Great New Tome Celebrates Drag Performers Around the Globe

By Diane Anderson-Minshall

Originally published on Advocate.com August 28 2012 7:00 AM ET

As Christopher Logan compiled photos and worked with designer Mamio Marais to assemble his new book, d.r.a.g. ($30Tectum Publishers), he thought he knew what he wanted, and he began contacting some of the country's hottest photographers. "Then photographers and performers would open my eyes to other choices I wasn't aware of. Mamio was instrumental in bringing the clean, unfussy look of the book together," Logan says. "When a particular photo caught my eye, I contacted that person." That includes some very unusual-looking drag performers who are bucking the traditional high-femme garb.

Photo of Jeffree Starr by Austin Young. Previous page: photo of Sal-E by Anthony Meade.

Check out more photos from the book on the following pages.

 

"Sal-E, Glitz Glam, and Krystal Something-Something were great finds for me, and people I wasn't familiar with before," Logan admits. "Their photos really speak to an edgier side of drag and helped round the book out in terms of inclusiveness and speak to how diversive the artform can be." Sherry Vine (star of the reality show She's Living for This),  Hedda Lettuce, Miss Coco Peru, Lady Bunny, and numerous RuPaul's Drag Race alums, including Bebe Zahara, Chad Michaels, and Nina Flowers are among the more famous performers in the book. (Don't worry, drag purists; the book contains the classics — takes on Barbra, Madonna, and Liza.) 

Photo of Courtney Act by Magnus Hastings

All the performers in the book are pictured in drag, and at the time of the photoshoots were living as "men in real life, women onstage," says Logan. "There is some crossover with transgender [performers] in some cities. Each city has their own style of drag, and some places blur the lines a little more. There is at least one person who has started to transition since after the photos were taken."

Photo of Akashia by Dusti Cunningham

d.r.a.g., which is out now, features dozens of performers — some of whom are rising stars worthy of a big break — from London, Belgium, Quebec, and British Columbia as well as the U.S. Among the photographers is the prolific gay lensman Mike Ruiz, the onetime star of A-List, who "seems to be everywhere these days," said Logan, "from America's Next Top Model to the face of a new vodka, and he's constantly putting out work including his new [photo book] project Pretty Masculine."

Photo of Joan Jullian by Foto Rudesign

Austin Young, who shot the book's cover, is part of an artist collective called Fallen Fruit, which promotes sustainable local produce as a lifestyle. Peter Palladino shot what Logan calls the "more grand epic shots," like the ode to Attack of the 50-Foot Woman starring Raja, while "Ann Brown, from Kansas City, Mo., was a great connection and not only brought to light some performers outside the known L.A. and New York circuits and also was the one who connected me to Tectum Publishers, having published work in one of their earlier collections. Magnus Hastings is a great find for me, and I love his pinup style of glam photography. He and Courtney Act are a great fit."

Photo of Victoria De Paula by Ann Brown

Logan says he hopes that the book "will keep growing and finding it's audience. I truly believe we made a drag book that will appeal to a mainstream audience. It's a book on the art of it, not the transformation or a dissection of why or how — just a celebration of drag: beautiful, positive, and uplifting."

Photo of MADO by Jose A. Guzman Colon

The 160-page tome was conceived as a fund-raiser for a film on the art of drag, and Logan is hoping to turn the project into a film. For more information check out Logan on Facebook or at BooktheFilm.com.