Photographs: Ves Pitts and Jeff Eason; design: Eman Carballo
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Ah, spring in New York: The birds chirp, the flowers bloom and the leather men polish their harnesses in anticipation of the Black Party. After more than two decades at the now-shuttered Roseland, the epic kinkfest jumps the river to Brooklyn (to a "secret" location that will be provided to ticket holders before the event), but it will no doubt be as sexily strange as ever.
One of the first indicators that Black Party producer the Saint at Large is keeping things weird is this year's poster, which we're unveiling exclusively here. The image is a man-machine mashup, assembled by graphic designer Eman Carballo using photographs by Ves Pitts and Jeff Eason. The mildly unsettling—but definitely still hot—result is inspired by this year's "Mineshaft" theme, and it's the 36th entry in what's become a compelling ongoing queer art project. The first Black Party poster (from 1981) featured a pair of devilish photos by iconic photographer Robert Mapplethorpe , and subsequent works have existed at various points on the sexy-creepy spectrum. (For our money, the most unsettling is the 2001 poster featuring a cherubic cartoon boy cradling an oversize steak. Shudder.)
Bonus: For the last few years the Black Party has gotten multimedia with its marketing materials. Check out this year's "promotional film" below.