Yesterday, Stephen Saban posted the following item. I just wanted to pound it into your head a couple more times.
"On Saturday, May 30, the "Bettie Page: Heaven Bound" show at the World of Wonder Storefront Gallery comes to an end. As a final sendoff, we'll be hosting a Bettie Page lookalike contest judged by the show's curator Lenora Claire, RuPaul's Drag Race panelist Santino Rice, and legendary Andy Warhol superstar Joe Dallesandro. "Like Bettie," says Lenora, "Joe was a muse who redefined sexuality for an entire generation." (We hope to see you arrive dressed to thrill; prizes include gift certificates for the Bettie Page store and assorted Page paraphernalia.) Also that night, which gets underway at 8PM and continues until 11PM, Bettie Page artist Olivia will be signing copies of her books. They're real Page-turners."
On Saturday, May 30, the "Bettie Page: Heaven Bound" show at the World of Wonder Storefront Gallery comes to an end. As a final sendoff, we'll be hosting a Bettie Page lookalike contest judged by the show's curator Lenora Claire, RuPaul's Drag Race panelist Santino Rice, and legendary Andy Warhol superstar Joe Dallesandro. "Like Bettie," says Lenora, "Joe was a muse who redefined sexuality for an entire generation." (We hope to see you arrive dressed to thrill; prizes include gift certificates for the Bettie Page store and assorted Page paraphernalia.) Also that night, which gets underway at 8PM and continues until 11PM, Bettie Page artist Olivia will be signing copies of her books. They're real Page-turners. (Photo: Selene Luna as Bettie Page by Austin Young)
Yesterday LAist ran a series of marvelous pictures from our "Bettie Page: Heaven Bound" tribute Saturday night. The photographer, Tom Andrews, just sent me these NEVER BEFORE SEEN pics (!!!!), and now I'm sharing them with you. (That's me on the spanking machine, btw.)
At the "Bettie Page: Heaven Bound" opening party at the World of Wonder Storefront Gallery, James St. James corners Dita Von Teese in the line to the ladies' room. They then have a spirited conversation about everything from Austin Young's portrait of Perez Hilton as Bettie Page to Dita's story about the time Bettie invited her to church.
Joshua Harron puts the finishing touches on the World of Wonder Storefront Gallery windows. Guest curator Lenora Claire's "Bettie Page: Heaven Bound" opens this Saturday, May 2nd, from 8PM to midnight.
Julie Wolfson from LAist interviewed Lenora Claire today about the Bettie Page: Heaven Bound tribute happening this Saturday (8 PM to midnight). You can read the entire interview HERE, and a sample below:
LAist: "The show opens May 2- World of Wonder is well known for their colorful opening night parties. What are you going to wear?"
Lenora: "Something that won't split when I get on the spanking machine. It's true, not only do we have Bettie's actual heels in the show but we a real working spanking machine. So something black and slinky and good for spanking would be the honest answer."
LAist: "What are some of the pieces of art that are included in the show?"
Lenora: "Well, there are over twenty years of beautiful Bettie by Olivia pieces and she's also created eight brand new watercolors just for the show that are some of my favorite of all time.
Bunny Yeager has five pieces that are some of Bettie's most iconic images including a spectacular huge 40x60 piece of Bettie with a cheetah. Austin Young has created multiple celebrities as Bettie pieces including Perez Hilton, Margaret Cho, Cassandra Peterson aka Elvira, Jane Weidlin from the GoGo's, Jessicka from Jack off Jill and Scarling, Selene Luna from the Cho Show, and a really hilarious one of me spanking myself dressed as Bettie.
Marla Rutherford who recently shot me for the USA Character Project ad campaign that landed my face on everything from the pages of Vanity Fair to billboards in Times Square photographed reigning queen of pinup Bernie Dexter in such a way I think people will have a hard time believing it was all done in camera without the aid of photoshop or any effects.
Colin Christian has created an amazing sculptural piece and Spencer Davis made a Booty Babe Bettie doll. Fashion legend Mathu Anderson photographed a vintage doll as a bound Bettie and Ed Mironiuk created a beautiful portrait of saint Bettie complete with angels bringing her high heels. Steve Diet Goedde photographed fetish diva Midori in Bettie Page's actual gloves. Claudette Barjoud pieces are amazingly cute and Jason Sallin's black velvet Bettie is very cool."
