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Wild Things Come Out To Play


THE MIXER | EVENTS

Wild Things Come Out To Play At 46th Annual Village Halloween Parade, NYC

NYC-based photographer Erin Teresa Browning finds that the most comfortable place for her to exist is behind the camera.

More often than not, cameras serve as a social ice breaker for artists who are on the shy side. Photographers create their own worlds and oftentimes see beauty in things or moments that others would hardly pay any attention to. It’s not easy to capture the spirit of the event. You have to be able to blend in, almost becoming a spirit yourself. If Tyra Banks were the judge of an event photography competition, she might have put it this way: “It’s like you are there, but make it ‘not there.’”

Erin Teresa’s work is clear evidence of her eerie ability to become one with the energy she’s out to capture, and it’s a sight to see. We couldn’t think of a better person to capture the essence of this year’s NYC Village Halloween Parade, and are happy to be able to publish her hauntingly beautiful images. Read below as Erin describes her work and her coverage of the 46th edition of the annual parade.

Wild Thing

I am always photographing events around NYC and am inspired by the energy of group expression. I find the reasons that people come together endlessly fascinating. Sometimes positive, at times confrontational, but always a common interest running through, connecting each person. I especially enjoy those where people are expressing themselves through dress, articulating their identity or fantasy identity. There is a transformation that takes place within and radiates out. I thrive on the creativity of people that revel in self-expression, those that are brave and unique individuals. As someone that is not always comfortable in my own skin, I greatly admire people that own their identity in any capacity that makes them whole.

I am continuously inspired by embellished beauty: feathers, fringe, beads, makeup and sparkles, leather and heels, and all the varying ways of adorning oneself. Speaking to beauty – what I mean is all the interpretations of that word – beauty is completely unique to each individual and I celebrate every iteration of that expression.

I shoot predominantly with an old Nikon F2 35mm film camera. When I am out and about or at an event it is inevitable that I am approached by several seasoned, old-time photographers who want to talk to me about my camera. They share stories of the old such-and-such film camera they used way back when, and applaud my use of analog photography. I usually keep to myself when I’m out shooting, unless I’m asking a subject’s permission to photograph them, and one of my goals as a photographer is to get better at building connections with people. I love the camaraderie of photographers at the events I’m shooting and enjoy the opportunity to come out of my shell and share a love of picture making. The Village Halloween Parade was no different. I had a group of Egyptian Pharaohs who were very enthusiastic about my choice of analog photography and wished me luck and fun after sharing their amazement that I was shooting with film. An older gentleman talked to me endlessly about several people he had worked with in the past who would have loved and or had my camera, and he himself wanted to have an F2 in his collection – I smiled then politely moved on. Then there was the real camera fanatic that wanted a picture of my picture taker!

This year’s parade theme was Wild Things, and people did not disappoint. Everyone fully embodied their characters and creatively played up to the cameras. I happily accepted the death threat from an ax-wielding Patrick Bateman, the eerie eye contact of a trumpet-playing flying monkey, the hand of a larger-than-life skeleton reaching down from above, aliens and pumpkin-head monsters, Wild Things taller than the streetlights, Ghostbusters, unicorns, squirrels, zombies, ravens, and black-horned beasts. Some people chose to be beautiful Wild Things with beaded masks, some went as sequined dancers wielding snapping rope whips, snapping so close I thought for sure I was going to get hit.

Some chose the expression of sound – a trio of horn players, a solo trumpet blower, the Demolition Brass Band, The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps marching band, drummers keeping beat as the living dead. In any event of this magnitude there is inevitably a waiting period throughout the evening for marchers and floats. The booming music coming from the idling floats, live musicians, drumming troupes, the Ghostbusters theme song on repeat, a culmination of all the noise and music whirls all up into a fervor keeping the energy high as participants await their chance to strut their Halloween best. Spirits were high, murderous, creepy, sinister, innocent, and fun. It was a night to be out in NYC!

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Categories
Nightlife The Mixer

Susanne Bartsch’s “Valley Of The Dolls” Halloween

THE MIXER | NIGHTLIFE


Plastic Fantastic At Susanne Bartsch’s “Valley Of The Dolls” Halloween Party At MoMA PS1

Susanne Bartsch’s Valley of the Dolls Halloween party at MoMA PS1 delivered the full plastic fantasy once again with a menagerie of nightlife’s most extravagant muses, set to various dioramic displays arranged almost like rooms in a dollhouse.

Every year Barstch throws a Halloween party at MoMA PS1, which, as one of the largest and most premier national institutions dedicated to contemporary art, serves as the perfect setting for Bartschland’s menagerie of some of New York’s best visual artists, socialites, and nightlife muses: people who dress up almost every week, not just on Halloween. 

For me, attending the party with backstage access and having a rapport with so many of the artists I have respected for so long was a moment of ascendancy and a reminder of how far I’ve come. The long list of hosts and attendees included – just to name a few – icons such as Ryan Burke, Linux, Pissy Pussy, Muffy, Brandon Olson, J Rosa, Angel Rivers, Jessica Relinda, Princess of Chinatown, Jeffrey Scott, Bob Bottle, Vile Sanchez, Cami Montoya, CT Hedden, Kyle Farmery, Lola Von Rox, and Blaire Jirousek.

With such a heavily attended event full of people in looks for the Halloween festivities, I couldn’t possibly list everyone that made the party so memorable. It’s like when you know what people are capable of in their visual artistry, and then they all simultaneously show you exactly what they can do. As a photographer, it was optical overload. I was racing from place to place just trying to capture everyone I could before the end of the night, while finding time to enjoy myself and drink enough alcohol to really get the creative juices flowing.

I dressed as Andy Warhol, who more or less originated the propagation of the idea that anyone can win fifteen minutes of fame in a media landscape that thrives on promotability. He called his muses “superstars,” and in a way that’s exactly how I see so many of the people on the New York scene. Regardless of online following or social clout, Bartsch has a way of assembling parties full of people who know how to make life feel more exciting through their artistry and who create a sense of fantasy in everything they do.

Between the party at MoMA PS1 and the afterparty at Elsewhere in Brooklyn, the night’s festivities went on for a solid eight hours or more. It was a night of clowns eating goldfish on top of postal trucks, dolls in their boxes drinking beer, and a celebration of ourselves as works of art at the highest social level.

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Mark Minton
Mark Minton

Journalist