Pride Without Borders

by Topher Ellsworth
Art Director, Digital Magazine
Monday Jun 23, 2014

This article is from the January 2015 issue of EDGE Digital Magazine.

This spring, EDGE went to Paris, France (a tough gig, we know), to shoot a photographic series for PRIDE 2014 featuring LGBT artists, luminaries, fashion designers, photographers and all-around bon vivants with an uncontainable joie de vivre who call the City of Lights home. We're proud to bring you a look at Paris' multinational community of LGBT artists.

Tuesday, April 8th
Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, Paris, 10th Arrondissement

Marc came to Paris by way of London and Hong Kong. A renowned illustrator also known as "Fury 161," he is known for his passion for the male nude and uniforms. His ability to capture the male figure in line, shadow and form is unparalleled. He has published several books, including Pornotraffic and MMCIII, and recently branched out into tattoo artistry.


Friday, April 4th
Rue Montmartre, David Lynch’s Club Silencio, Paris, 2nd Arrondissement

Lebanese choreographer and Baladi dancer (the folk style of Egyptian belly dance) Alexandre is a vocal critic of the repressive Muslim Brotherhood in his native land. Our photographer caught up with him after a performance commissioned by David Lynch to perform an excerpt of his original choreographed piece "Tajwel" at Lynch’s ultra-exclusive Club Silencio.

"When I wear a dress or have some makeup on, it’s a political act."


Friday, April 4th
Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, IN OUT Club, Paris, 11th Arrondissement

With her fusion of ’90s music and tribal beats, this fierce young South African national’s residency at Paris’ IN OUT Club has made her the rising star in the City of Light’s lesbian and gay party scene.


Tuesday, April 29th
Rue du Paradis, Hall of the Crystal Condominium, Paris, 10th Arrondissement

A provocateur of contemporary art, 2fik’s gender-bending commentary on social issues and "beauty-norms" have become a lightning rod in the Paris art scene. Known for his irreverent recreations of such classics as La Grande Odalisque-with himself as the main subject, complete with feather duster, vacuum cleaner, Windex and pink Playtex dish gloves, his works present an ironic look at what we view as "classic" beauty.

Follow 2fik on Twitter


Sunday, May 11th
Rue Georges Lardennois, Paris, 19th Arrondissement

Take one fashionista from LA, one from London, add three dogs, two cats and a ber-hip design atelier in one of the most up-and-coming areas of Paris -- the "XIX" arrondissement -- and you get Abbott J., the power fashion couple (in life and business) who create menswear in textiles, fabrics and designs inspired by Islamic geometrics. Made from the most comfy of materials, including Japanese cotton, merino shearling and cashmere, the collections are produced entirely in France.


Saturday, April 26th
Le March du Carreau du Temple, Paris, 3rd Arrondissement

Paris is still burning! Based on a central Parisian 19th-century marketplace, the Carreau du Temple was the perfect venue to host this annual voguing competition with a Cleopatra theme. Voguing divas battled it out until only two were left standing. Featured: winners of the category Runway Baby Ninja Debbie Rwjder and Lara Laquiz Carvalho from the House of Ninja.


Saturday, May 31st
Boulevard de Charonne, Paris, 20th Arrondissement

Winner of the 2013 International Photography Award at the Lianzhou Photo Festival in China, Franois was commissioned by EDGE to photograph these portraits in April and May 2014. This farm boy from the small town of Metz in Eastern France on the German border has discovered the US through his long-distance relationship with EDGE’s very own art director and boyfriend of five years, Topher Ellsworth. Franois has shown in galleries from NYC to Paris and creates the European advertising campaigns each year for AIDES France to help with prevention and research for a cure.

"With the Barbe Fleurs (Beard Flowers) series shown here, my aim was to capture a moment in each of the cities that I travel to. I use whichever flowers are in season at the moment and indigenous to the area, and the length of my beard marks a moment in my life."


Wednesday, May 14th
Rue Beaubourg, Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris, 4th Arrondissement

After studying the management of cultural structure in France’s "other" capital of art, Arles, Matthieu made his way to Paris, where he is now curator at Galerie Daniel Templon in the Marais -- the gay area. It was here that he began his collaborations with many of the art world’s most famous painters, sculptors and photographers, including Jan Fabre, David LaChapelle and Yue Minjun. Shown here with his current gallery show, Heroes, by gay couple (in life and art) Pierre et Gilles. With each piece priced at more than 100,000 euros, six have already sold as of press time; so if you want to have your very own Pierre et Gilles above your fireplace, we recommend you get in touch with Matthieu post haste.


Monday, May 12th
Avenue de la Rpublique, Paris, 11th Arrondissement

Vincent is a mixed-media artist whose self-described specialty is "iconic portraits for glam freak, happy families and everyday people." His signature process starts with his photography and a complete digital manipulation, print, collage, canvas and a combination of varnishes and finishes that makes it instantly recognizable as a "Mallea." Most recently, Mallea was on exhibit at Hospitel-Htel Dieu de Paris. Inspired by Andy Warhol, he is currently working on a new body of work called "Profile SPLENDA," 100 portraits in three years.


Sunday, April 13th
Stravinsky Fountain, Paris, 3rd Arrondissement

Paris is a cosmopolitan city where you can (for the most part) feel at ease to hold your same-sex partner’s hand and wander through the ancient cobblestone streets or the bustling Marais. Outside Paris, however, the countryside is still not quite where we, as a unified LGBT community, would like it to be. Our photographer met this young couple at one of the city’s happening lesbian bars, La Mutinerie, after they traveled to the City of Lights from the French countryside to feel free to embrace their newfound relationship without fear of repercussion.

This shot was taken at the Stravinsky Fountain, known as the fountain of love, with kinetic sculptures by Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely. With France’s new legalization of gay marriage, Lisa and Marion are planning on tying the French knot in the near future.


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