Life and career[edit | edit source]
Davis has had an exceptionally prolific career, and is often associated with the formation of the queercore zine movement. She has performed with such artists as Lisa Crystal Carver, Margaret Cho, and Beck, and has collaborated with underground photographers/filmmakers Bruce LaBruce, Rick Castro, the performance artist Ron Athey, and more recently with the Cheap art collective in Berlin, Germany.
Since the late 1970s, Davis has led many conceptual art bands, beginning with "The Afro Sisters". Davis is also a founding member of "¡Cholita! the Female Menudo" with Alice Bag (of seminal 1970s punk band The Bags). She co-founded "Pedro, Muriel & Esther (PME)" with Glen Meadmore. PME recorded their first single for independent record label Amoeba Records, and went on to record The White To Be Angry with producer Steve Albini. She was in a band called Black Fag with Beck's mother Bibbe Hansen, and more recently, as a part of her collaboration with Cheap in Berlin, Davis formed a band called Ruth Fischer (Fischer was a leader in the German Communist Party).
In Los Angeles, Davis is also known for hosting and dj-ing a range of performance and music events. One of the most prominent was Bricktops (2002–2005) - a weekly salon/speak-easy inspired by Bricktop, one of the more fascinating vaudevillian figures of the 1920s and 30s. She also hosted and dj'd a Sunday afternoon music event called "Sucker" (1994–2000). She and artist Ron Athey curated and hosted GIMP (2000–2001), a monthly night of performance art.
Experimental film and video are also an important part of Davis's oeuvre. These include The White to Be Angry (1999), Designy Living (1994), "One Man Ladies" (with Glenn Belverio, 1994), Three Faces of Women (1993). She appears in queer underground classics such as Super 8 1/2 (Bruce LaBruce, 1994) and Hustler White (Bruce LaBruce and Rick Castro, 1998). She also appeared an episode of Gideon's Crossing.
Vaginal Davis is the publisher and editor of the noted zines Fertile La Toyah Jackson Magazine and Shrimp. Davis has contributed writing to many publications, including Glue (in which she had a column called "Because I Said So"), "UR Chicago", Ben Is Dead Magazine, the seminal queercore zine J.D.s, and the LA Weekly. One of her stories was anthologized in The Best American Erotica of 2003, edited by Susie Bright. She regularly writes for the German/Dutch Zoo Magazine. She also has an upcoming book entitled Beware the Holy Retarded Whore, a compilation of her interviews with celebrities like Keanu Reeves, Missy Elliott, and Eminem.
In her performances, Davis adopts a range of personas some of which are entirely her own creation (e.g. Saint Celicia Tate), some of which are based on actual people (Bricktop, and Vanessa Beecroft). In the early 1980s, Journalist and musician Craig Lee, a music editor at the LA Weekly, bestowed the middle name "Creme", but Davis herself prefers that people not use the name Vaginal Creme Davis.
In 2007 Vaginal Davis moved from Los Angeles to Berlin, Germany.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- She has recently claimed that Condoleezza Rice is her first cousin.
- Beth Ditto has said she's the most attractive person in Hollywood
- She's six feet six inches tall, the same height as RuPaul.
- The feminist punk band, Le Tigre, gives her a "shout out" in their song Hot Topic.
Films[edit | edit source]
- The Lollipop Generation, directed by G.B. Jones (2008)
- Beyond Lovely, directed by Hilary Goldberg (2005)
- The White To Be Angry, directed by Vaginal Davis (1999)
- Can I Be Your Bratwurst, Please, directed by Rosa von Praunheim (1999)
- Hustler White, directed by Rick Castro and Bruce LaBruce (1998)
- Live Nude Girls, directed by Julianna Lavin (1995)
- Three Faces Of Women, directed by Vaginal Davis (1994)
- Super 8 1/2, directed by Bruce LaBruce (1994)
- Designy Living, directed by Vaginal Davis (1994)
- Tales of the City (television mini series) (1993)
Sources[edit | edit source]
- José Muñoz, Disidentifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999) ISBN 0-8166-3015-1
- Jennifer Doyle, Sex Objects: Art and the Dialectics of Desire (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006). ISBN 0-8166-4526-4
[edit | edit source]
- Vaginal Davis Official Site
- Vaginal Davis at Internet Movie Database
- The Zines of Vaginal Davis
- The Cholita! Page
- The Cholita! Family Tree, compiled by Ms. Davis
- Bruce LaBruce essay on Davis