Kuchar Brothers @ ATA

The vibrant, poetic and wild works of Mike Kuchar have inspired generations of filmmakers and artists with their wickedly perverse parodies of pop-culture and abundant creativity. From early 8 mm films made with his twin brother George Kuchar featuring friends from their Bronx neighborhood to the underground sci-fi extravaganza Sins of the Fleshapoids 1965, his films take the language of Hollywood and make it so ‘overblown it’s glorious’. In the 1990s Mike Kuchar embraced video with the same transformative passion that he brought to his early 8 mm films, and created a vast body of work ranging from delirious teleplays to recent digital fantasies, displaying a unique creative sensibility. Relishing the possibilities of the most minuscule budgets his films are radiant and lurid in equal measure, celebrating human creativity with an undiminished passion and humor for over 50 years.

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GRIT AND GLITTER: BEFORE AND AFTER STONEWALL at the Museum of the Moving Image (June 21-July 6). The lineup runs the gamut from pre-Stonewall films that were controversial for their portrayals of sexuality (Jack Smith’s “Flaming Creatures,” a pansexual cornucopia that opens the series on Friday alongside two shorts by George Kuchar, was the subject of a censorship clash) to more recent work like Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s “Tropical Malady”, in which a flirtation gives way, after a mid-film rupture, to something mythic.

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George Kuchar in Tone Madison

The Mills Folly Microcinema series leaps into 2019 with the accessible eccentricities of the late George Kuchar, whose 1989 visit to the UW-Madison campus inspired the cheeky meta diary-film, 500 Millibars To Ecstasy, now celebrating its 30th anniversary. Every so often over the years, local screening series in Madison have featured Kuchar’s work, including one of his most famous and influential avant-garde shorts, Hold Me While I'm Naked (1966), which simultaneously embraces high art and kitsch. Kuchar blurs the line between mocking and celebrating the internal melodrama of amateur filmmaking, instilling it with an enchanting performance art quality that inspired provocateur and "Pope of Trash" John Waters.

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George Kuchar @ Mills Folly Microcinema

Mills Folly Microcinema, Madison’s newest experimental film showcase, is taking a trip down the personal rabbit hole of a very naughty rabbit with Melodrama/Melodiary: Three Videos by George Kuchar.

Kuchar was active in the experimental film scene for more than five decades until his death in 2011. A compulsive artist, he made roughly 250 films, many of them “diaries” of his day-to-day life. Campy, raunchy and arguably vile, he was a hero to none other than the Pope of Trash himself, director John Waters. In an introduction to a memoir written by Kuchar and his twin brother, Mike, Waters describes the brothers as his “first inspiration … a bigger inspiration than Warhol, Kenneth Anger, even The Wizard of Oz.”

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George Kuchar in Mousse Magazine

The bad artist, in some sense, doesn’t live in this world—“this world” being the sphere of existence governed by a real or imagined consensus—or else, dwells in this world in order to contaminate it, to draw attention to those things ungovernable by the socius. That which is excessive, that which we look away from in disgust. These things, this scum, being the primary focus of artists like Dieter Roth and George Kuchar throughout the duration of their long working lives.

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Mike Kuchar in "Secret Gay Box" @ The Tom of Finland Foundation

John Wolf Fine Art is pleased to announce its inclusion in the Spring/Break Art Show 2018 with an exhibition entitled, “Secret Gay Box” opening Friday, October 12th, 2018. The theme of the 2018 edition of the fair is ‘Stranger Comes to Town’ — an artistic examination of those who are seemingly or actually different than the world around them.

Artists include Andrew Brischler, Andrew Salgado, Andy Warhol, Brian Andrew Whiteley, David Wojnarowicz, Don Joint, Hossein Edalatkhah, Jack Pierson, Jose Gonzalo Garcia Munoz, Joseph La Piana, Justin Olerud, Lucas Michael, Robert Mapplethorpe, Mark Beard, Matt Siegle, Michael Stamm, Mike Kuchar, Patrick Angus, Puppies Puppies, Rashaad Newsome, Raymond Pettibon, and Stuart Sandford.

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Mike Kuchar @ Rental Gallery

SYPHILIS is curated by Adam Cohen and Anton Kern. Syphilis is an exhibition that reflects on hope and fear, pleasure and mortality. The idea originated from a conversation about this disease and how it can serve as a metaphor. Artists in the show explore themes of love and lechery in equal measure. The exhibition is on view at Rental Gallery from July 27th - August 22nd, 2018.

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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.

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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.

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Mike Kuchar's "Sins of the Fleshapoids" @ PFA

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.

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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.

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Mike Kuchar in Gayletter

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.

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Drawings by Mike! @ Anton Kern Gallery

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 rsvp@antonkerngallery.com.

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Mike Kuchar's "The Craven Sluck" Included in MOMA's Future Imperfect Film Series

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.

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LOS ANGELES TIMES | 2017 Guggenheim fellows include Mike Kuchar

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.

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George Kuchar mini-retrospective @ Cine SESC Palladium

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.

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