”

All photos by Abbi Crutchfield. Toga by Emily Pepper. Directing by Evan Cabnet. Slideshow operation by Syd Bernstein. Goodness by Ars Nova.











Man-Pageant Results and Photos

December 8, 2008

Welcome to the most delicious night of my life! Flickr photoset here.

The judges were on their marks — allow me to present:


Winner Nick Tong!


From Twanna – Madame X (and Gabe going in).


Look at me, drinking moderately and keeping my organic lipstick fresh.


Bon-Bon Boy Zack can now add “professional flirter” to his modeling resume.


Orion’s such a cutie!


From Twanna – The Official Ballot!


From Twanna – I’m satiny.


With my college friends Jamie and Cara.


The talent round: Roosevelt’s fists move like lightning! Intense!


The hair! The satin pants! Gabe says he got them on eBay.


Dave gets the comedy seal of approval.


Michael’s barely breathing… others are breathing heavily.


When Moises gets that feeling, he wants … sexual healing.


Nick sings “Blue Christmas,” sounding remarkably Elvis-like, with a vibrato that prompted massive swooning. I was doing some official business at the back of the party when Nick started singing, and I actually said “Oh, my god!” and pushed through the crowd to get closer to the stage.


Foot massages for all the ladies!


Members of our esteemed judging pool, plus friends!


You WILL cuddle with Papi Shank, and it will be the most hardcore cuddle you have ever had.


Davon and his tiny dog are extremely cuddly.


Hipster hottie Gabriel takes it off, as Abbi looks alarmed!


Nice abs!


Dave was demonstrating his skill of never missing anything on the grocery list. Romantic!


This is so cute I could die. He looks like he is ready to cuddle RIGHT NOW, competition be damned.


Oh, Lorenzo — this poet has spent some time in the gym!


Nick contemplates, as a horde of hungry women demand that he take his shirt off.




The sound of forty women’s bodies simultaneously producing physiological responses designed to promote the continuance of the species.


From Twanna – Wow, this group shot got intense! I was pulled in at the last second — there I am on Michael’s lap.


After “Happy Birthday” is sung, I make a heartfelt, slightly tipsy speech about how I moved to New York five years ago with $400 in my pocket, and now there’s a Man-Pageant. I apparently said something about women echolocating like dolphins towards the sexy.


Oh, how I pontificate! Actually, everyone wanted to know where I found the guys. Craigslist.


Time for the winners! Davon Livingston is crowned “Mr. Cuddly.”


Dave Lester is runner-up! Abbi says “It’s looking very chocolate up here!”


And, in a clean sweep (winning with — I’m not joking — 69 points), Nick Tong wins! He gets $200 and our adoration. Revelry ensues!


Abbi refers to Nick as “honorary chocolate.”


The winners! Dave waves like Queen Elizabeth.

That’s it! Massive thanks to emcee Abbi Crutchfield, Syd and Eve, our judges, Twanna for all the blog and photo coverage, and, of course, Roosevelt, Moises, Lorenzo, Davon, Michael, Dave, Gabriel, and Nick!

See you next year — schedules permitting, Nick will be back to crown the new winner. I’ll see if I can get him to reprise “Blue Christmas.”

pics from last night’s Sex and Candy book party

December 15, 2007

The book!

The cupcakes!

RKB, me, and Molly

I hand-strung those candy necklaces so they would hang concentrically.

at Molly Crabapple’s Dr. Sketchy’s art opening

December 3, 2007

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DSC_0512, originally uploaded by brianvan.

If I were a celebrity, someone would add an arrow to this photo and the legend “Baby Bump!” I think I was just standing weird to get closer to the lovely Lady J.

The Tour: Monday and Tuesday

February 28, 2007

Cross-posted from Molly and Jen’s Tour Blog:

And now, I present you with photographs, in rough chronological order, much like the multiple choice questions on the AP US History exam.

