A black whorl navigated by a rowboat. A luscious pair of pink lips, gaping wide. Earmuffs, a box of muffins, a crawling rodent and a wide-eyed kittycat. All at once. Such is Anthony of New York City’s intrepretation of female genitalia. Gay men draw the darndest things! Writer Shannon O’Malley and photographer Keith Wilson — the same team behind the macabre-beloved Apocalypse Cakes — have cobbled together a whimsical Tumblr of such images, donated from around the country. Plus, they invite all comers to draw vag imaginings of their own at Dolores Park Gay Beach art parties (the next one is Sept. 2, fyi.)
Why is this happening? We emailed the two to find out.
SFBG: Why are you having the gays draw vaginas?
Shannon O’Malley: I want to know what they think of vaginas. No one really knows. Sometimes gay guys say they are afraid of them. But some of them revere the vag. It’s all so complex. It’s neat to tease out all this convoluted psycho-sexual-cultural stuff through drawing. We’re collecting lots of vaginas and putting them all in a book called Gay Men Draw Vaginas, which we are self-publishing by the end of the year. We are already enthralled with the drawings we’ve collected thus far, so I can’t wait to see what the entire collection is going to look like.
Keith Wilson: As a gay myself, I wanted to see what other homos thought about the lady part that baffles us. Aside from some amazing visual insights into the vagina, it’s also led to some entertaining (and important!) conversations about the vagina versus the asshole and how one is gross but the other is to be worshipped. Sometimes they turn into heated arguments about gay men’s disrespect for women’s bodies and gay male social power blah blah blah. Awesome.
SFBG: Where have you held the drawings?
KW: I hold them between my legs.
SO: Recently, we held a mass public collection at Castro and Market one Sunday. And we’ve had one at my house. That was a party that happened to be full of a lot of guys, so I put pens and markers in front of them and asked them to whip up some vaginas. But spontaneous vag art can happen at any time, at any place.
SFBG: How would you characterize the vagina drawings you’ve seen?
SO: A lot of them attempt to visually replicate a vagina. But a minority are more conceptual. We have several dentatas. Lots of flowers. Some are on the rag.
KW: The drawings so far have been way more diverse than I thought. As we build our inventory, I see some categories of inspiration emerging: animals, Georgia O’Keefe, the all-pink palette, floral, and gestural.
Gay Men Draw Vaginas Drawfest #2
Sept. 2, 1pm, free
Gay Beach, Dolores Park