Drag and Paint: Star Buxom Offers a Spicy Alternative to the Paint and Sip Party

I saw the notification for the first Artsy, Fartsy, Drag and Paint Party on Facebook. These events are coordinated by the Queen of Caffeine Star Buxom, aka Bux, aka Bux Dhyne. I’ve known Bux for years, and asked if I could observe the party scheduled in late June.

The venue was a loft on south Division sparsely furnished with thrift shop finds and Christmas lights. There were nine participants, a sound system, and two drag queens–Bux and BRIT. All necessary materials were provided: paint, canvas, table-top easels, brushes, and absurdly small aprons, “which don’t cover our boobies.”

Drag and Paint group photo

Star Buxom and BRIT and Participants of the June Drag and Paint Party with their finished paintings.

The petite and busty Buxom was dressed in a pinstriped jumpsuit, short red wig, oversized lightening bolt earrings, and blue suede platform wedges. BRIT, wore a fitted bronze lamé gown, embellished heels, and closely cropped hair, forgoing a wig because of the heat.

The soundtrack was curated by Ms. Buxom, and a critical element of the event. There was some lip synching, singing, and the whole group engaged in a sloppy performance of “Time Warp.” BRIT, who has one of the finest derrières in West Michigan, glided around the room, topping-off paint or beverages, and offering choreographed excerpts from her act. These seemingly improvised antics were carefully planned to coordinate with drying time needed between specific stages of the painting.

Drag and Paint in progress

I’ve felt ambivalent about the drink-and-paint party phenomenon of the past decade, but I was intrigued by the hybrid of painting with drag. Drag disarms the viewer with its bawdy theatrical exploration of gender; painting parties allow people to make a painting in a relaxed environment, and superficially experience what it means to be an artist. Both involve temporarily stepping into a different persona.

Buxom has worked as an instructor for vanilla painting parties, so the events are well planned, but true to their statement, “This aint your aunties paint and sip party.” Risqué prattle punctuates Bux’s clear instructions about mixing and applying pigment. Brushes are color coded so everyone understands which to use for each step. Pauses for drying are choreographed, and participants engage in animated conversation throughout. The subject matter that night was described by Bux as, “a messy little ‘ode to Bowie.” Inspired by the 1973 album cover for Aladdin Sane, it featured a red and blue lightening bolt against a mottled background strewn with spatters and dribble. The compositions are simple enough to be completed in ninety minutes, but saucy, like a graffitti-inspired heart framed with the words “Not today Satan”, or a variation on Babadook inscribed “Yaaaaas Bitch!”

Bux Yaas Bitch

The parties are scheduled regularly and Buxom can be hired to host private events. The next Artsy Fartsy Drag and Paint Party is scheduled for Thursday, September 26 at Loft 211, on Division Avenue. Tickets are $28. Supplies are provided and you can bring your own beverage. Wednesday, October 16 Star is hosting “Spooky Sip and Paint” at Stella’s Lounge. Tickets are $35 and include a drink and appetizers.

This Sunday, September 15 Star Buxom will be a live model for Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School from 5-8 PM at Lions & Rabbits, 1264 Plainfield NE. Fee for this event is $8. You can learn more about Buxom and purchase art and the web site Black Lace & Cupcakes.

 

– Tamara Fox

 

 

 

 

 

 

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