On view from September 10, 2022, through February 19, 2023, the exhibition brings together more than 80 of the artist’s creations for stage, spectacles, and street theater, alongside a variety of environments, ephemera, material samples, photography, and video.
Machine Dazzle’s works of art, not only redefine the meaning of queer but remind you of the true beauty and meaning of what that word represents. A community. A voice. A movement filled with color, drama and so many stories.
The theater genius, also a self-taught designer, boasts costumes that are a mesmerizing display of densely layered, fantastical found objects and materials that, when draped over the human form, suggest a wearable Wunderkammer of American kitsch, culture, and history.
During the exhibition, MAD will present a series of films curated by Machine Dazzle. The films, dating to the late seventies and early eighties, helped shape the artist’s aesthetic sensibility as a child. The series, which gets underway this fall, will include screenings of the Faye Dunaway classic The Eyes of Laura Mars (1978) for Halloween and Xanadu (1980) starring Olivia Newton-John to mark the artist’s birthday. Attendees of the film screenings can expect costume contests, giveaways, photo shoots, and more.
Machine Dazzle has been dazzling stages via costumes, sets, and performances since his arrival in New York in 1994.
This fall, Machine Dazzle will release his first record Treasure, and will perform songs from the record at New York City’s Joe’s Pub.
“In his quest to queer design, Machine Dazzle demonstrates how costumes have the world-making capacity, why unorthodox materials have become the preferred way for that outside of majority culture to describe themselves, and the ways in which excess can both transform and transfigure the queer body,” said exhibition curator Elissa Auther, Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs and William and Mildred Lasdon Chief Curator.
Opening night drew in an eclectic crowd whose outfits ceased to amaze and were the perfect accompaniment to the exhibition on display. Followed by a reception and performance that not only celebrated Machine Dazzle’s wonderful success but the human form and ability to let loose and have fun, in the most maximalist way possible.