Tuesday, July 18, 2006
I’ve always been fascinated with the concept of the Playboy Clubs, both from a nostalgic ‘I missed it’ and a ‘that Rat Pack shit was really cool’ point. It just seems so romantic, you know, the Playboy Philosophy lifestyle with the entry keys, the ashtrays, the shot glasses, but especially the Bunny-suit wearing waitresses serving up the booze and doing the Bunny Dip. It’s also always amazed me that so many famous women were Bunnies – Deborah Harry, Lauren Hutton and even Gloria Steinem – and being a Bunny seemed in a weird way to be exempt from being labeled anti-feminist. But then I actually started thinking about what it must have really been like to be a waitress in a leotard serving drinks to a bunch of self-important elitist hipsters, businessmen and celebrities. The moral equivalent of being a Hooters Girl, except that Hooters is a family restaurant. Imagine having to wear that extremely revealing costume with the stupid Bunny ears and the stupid Bunny tail that everyone, I’m sure, wanted to touch, thanklessly serving drinks to Sammy, Peter, Frankie and Dino while they paw your ass and chase you through the kitchen until the wee hours of the morning. Or worse – a bunch of lawyers from Buffalo.
I was thinking about a little photographic mini-project – something I could do at my leisure, something with a defined beginning middle and end (I have a problem drawing things to a close) and something that I could self-publish, as opposed to a whole big ass monograph or something. So, I got a vintage Bunny suit (well, vintage enough for my grainy black & white look) and mapped out the project. Twelve Bunnies, one for each month (Miss. January, etc…) photographed in a manner that might recall the back room, kitchen corridor or bathroom hideaway of The Playboy Club, looking extremely bored, tired or just plain pissed-off. Once I pick the shot of each Bunny, I’ll would do a free association session and see which city it looks like it was taken in and in what year i.e. Miami, 1968. Then I will get it printed as a little mini calendar or book – I haven’t decided yet – sign and number them and have something to sell at my gallery show (when that happens) or through my website. Then, one day when I am dead, they will be extremely valuable when they sell on eBay. You know, collector’s editions!
But the main thing that I want to do with it is send a copy to Christie Hefner, the daughter of Hef and Chairman and CEO of Playboy. Call it a barometer of her sense of humor. Also call it a calling card for my photography. I like absolutes, so absolutely one of three things will happen: She will ignore me. She will ask me to do a feature. She will issue a cease & desist order.
Well, the project is complete and I’m researching printers and paper and sizes and inks.
Soon, I’ll let you know what Christie does…