Queens Nina Flowers and Ongina bring art from Louis Recchia and Zoa Ace to life with Pop Drag
As both the official photographer for the monthly Drag Nation and a longtime supporter of local art, Koko Brentano had a vision: to see the two worlds collide. Friday night's Pop Drag at EXDO Event Center is the result, a convergence of the work of artists Louis Recchia and Zoa Ace with the multidimensional performances of RuPaul's Drag Race alums Nina Flowers and Ongina -- plus a rotating cast of Drag Nation regulars.
Koko Brentano Nina Flowers
- Slide show: Pop Art Drag Nation at Tracks
- Slideshow: Drama Drag at Tracks
- Dana Cain's Art Collection: Louis Recchia
- Don't call him queen: Paul Soileau talks about more-punk-than-drag persona Christeene Vale
So how, exactly, will a drag show and an art show come together as one big event? "I picked out a group of paintings and gave them to the performers, and they based their costuming off of each work," says Brentano. He's been fond of the color-popping, intelligent pieces of Recchia and Ace for a long time, he notes: "I thought their work would adapt itself well to coming to life."
Koko Brentano Nina Flowers.
Nina Flowers seemed like an obvious choice for the interpretations, too. Hardly a traditionalist when it comes to being a queen, Flowers is known for her energetic stage presence and incomparable routines.
"Personally, I've never enjoyed drag very much as a transgendered person," says Brentano. "I don't like the whole concept of female impersonation, but when Nina created Drama Drag (Drag Nation's precursor), she invigorated it and made it about performance. A lot of (the show) is about energy and movement, and bringing the dance crews in really changed it."