"Bettie Page: Heaven Bound" guest curator Lenora Claire stands in front of an ENORMOUS signed Bunny Yeager print. "Bunny was a former model in the 1940s and 50s, who started photographing pin-up girls," explains Lenora. "And because she was a model herself, she had an inherent knack for getting the right poses, and making the girls feel comfortable naked. This picture is from one of her most famous series of Bettie shoots ever. It was taken in 1954 at a wild African park in Florida, And yes, that's a real leopard. I love that she doesn't look scared at ALL. She looks like she's just sexin' it up!" Also in the show are several other signed B & W 16 x 20 Bunny Yeager photos for sale that haven't been seen since the 1950s.
"Bettie Page: Heaven Bound" is being hung in the World of Wonder Storefront Gallery, ready for this Saturday's grand opening reception. Pictured above variously are superstar artist Olivia, curator Lenora Claire, masked gallery co-curator Thairin Smothers, and a Bettie Page mannequin in '40s-style underwear. "Bettie Page: Heaven Bound" opens this Saturday at 8PM. (More details here.)
The picture above is of the World of Wonder Storefront Gallery's guest curator, Lenora Claire, spanking HERSELF (dressed as the 50s fetish model, Bettie Page) in a photo by celebrity photographer Austin Young. As she tells it, the seeds of her obsession with Bettie, started long, long ago, in a place far, far away from Hollywood:
"As a teen growing up in the Valley who didn't fit the typical tan,
impossibly thin, beauty standard, Bettie Page helped shape both my
sexuality and literal (or would figurative be more appropriate) shape as
my awareness of her lead me in to the world of corsetry, impossibly high
heels, and other essential elements of my personal (and sometimes painful)
style. While my taste, as well as cup size, has grown and changed it's been
really wonderful to get this opportunity to reconnect and remember why
Bettie was so important to me then, as well as see her go from fetishized
cult cutie to full blown legend. I first became aware of Olivia at the age
of 15 when I snuck behind the curtain at Golden Apple and saw her gorgeous painting of Julie Strain (who I later worked with in the film the Devil's Muse) on the cover of the now definitive but defunct Tease magazine (I later became the Tease girl in ads a few years later.) From that point on I
was completely obsessed with her work, and my teenage bedroom (seen HERE) was covered with her images, as well as photos of Bettie. I never in a million years ever imagined that I would get to pose for Olivia (see image HERE) or get to work so closely with her on a project like this Bettie
show. Olivia is an absolute goddess worshiped by
everyone from Hugh Hefner (an original Olivia piece appears in every issue
of Playboy) to the amazing models she's worked with Pamela Anderson,
Courtney Love, Margaret Cho, Dita, etc. While Bettie is a muse to many,
nobody has captured her charms better than Olivia. I really can't wait for
her to reveal her new work including some impossibly beautiful watercolors at the May 2nd opening of Bettie Page: Heaven Bound."
The "Name that 'Toon" exhibit ends its successful run tonight, with an intimate closing night mixer. Stop by the World of Wonder Storefront Gallery from 6-9 PM, meet the artists as they pick up their work, have a glass of wine, and maybe purchase a piece of (discounted?) art. Then, of course, tomorrow we begin gearing up for one of our biggest shows yet: "Bettie Page: Heaven Bound," a tribute to the late, great fetish model, featuring the art of Olivia! (Opening May 2nd)
For the "Bettie Page: Heaven Bound" exhibit at the World of Wonder Storefront Gallery (starting May 2), photographer Austin Young photographed several celebrities posing as Bettie. Can you guess who these lovely ladies are beneath their Bettie bangs?
Happy birthday, Bettie Page. She was the bewitching, leather-clad beauty in Wink, Eyeful, Titter, Beauty Parade, and other "lad mags" of the 1950s, as well as 8- and 16-mm fetish films of the period. You've seen them. You know her. Now the World of Wonder Storefront Gallery is busy preparing for its big art show in tribute to her, featuring the fabulous paintings of the world-renowned artist Olivia (and special guests!). The show, "Bettie Page: Heaven Bound," guest-curated by the gorgeous Lenora Claire, opens on Saturday, May 2, with an 8PM-to-midnight reception. Be sure to get there early, it's going to be FAAAABULOUS!