Just around the corner from jewelers Harry Winston, that midtown Manhattan temple devoted to the rituals of heterosexuality, Anton Kern Gallery is hosting an artist whose work could make many a bride blush. Journey up a white marble staircase to the third floor, past the gallery’s bathroom and some primly rendered wall text that warns “this exhibition contains graphic imagery,” and you’ll enter a world predicated on rather different fantasies of coupling.
Here, in a show simply titled Drawings by Mike!, are twenty-two neatly framed ink-and-felt-tip-pen cartoons of tousle-haired Caucasian bohunks engaged in a variety of joyously, nakedly homoerotic situations: skinny dipping, crotch grabbing, pec rubbing, tit sucking. Their bare asses are, without exception, spheric and shiny, like the juiciest apple you’d ever hope to bite. Read More
Mike Kuchar’s over-the-top felt-tip-and-ink drawings of gay male fantasy are weirdly innocent. The underground filmmaker (and twin brother of the other filmmaking Kuchar, George) started dreaming up his bronze-skinned, blue-eyed, naked Vikings and gladiators in the 1960s as commissioned illustrations for privately printed comic books. In the exhibition “Drawings by Mike!,” they still have the bright colors, lush details and graphic anatomical exaggerations of a vintage Mad Magazine cover. Read More
If you’re not familiar with the films of the Kuchar Brothers, prepare yourself for their 1966 magnum opus Sins of the Fleshapoids, screening at Pacific Film Archive at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 20th. Unless you’ve spent a lot of time attending underground film festivals, you’ve never seen anything quite like it, and PFA is dusting off its pristine archival print for the occasion. Read More
AS AN ILLUSTRATOR, MY AIM IS TO AMUSE THE EYE AND SPARK IMAGINATION, wrote the great American artist and filmmaker Mike Kuchar in Primal Male, a book of his collected drawings. TO CREATE TITILLATING SCENES THAT REFRESH THE SOUL…AND PUT A BIT MORE “FUN” TO VIEWING PICTURES — and that he has done for over five decades. “Drawings by Mike!” is an exhibition of erotic illustrations at Anton Kern Gallery, one of the fall season’s great feasts for the eye and a welcome homecoming for one of New York’s most treasured prodigal sons. Read More
Mike Kuchar is well known for his films. John Waters cites him as his hero, which is a pretty big compliment. But he’s always been an illustrator; the work has just been more anonymous. Kuchar has always been successful in obscurity’s sense. He worked as a magazine retoucher in the 1960s and, after moving to California, became a go-to name in the then underground comic scene. While he and his brother George Kuchar are widely known film directors, Mike has always been drawing and painting, gathering attention of a much smaller audience.
Opening just last week, Anton Kern Gallery has curated an exhibition of some of Mike’s private collection on view through September. The drawings on exhibit have never been published or shown publicly before, so on the eve of his opening, Mike answered some questions I had about the works going into the premiere. Read More
Opening reception for Drawings by Mike! at Anton Kern Gallery on Thursday, September 7th from 6–8pm. Exhibition runs until October 7th, 2017. In conjunction with the exhibition, a screening of select films, including Kuchar’s seminal Sins of the Fleshapoids, will be shown at the Core Club Cinema on Friday, September 8, 2017 from 7 p.m. RSVP is required for this event. For more information please contact Nadia Fristensky at email@example.com. Read More
Through August 31...
