Tarts, Stars, Jewels, and Fairies
Frueh, Joanna, Art Journal
Images worth remembering recall us to ourselves, in forms that are familiar and in others that dare us into luxuriant self-invention. Velvet Goldmine startles me into aesthetic/erotic self-recollection.
I have fallen in love with a luminous extravaganza, a cathedral of queer, the crew of beautiful men who love and fuck one another and sometimes women: rock stars Brian Slade and Curt Wild, teenage fan Arthur Stuart, who later in life becomes a journalist, and Jack Fairy, apocryphal descendant of Oscar Wilde.
I am their twin in lust and gender, their camp splendor and tenderness, and we are silly and deliriously gorgeous.
Promiscuous beauties Wild and Slade dispel my fear of inhabiting tartish style.
Slade shimmers like alien royalty.
Wild is a gothic aphrodisiac, fingernails polished and eyes rimmed in black, raggedy blonde hair true to his frenzied yet delicate allure.
Decked in high pink blush, Slade sings to a lily the color of peppermint ice cream. The petals expand as his breath caresses them.
This past summer, as I dwelled within temperatures near one hundred degrees and flushes characteristic of menopause, I often wore a hot pink camisole decorated with even hotter pink flowers. Flushes, that's what I called my heat, because it felt pink rather than hot flashing red. Pink is a tart's delight.
On a salmon pink carpet filled with girls' paraphernalia, Slade and Wild, played by Ken dolls, consummate their love.
A schoolgirl tart's dark gold platforms remind me of my own flat Mary Janes, the shoes I most loved as a child.
Tarts are fruit-filled, and I'm as tutti frutti as the next guy. "Tutti Frutti": a song, that became a gay anthem, by the resonantly queer rock icon Little Richard and performed by Slade in a vignette from his childhood.
The opening image is an infinity of stars-you and me? to be born through luxuriant self-invention?
Starlight, starbright, first star I see tonight
I wish I may, I wish I might, have this wish come true tonight
A spaceship delivers Wilde to Dublin from the heavenly potential-- the starstudded infinity. As a schoolboy he asserts, "I want to be a pop idol," which Wild, his virtual namesake, is in a most emotionally unbridled way.
Feathers loft and float down, filling the theater where Slade presides as if it were the starstudded infinity.
Slade is a rising and fallen star. Stuart is starstruck. While he, the young fan, and Wild fuck sweetly on a rooftop, a myriad of stars oversee the pleasure, and Wild gently urges, "Make a wish. …