Culture Fix

Queer Artist Anthony Iacono Invites You to Pick Up HIs Lower East Side “Telephone” to Find the Miniature Drag Queens


I met artist Anthony Iacono at the popular Lower East Side gallery, Sloan Fine Art, where his piece, “Harry Pinkwood,” is currently on display in the +1 Group Exhibition of Small Works. Anthony’s first show at Sloan Fine Art was a series of photographs called “Victor Victoria.”

I wanted to check out Anthony’s work at the Sloan and learn more about the visual artists involved in the upcoming Telephone series at Culturefix gallery so I headed down to the Lower East Side. Culturefix has teamed up with the Overturn Theatre Ensemble to co-curate an exhibition of food, music, art, and theatre from July 14th-July 24th.

In the spirit of the children’s game, Telephone, chef Ari Stern created a dish called “Chinese Whispers,” which was served to Michael Vincent Waller who then composted “Tone Over Tone,” featuring violinist Erica Dicker. Sixteen visual artists listened to Waller’s music and created artwork inspired by this song and passed them along to sixteen playwrights who then wrote sixteen half-hour plays. Anthony created a new piece of artwork for Telephone, and I wrote one of the plays.

I met up with Anthony during the last few days of his “Victor Victoria” show and got the inside scoop. A queer artist born in Nyack, New York, Anthony studied at Massachusetts College of Art and Design and the School of Visual Arts. He has exhibited his painting, sculpture, and photography in group exhibitions at Daniel Cooney Fine Art, Visual Arts Gallery, and Greenpoint Gallery.

When Anthony listened to “Tone Over Tone,” he reflected on work from his “Anonymous” and “Second Helping” series and came up with the idea for Telephone. “I always have a set idea of what my work’s about,” Anthony told Queerty, “and I don’t want to just give it all away.” Leaning in closer, he whispered, “like I don’t want to tell people that the miniature people in my artwork are drag queens but it’s sort of implied. For the Telephone exhibition it’s all about interpretation as well as misinterpretation. Things are always obvious to us but when you show something to an audience they will sometimes interpret it in a completely different way.”

Interesting and engaging work always stems from dialogue and collaboration between artists of different mediums. The spirit of Telephone is a celebration of the creative spirit of artistic interpretation. It’s a homage to the collaborations of the likes of Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Laurie Anderson, Jasper Johns, and Trisha Brown.

The opening reception for Telephone (which includes yours truly) is Thursday, July 14th, from 7-10pm at Culturefix, with readings every  night from July 17-24, 6:30-8pm.

If you’re heading down to the Lower East Side for Telephone, make a night of it and grab a bite at The Stanton Social, ‘inoteca vino e cucina,or Schiller’s Liquor Bar.

Afterwards a few drinks at Culturefix, head over to Eastern Bloc, The Urge, or Phoenix where you’ll definitely run into some of the artists, writers, performers (or that cute boy in the front row) from the show.


Images courtesy of Overturn Theatre Ensemble and Anthony Iacono