Monday, April 30, 2012 at 9:41 a.m.
The third-annual "Trouble With Girls" art show took over the Bubble in FAT Village last night, hosting more than 40 terribly terrific female artists and photographers and dozens of vendors. We got a chance to chat with the Bubble's own Yvonne Colon, who was busy putting the final touches on fellow Bubble facilitator Garo Gallo's band Dooms de Pop's naughty-schoolgirl costumes, before they took the stage.
Colon told us how excited she was to be able to reach out to all types of people with events like these. "People from Miami, Broward... teachers, locals, artists, and fans all come to experience the culture together," she said. This is exciting for the IWAN collective at the Bubble, whose aim is "inspiring creativity and production, becoming more abundant and tangible -- together." It couldn't have been more palpable at last night's event.
Janette Valentine, the brains (and beauty, might we add) behind the Trouble With Girls event, initially came up with the idea of hosting a collection of entirely female artists' work in connection with Valentine's Day, but since she's been working nonstop on other projects, the event was pushed back a few months.
This slight change of date didn't seem to bother any of the dozens of artists, fans, family, and friends who were in attendance, producing a truly one-of-a-kind experience for first-time visitors and Bubble alumni alike.
The venue is rather inconspicuous in the warehouse district of Fort Lauderdale, but the way the event was set up was brilliant. There were vendors inside the gallery as well as outside by the stage and bar, which allowed the viewing traffic to flow smoothly. Work was hung on the industrial concrete walls in sections, making sure each artist's work was readily seen and approachable.
There were no red ropes or barricades, and that's what makes the Bubble so great. It allows people to get up-close to art, to feel it and to experience it as it's happening. That sounds a little philosophical for a review of a party, but it's a fact that can't go unmentioned. Vendors and artists we spoke to said they'd definitely show in the gallery again and had a fantastic estrogen-filled, female-empowering experience with Trouble With Girls, which is all-too-important in an otherwise gender-restrictive world.
The crowd included a mix of tattooed, brightly colored-hair ladies with perfect makeup and retro-styled ensembles side-by-side with the laid-back, ultra-casual hippie types. The female-to-male ratio was definitely in Venus' favor.
The good vibes likely arose from of the level of respect this group of talented female artists have for one another. There was no bullshit, no egos, and no pretensions. There's no room for it, and Janette and Yvonne, along with every single person involved in events at the Bubble, make sure of it.
In true Bubble style, there were several live performances featuring scantily clad cross-dressing dudes, one can only assume paying a tongue-in-cheek (so to speak) homage to all of the lovely ladies who participated in the girls-only art revue.
"Evan Gaga" was one of the performers who both wooed and perhaps frightened eventgoers during his performance, but it's hard to say if the crowd was actually focused on Mr. Gaga's music or his outfit. His '90s prom-esque, sparkly red and black minidress, topped off with tangled blond wig and booty shorts, was pretty, well, interesting.
Sofia Luna stole the spotlight during the evening when, dawning a 1970s floor-length floral dress, she slowly but surely seduced the audience out of her clothes to the tune of Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin's "Chain of Fools," revealing a black gypsy-styled costume and skin. Lots and lots of skin. Somehow, completely unbeknown to us, amid the moving, shaking and gyrating, Miss Luna managed to keep on two glittery, black-tastled pasties (made by fellow burlesque-er and Trouble With Girls vendor Aurora Natrix), leaving at least a little something to the imagination. But hey, we're not complaining.
The only downside to the Bubble -- other than that there's no AC flow, which can be quite uncomfortable in Florida (but luckily wasn't so bad at TWG) -- is the wait on the line for the sole bathroom. First of all, one bathroom? Sure, it's a warehouse, and it isn't specifically zoned/built to host hundreds of people, but come on. Pardon my crudeness, but this was one situation where I wished I had male plumbing to make bathrooming a little easier. It didn't help that there was a complimentary bar, stocked with PBR tallboys, Snoop D-O-double-G-endorsed Colt 45 Blast (think 4Loko-malt liquor) and a mysterious (and exceptionally potent) concoction referred to as rum punch. Hey at least there were free drinks, right? Right!
Needless to say, there was an amusement-park-length line of people waiting to use the facilities throughout the night, but we were lucky enough to be in line behind a girl decked out as a racy anime cat/girl/alien. The trifecta was applaudable on its own, but the pièce de résistance was definitely the fact that her "dress" was missing some key fabric from some private areas, if you get what we're saying here. Thank you, girl in the alien sex-goddess dress, for making my bathroom-line experience that much more withstandable.
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