From my show on Monday at New Orleans-themed bar, The Red & The Black:

The Palace of Wonders is a vaudeville and sideshow-themed venue which, amazingly, happens to be directly next door to The Red & The Black, which neither of us knew when we booked our shows. From Molly’s Dr. Sketchy’s on Tuesday at The Palace of Wonders with Amber Ray (who took the bus down from New York and will be here til Friday):

Look, we’re not saying we’re good photographers. World, listen to us: our job is to BE photographed! How did this happen that we’re taking photos of each other’s with my circa 1997 digital camera? OTHER people are supposed to do that and then email us impossibly flattering photos of ourselves. If you have a degree in a subject that ends in the word “theory,” come along and “other” us.

To conclude, here are some things I have learned so far:

  • Free red beans and rice with two-drink minimum is a fantastic policy for a bar. Several times throughout Monday night, I’d see someone look over at someone else’s food and say “Rrr, one more drink and that’ll be free!” (I’m pretty sure you could buy two drinks for less than the price of buying the red beans and rice outright)
  • In DC, many streets are named with letters and numbers, which implies a logical grid system. There is, in fact, a logical grid system. However, if you are accustomed to New York’s different but also logical grid system, in which, for instance, if you go west on E 42nd St, it will turn into W 42nd St., you will be very disappointed when you, in your Ford Taurus rental, drive east on 12th St NW hoping to get to 12th St NE.
  • Even burlesque dancers’ areolas are not immune from body makeup.


Spectacular, Spectacular

December 9, 2005

My inbox keeps filling up with photos. Adira referred to the “paparazzi” at the show, which I thought was funny. From Gary Winter:

Molly at the merch table, looking ladylike
Here are some of Brian Van’s photos, with annotation:

Adira Amram! This cutie sold a bunch of CDs.

“Lusty Lady” Rachel Kramer Bussel!

Megan, El Orangina, me looking very surprised!

more fantastic photos of the Spectacular

December 8, 2005

Some of my favorites are below, annotated. For the whole set, go here:
Jenisfamous Birthday Spectacular photos by Semyon. Semyon knows what to do with lighting! He has made everyone I love look pretty.

Have you ever seen anything as cute as Singing Sadie?

Al Duvall was charming and funny!

y las flores did a gorgeous set.

I admired this man’s mustache.

Megan and I are BFF! I love this photo.

The one, the only, Baron Vaughn.

I have been working out my calves.

Yes. This is the kind of party I throw. I adore this woman.

I have been made to look elegant, rather than tipsy.
I think this photo symbolizes the goodness of my world right now.
A huge thank-you to Semyon.

Related posts:

birthday photos by Gary Winter
love and alcohol
Jenisfamous Birthday Spectacular (best enjoyed responsibly)
i can’t believe I got so drunk at my party
swan song
there is more to this joke, but I think you’ll have to come hear it in person
I’m sure my mom will also email me about this
Yes, of course it is free, my new acquaintances!
Tuesday, December 6th: I formally request the honour of your presence

birthday photos by Gary Winter

December 8, 2005

Gary must have, conservatively speaking, five thousand photos of me and Molly by now. Thanks, Gary!

Related posts:

my, but i have funny expressions
an ode to the Girdle Factory
good things cooking in the easy-bake oven of life
It looks like a cigar, but it’s a feather duster
I’m actually live-blogging from Schaffer the Darklord’s show
Feast on figs and halal chickens! Buy detective novels in Urdu!
eyes are the windows to the heart of darkness

my, but I have funny expressions

May 17, 2005

From my show at Caroline’s this past Saturday. Photos by Gary Winter, the man who never leaves his house without a camera.

and maybe now we could make women’s clothing entirely from cufflinks!

April 29, 2005

I’m going to be in a fashion show for La Croix accessories next Tuesday. Here’s a picture from the last show I did for La Croix (the handbag is La Croix; the halter top made of neckties is made by, um … someone who makes halter tops out of neckties).

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