Put yourself inside the head of Newt Gingrich. (Go ahead. Dont be afraid. We wont be there long.) Now imagine what appears in his mind when he hears the phrase homosexual agenda hell, maybe even hearing San Francisco is enough to give him nightmare visions. (We hope so.) Regardless, what he envisions is probably pretty dark and scary, filled with burly men and butchy women in leather, with pierced nipples and big tattoos, acting out bizarre scenarios that involve inflicting or submitting to bondage and pain. Now imagine someone whos devoted his life to shining a bright, artistic light onto such people and what they do. Mark I. Chester photographs members of this subculture, which has existed since the middle of the 20th century and probably longer, finding beauty in what some consider horrific. We like to think that his work has helped people accept, understand and maybe even become part of an oft-misunderstood world thats still vilified and condemned even in some LGBT circles. Chester is a self-described gay radical sex photographer as well as a writer, artist, performer, and curator. His new exhibit, Doing Time on Folsom Street, spans 30 years of his fine-art fetish photography. It coincides with todays Folsom Street Fair, the world-famous epicenter of kink. Gingrichs nightmare scenario continues into the night at the fairs brand new afterparty, Deviants.
Sept. 26-Dec. 31, noon, 2010