This month, the Museum of Arts and Design welcomed more than 700 friends to celebrate the opening of Queer Maximalism x Machine Dazzle.
It was an amazing night that captured the imagination with a twinkling display full of love and splashes of color.
Since its founding, the Museum of Arts and Design has welcomed artists who have reinvented and radically subverted traditional craft techniques in search of a more authentic self-expression,” said exhibition curator Elissa Auther, Director assistant for conservation affairs and William and Mildred. Lasdon Chief Curator at MAD. “Machine Dazzle demonstrates how costumes have the power to create a world, why unorthodox materials have become the preferred way for those outside the mainstream culture to describe themselves, and how excess can both transform and transfigure the queer body.”
Guests included Penny Arcade, Noella Bella, Mx. Justin Vivian Bond, Haleigh Ciel, President of MAD Michele Cohen with Marty Cohen, Amy Fine Collins, Duke Dang, Darlinda, John “Lypsinka” Epperson, Taylor Mac, Andrew Martin-Weber, Dirty Martini, Marsy Mittlemann, Manager of Nanette L. MAD’s Laitman Tim Rodgers, Ben Rodriguez-Cubeñas, Dan Romer, Jean Shafiroff, Christopher Tanner, Davóne Tines and MAD President Emeritus Barbara Tober.
The first solo exhibition dedicated to genre-defying artist Matthew Flower, better known as Machine Dazzle. Sequins, sequins, feathers, rhinestones and ribbons filled the Museum, as the self-taught designer shared his repertoire of set design, performance and music, showcasing the aesthetic language of gay liberation queer maximalism.
On view until February 19, 2023, the exhibition brings together nearly 100 of the artist’s creations for stage, performance and street theatre, as well as a variety of environments, ephemera, material samples , photography and video. Together they chronicle the metamorphosis of Flower, a closeted suburban kid from Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, into “Machine Dazzle”, the genius of queer experimental theatre.
Queer Maximalism x Machine Dazzle is accompanied by a 160-page catalog published by Rizzoli, as well as a film series curated by Machine Dazzle, which helped shape the artist’s aesthetic sensibility. From October, the series includes screenings of Faye Dunaway’s classic Laura Mars eyes (1978) for Halloween and Xanadu (1980) with Olivia Newton-John to mark the artist’s birthday. Film screening attendees can expect costume contests, giveaways, photo shoots and more! For more information, visit madmuseum.org.
PHOTOS PMC/GETTY PATRICK MCMULLAN AND SYLVAIN GABOUREY