Two weeks ago, a drag queen performed and after, an artist was born. Seattle drag queen Old Witch was immortalized in this portrait by a budding artist named Avery (who is "almost seven" in her words) using the queen's own fake teeth. To be honest, the portrait is a little unsettling. The teeth, though fake, look real. And not only do they look real, but they're positioned so that Old Witch looks like she's frowning. She's also wearing the teeth around her neck, like she was collecting memorabilia of "confirmed kills" or something. It's an amazing portrait.
"When she showed them to my wife, who had no idea what [they were], she wanted to smack them out of her hands because that's scary!" Brandon Ogestelli, the general manager of Breezy Town Pizza inside of Clock-Out Lounge, told me over the phone last week. His family regularly comes around to Clock-Out, with Avery sometimes finding and collecting all the random things she finds onstage. When his wife and daughter came to show him their discovery, he realized that they were from TUSH!—a drag monthly hosted by Seattle queen Betty Wetter—the night before and were completely fake. But still creepy. Avery decided to keep them.
A few days later, the curious "almost seven" year old looked up some photos of Old Witch online with her father and decided to draw a portrait of the drag queen using the fake teeth. Always game, Ogestelli told her, "First of all, let's figure out how to glue teeth to paper." He told me globs of Elmer's glue worked just fine, in case anyone was wondering. The young artist put teeth inside of Old Witch's mouth and around her neck as a necklace, but the resulting image Avery determined to be "too scary" and added pom poms to lighten up the mood of the work. Ogestelli gifted the completed piece to Betty Wetter at the most recent TUSH. (Look, I don't want to comment on anyone's parenting, but Ogestelli is DOING IT RIGHT.) I need more of these mash ups between visual art and drag!
TUSH! happens every last Thursday at Clock-Out Lounge—come through. Maybe you'll find a bunch of fake teeth to make art out of, too.