The exhibition features never-before-seen photographs taken at a drag ball and art gallery in Los Angeles in 1974 and during the Palm Springs White Party in 2002.
“Flaming Creatures” depicts ironic, witty, strong, and sometimes bizarre images of the surreal attendees of two wildly different events. The first event, a drag ball, was held in Los Angeles in 1974, and features a wide assortment of men and women, many of whom were Arts and Motion Pictures Academy members. Their over-the-top, original costumes were astonishing, humorous, and evoke a sensual feeling. Childers was hired to shoot this drag ball for the Italian men’s vogue magazine Lumono Vogue, but the images have never been displayed in a gallery setting before.
The second series, taken during the Palm Springs White Party in 2002, features many extremely fit men in revealing attire. In both cases, subjects of the events were allowed to do whatever poses they choose, which resulted in fresh and original images.
“I was fascinated by the surreal and imaginative costumes of the attendees of these two very different events,” said Childers. “I’ve never shown these images in an exhibition before, and I’m delighted to partner with Ted Casablanca Gallery to finally unveil these compelling images during the 2016 Palm Springs Pride.”
“Michael Childers is one of the most iconic photographers of our time, so I was thrilled to put together this show of his amazing images,“ said Ted Casablanca Gallery curator Bruce Bibby. “The staging and lighting of these images is reminiscent of something you might see from Nan Goldin or Diane Arbus. The works evoke a range of complex emotions, and capture two unique moments in time and the people who made those moments possible. I’m so pleased that the public can finally see these amazing images.”