New York Photo Review
NYPR Archives - 2010

Henry Horenstein
Henry Horenstein “Fishnets”

Burlesque is alive and well, at least neo-burlesque is, and Henry Horenstein has the photographs to prove it in his new exhibition entitled “Show” – with book by the same name.

What’s the difference between neo-burlesque and good old-fashioned bawdy joke burlesque? Neo-burlesque updates the art and includes a wide range of entertainment tastes that can include drag, fetish, vaudeville, and classic striptease (without the tease). It’s also where drag queens share the billing with drag kings. Of course, there’s also a whole new cast of characters that Horenstein vividly illustrates with glorious black and white images. Meet Dita Von Teese, Catherine D-Lish, Murray Hill, and Angie and Helen Pontani among others.

Make no mistake: “Show” is sexy, raunchy, titillating, bizarre, memorable—and for aficionados—revealing. Starting in 2001, Horenstein went onstage and backstage to both document and create abstract interpretations of the neo-burlesque sub-culture everywhere from Los Angles to New York. Perhaps the most striking image is “Fishnets” from the 2006 New York Burlesque Festival. There are also stripteases, whips, swords, in-your-face pasties, as well as a portrait of “Jess” á la Horenstein’s “Animalia” series – where the artist combined people and animals.

It’s a world foreign to most people and will probably stay that way, but if your curiosity says take a peek, “SHOW” will not disappoint.

 by unidentified photographer.
Murray Hill and Angie Pontani, at opening reception for “Show” © Norman Borden

Henry Horenstein

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Tuesday, April 6 to
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