We don’t need to imagine why someone would want to create a portrait of RuPaul, do we? But embroidering 35 portraits of the Supermodel of the World? That’s a little more unusual.
That was the vision of Atlanta artist and drag chronicler Aubrey Longley-Cook who invited the 25 participants in his RuPaul Cross-Stitch Animation Workshop to spend months stitching individual paeans to the Drag Race star.
“I am an artist using drag queens as muses,” Longley-Cook, 28, tells HuffPo. “Ru is more than a muse. She’s a role model and a mother in many ways for the drag community. She is deserving of a portrait of this scale.”
We can’t argue with his logic.
Longley-Cook based the designs on images of Ru mugging for the camera at the end of her breakout 1992 video, “Supermodel (You Better Work),” then put images of their work into a four-second video loop. He had participants assign their own color scheme to the works, then filmed both the front and reverse of the pieces, giving the video a uniquely psychedelic quality.
The finished work debuts today at Erikson Clock gallery in Atlanta, the city Ru called home before launching herself into the universe.
It’s also appearing in a store-window display in downtown Hotlanta before beaming to New York’s Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art Museum on January 17.