color binds

Candis Cayne + The White Queers Bathing In Blackface

If Candis Cayne reaches back to the 1970s and finds an actual Blaxploitation figure to mimic for photographer Mike Ruiz — OF A-LIST: NEW YORK OMGZ!!! — can she get away with donning an afro and blackface without everybody finding it terribly offensive? Or do white folk, even those who know first-hand the type of minstrelshowness that goes hand-in-hand with being a minority, need to lay off the dark make-up?

In the above clip from James St. James web show, we see Ruiz working on one of his “Transformation” shoots with Cayne, who’s dolled up to play 1970s Blaxploitation icon Cleopatra Jones, who was played in two films by the late Tamara Dobson. Dobson was black. Candis is white. Does ironically playing in the sandbox of Blaxploitation give you a pass?

Or is this just what all the clever queers are doing now?

AJ Sarcione, a MTV publicist-cum-singer, has his spinning ladies in all sorts of blackface in his new “Rochambeau” video. Art?


UPDATE: When asked about the use of blackface in his video, Sarcione responds: “The three girls in the video represent silhouettes. Their look was created to make them uniform, to showcase the personality in their eyes, not the way they look, makes the connection. For artistic merit, they’re differentiated by different types of wigs and have different colored lips to accentuate the words of the song as they sing along, and matching heels to highlight the spinning action of the bikes.”