Imagine a science-fiction film series with no space travel, no alien invasions or monsters, and no visions of the distant future. Imagine instead a dazzling array of science-fiction films that focus on alternate visions of Earth in the present or very near future. "The Craven Sluck" will be playing with "The Crazies" Wednesday, August 2nd @ 4pm and Sunday, August 6th @ 1pm. Read More
Mike Kuchar has been nominated as one of the film/video Guggenheim fellows of 2017. The winners were culled from nearly 3,000 applicants and represent 49 disciplines and artistic fields, 64 academic institutions and 27 states and the District of Columbia. The recipients range in age from 27 to 79. The size of grants vary and are given for six months to one year, depending on the scope of the project. Read More
December 9 – 18, 2016
The SESC Palladium December cinema programming performs shows Kuchar times, which brings 10 important films of the work of George Kuchar, filmmaker and video artist born in New York. He made his first films in his hometown before moving to San Francisco, where he filmed much of his productions in 8mm, 16mm and video, along with a small group of artists, actors and actresses, especially his twin brother, Mike Kuchar. The show, unprecedented in Brazil, takes place 9-18 December at Cine SESC Palladium. Admission to the sessions is free for removal of entry 30 minutes before. Read More
Sunday, September 25, 2016 @ 7:30pm Read More
September 17 – October 30, 2016
Curated by Jordan Stein
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 17, 6 – 9 PM
George Kuchar (1942–2011) documented his gastronomic, meteorological, and libidinal desires in hundreds of film and video productions across four decades. An appetite for intimacy drove many of his first-person adventures, perhaps most tenderly in THE MONGRELOID (1978), a 16mm love-letter to his treasured mutt, Bocko. In nine absurd minutes, Kuchar walks the indifferent animal down memory lane, reflecting mostly on posterior matters: "How's your operation on your behind? You had that 400 dollar operation on your tushy, remember that?" Read More
July 23, 2016
Mike Kuchar was born in the Bronx in New York in 1942, a few minutes before his twin, George. At age 12, the twins started to make films using an 8mm camera their mother gave them. They became central to the 1960s New York underground film scene, screening work alongside Andy Warhol, Kenneth Anger, and Jack Smith. Read More
Mike Kuchar is a true San Francisco treasure. His uncompromising output spans more than sixty years, and reminds us of the often forgotten value of individual vision and non-conformity. The few meetings I have had with Mike always leave me feeling completely inspired, and this time was no exception. Below are excerpts from that wide ranging two-hour conversation, between Mike, Gordon, and myself, which took place in my studio on May 18th, 2016.
—Matt Borruso Read More
George Kuchar is one of the great artists in the history of the moving image…We are amazed by the craft, the perfect cues, the skillful edits, the startling images and visual rhymes, the flawless pacing and ingenious continuity, often achieved spontaneously, in camera. His images can be both insanely bizarre and rapturously beautiful, with a hallucinatoryotherness seldom achieved by even the most visionary artists in film history… Read More
It had long been the dream of Melinda McDowell-Milks, Curt McDowell’s sister, to stage an event where the newly-restored Directors Cut of Thundercrack! (1975) could be seen in San Francisco on the Castro Theater’s giant screen. Synapse Films—responsible for the restoration work in preparation for the film’s forty-year anniversary—gave her permission.”Go ahead. Do it.” But having never done anything of the sort, she had no awareness of the mechanics involved, and didn’t know what she even needed to know. Read More
December 18, 2015 @ 7pm
Unique, prolific, emotional and funny, the filmmakers George Kuchar (1942 - 2011) and Anne Charlotte Robertson (1949 - 2012) both left behind many hours of moving image diaries, much of which is housed at the Harvard Film Archive. While the tones of their respective diaries are quite different, both Kuchar and Robertson cover similar leitmotifs, including food, the body, cats, family and the natural world. They also share the tradition of cinematically confronting the holiday season—a time that can be melancholy or festive, lonely or celebratory, and usually a bit of everything. Tonight we present a selection of their complementary, alternative visions of sugar plums. Read More
Thursday, August 27 @ 7:30pm Read More
April 11, 2015
This collection of films—which includes works rarely considered alongside one another—lends another perspective to the exhibition International Pop by examining cinema as an extension of Pop practice around the world. Read More
January 29, 2015
“Movies should have sex appeal,” says Mike Kuchar. “It’s a basic fundamental quality and helps in making it bearable to watch.” It’s the same bravado that seared through the filmmaker’s lascivious, sugar-coated home videos made with his brother George and screened alongside friends Kenneth Anger, Jonas Mekasand Andy Warhol in the New York underground film scene of the 1960s and 70s. Experimenting with 8mm film, the twin brothers from the Bronx conjured up their own camp, sexually charged pop fantasies in fleshly shades of violet, turquoise, and sunflower. Read More