He-Man is an inspirational fellow. He inspired the creation of this site. He inspired me to stay in school and stop doing drugs and learn to read (in that order). He inspired me to become the blonde muscle-bound god I am today. Actually, that last one’s not true. (I’m not blonde at all.) So, is it any wonder that he’s also inspiring artists, photographers, sculptors and painters? (Pictured right: “The Seduction of He-Man” by Justin Winslow).
Skeletor Saves is a collective art show, featuring work from today’s top artists, all inspired by He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. The show is benefitting The Ali Forney Center, which provides housing and services to homeless LGBT youth in New York. While Mattel may be horrified by some of the more sexual depictions of the classic characters, I think He-Man would definitely approve of the cause.
It’s kind of amazing to me to see how far LGBT criticism and analysis of pop culture have come in the past decade. It wasn’t that long ago that some of us were getting banned from message boards and websites for trying to share the LGBT point of view about our childhood heroes and myths. So, to see a show like this, not only giving artists a chance to comment on a pop culture icon, but also to help the LGBT community, certainly feels like progress to me. Whether you appreciate some of the imagery or not, the conversation is important and most welcome, especially in a political landscape that would still like to send all of us back in the closet.
The Fanboys of the Universe site members caught the news of the show way before I did and flooded my inbox like the obedient and dutiful little fanboys I know and love (and sometimes stalk). Out Magazine‘s website has a nice write-up and some sample pieces of the art on display in the show. They also have this fantastic quote from curator Brian Moylan: “Skeletor is basically a big old lisping queen.” I can pretty much guarantee you’re going to see that as the next Quote of the Week.
You can also check out the Skeletor Saves Tumblr page to get more details about the show and see additional artwork. It’s not clear if all the art appearing on the Tumblr feed is part of the show, but they do have a full list of artists there as well, so be sure to check that out.
Skeletor Saves is sponsored by Slick It Up and Aaron Cobbett and curated by Brian Moylan, Bradford Shellhammer and David Mason. The show is Thursday, April 7, 6:00-10:00PM, at Headquarters Studios, located at 385 Broadway in Tribeca. A $5 donation is suggested at the door. All the works on display at the event are for sale via silent auction.
“Skeletor Rising Once Again” by Marco Ovando