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Neoboy, Albuquerque, New Mexico

I am a visual artist, poet, and performance artist. I’d describe my work as a virulent and healing bag of memories, photographs, found objects, and luck. If I can provoke whimsy in people when they look at my art and put them in more than one place in time at once—I have done my job. I love the Southwest, but I’m not a regional artist. I respect the Hispanic and Native American traditions, but I don’t feel like I have to own them in my art. Still, you can see traces of my background in much of my work. I think that by looking at my art anyone could easily guess I’m gay. I’ve had a full life and known some very colorful people. I met photographer Joel- Peter Witkin, for instance, in 1980; we lived around the corner from each other in Albuquerque and we both drove Karmann Ghias. I modeled for him a few times, and some of those pictures became very well known. We met up once at a Halloween party where I was dressed like Charlotte Rampling in her Night Porter cabaret drag outfit crossed with black Klaus Nomi face makeup. I looked hot and dark. I was just twentythree. Joel really liked it, and that costume became the inspiration for his famous “Bee Boy” image, which made me the poster boy for his first Paris show, in 1981. I have been on this Earth for fifty years now. I’m HIV-positive and healthy. I am also a vegetarian. I enjoy working out, hiking, going to art galleries and museums, and hanging out with friends. I have a huge vinyl LP collection. I love all animals, including humans. I am a part-time caregiver for the elderly, mostly Alzheimer’s patients. I sometimes forget the simple things that make me happy. I get caught up in my own angst and feel separated from my precious life and connections. I live to be me, not to achieve a social status, not to be an angry artist, not to create bad karma or please my every little greedy desire. I love nature to the fullest; Mother Earth is precious to me.

I am a visual artist, poet, and performance artist. I’d describe my work as a virulent and healing bag of memories, photographs, found objects, and luck. If I can provoke whimsy in people when they look at my art and put them in more than one place in time at once—I have done my job. I love the Southwest, but I’m not a regional artist. I respect the Hispanic and Native American traditions, but I don’t feel like I have to own them in my art. Still, you can see traces of my background in much of my work. I think that by looking at my art anyone could easily guess I’m gay. I’ve had a full life and known some very colorful people. I met photographer Joel- Peter Witkin, for instance, in 1980; we lived around the corner from each other in Albuquerque and we both drove Karmann Ghias. I modeled for him a few times, and some of those pictures became very well known. We met up once at a Halloween party where I was dressed like Charlotte Rampling in her Night Porter cabaret drag outfit crossed with black Klaus Nomi face makeup. I looked hot and dark. I was just twentythree. Joel really liked it, and that costume became the inspiration for his famous “Bee Boy” image, which made me the poster boy for his first Paris show, in 1981. I have been on this Earth for fifty years now. I’m HIV-positive and healthy. I am also a vegetarian. I enjoy working out, hiking, going to art galleries and museums, and hanging out with friends. I have a huge vinyl LP collection. I love all animals, including humans. I am a part-time caregiver for the elderly, mostly Alzheimer’s patients. I sometimes forget the simple things that make me happy. I get caught up in my own angst and feel separated from my precious life and connections. I live to be me, not to achieve a social status, not to be an angry artist, not to create bad karma or please my every little greedy desire. I love nature to the fullest; Mother Earth is precious to me.

Gay in America