After a long hiatus due to the pandemic lockdown, sexy nightlife veteran and renown multimedia artist Krys Fox is back with an enticingly spooky gallery of horrors.
Thotyssey: Hello Krys, Happy October! How is the spooky season treating you so far?
Krys Fox: Hey Jim! All things considered, I’m pretty well.
It’s been a crazy few months, for certain! Did social distancing make it easier for you at all–maybe as far as having a clearer schedule–to go out and do projects?
Oh no. It was definitely not easier. I have lung stuff, so I’ve been isolated most of the year. After my last photo series was put on hold in March, I’ve been project-less… aside from photographing my boyfriend, which is always a treat. Deciding to start shooting my annual Halloween series was a big step toward some sort of art normalcy for me. Art is healing both for me and my subjects, but also for so many out there needing a distraction. So it was time to start shooting again.
When you’re preparing a project, do you have to map out every detail beforehand, or do things happen somewhat spontaneously?
Hmmmm… depends on the project. For this “31 Days of Halloween” project, I storyboard everything and come to set pretty prepared for what I want to capture. But as with almost all art, the real magic often happens when accidents or surprises happen!
[Photos by Krys Fox]
Let’s get a little background on you… where are you from originally, and how did you begin in the arts?
I was raised in Orange County in Southern California. I have been in the arts in some form my whole life. I was an actor as a kid, and started taking pictures with a Polaroid my mom got me for a summer school thing around third grade.
What brought you to NYC?
I’d wanted to live here my entire life. I’d dreamed of having a shitty apartment like the one in Beaches, or a dilapidated firehouse like Ghostbusters! I finally started dating this guy who lived here, and we’d take turns visiting each other. He’d visit me in LA, I’d go here, and I never wanted to leave. I fell in love with the city. That relationship didn’t last but, 11 years on, my relationship to NYC is still going strong!
It would be everything to live in the Ghostbusters firehouse! How long has the whole horror aesthetic been an inspiration for you?
Oh my goodness… since I was a very young. I was such a scaredy-cat, but have always loved horror. I started taking weird photos of my friends and family very early on, and writing dark spooky plays for me and my sister to do. It’s always been closely tied to my work and life.
Was it maybe that same attraction that drew you to the nightlife world?
Hmm… I’ve never thought of that! Maybe? It’s dark yet colorful, and nightlife can sure be spooky.
What roles have you played in that world over the years?
I don’t think of myself as much of a nightlife person anymore, but throughout my 20s and 30s I certainly tried it all. I started out as a gogo boy in Los Angeles and San Francisco in the 90s and early 2000s, then I was a drag creature and performance artist (which was really the same thing… just sometimes in a bar, sometimes in a theater). I was a DJ for a long time, and threw my own parties and events in SF. Around when turned 40, I kinda hung up my party shoes.
You’ve photographed some of the most beautiful men in the biz, and some amazing queens as well. Do you have a personal favorite subject?
Golly, I feel really honored to have worked with the people I have. I really love all my art muses. Working with Joey Arias is always super fun, we have a very similar aesthetic and it’s always light and easy. Alan Cumming is always a treat to shoot, he’s such a giving subject and so willing to “go there.” Matthew Camp is such a dish, and so sweet, and so very smart. And I always create really edgy and fun stuff with Amanda Palmer–she’s been my muse the longest. The past year, my boyfriend, Matty Glitterati has been incredible to shoot (especially during quarantine); he’s my favorite thing to look at.
Aw! How did you and Matty meet, by the way?
He and I originally met six years ago, when he was referred to me by a friend to model in a Hellraiser themed shoot I did. And we’d been friends.Then almost exactly a year ago, we kissed and accidentally became boyfriends.
Your annual Halloween photo series featuring queer-centric horror shots returns with a new edition this year! What is it about sex and horror elements that work so well together in art, fashion, etc?
I think part of it might be that both of them are naughty. They are taboo, and taboos always flavor art and fashion and culture. I’ve always gotten turned on by the feeling of being safely afraid… ya know? Like, sex can be powerful when there’s a little “oh, I can’t believe I’m gonna do this.” It’s like rollercoasters–a safe way to get adrenaline running. And art is so much more interesting when it isn’t safe.
Tell us when and where this season’s series is going to roll out… and maybe what or who were your inspirations this time around.
As far as what’s coming up… you guys will have to wait and see! But I can say, it’s films from the 1930s through to now. I’m even shooting a homage to a film that was created during quarantine involving a haunted Zoom call, and that shoot is allowing me to create with seven actors I love that live in LA… and I think that series of images will be particularly exciting for horror fans out there! I’m also stoked to be shooting a lot more models of color this year, and we have quite a few drag queens in the mix as well! It’s gonna be good!
I can’t wait to see these! This should take up much of your time this month, but might there be anything else in the works for you down the road?
I’m up to my ears in horror at the moment, painting sets and casting and storyboarding. Once it’s over, and it’s November.. I get my birthday and a long rest!
Then, who knows? Hopefully in November our future will look a lot brighter, and I can create some art involving touch again. I’d been deep in a project called “Helping Hands” before lockdown hit, where groups of strangers take turns holding each other and healing one another in crazy technicolor light. I had a gallery exhibition set up for June, and obviously all that had to pause. I want to get back to a world where we can hold each other without fear and heal. And I have faith that we will.
Here’s hoping! In closing… who’s the sexiest monster / killer in Halloween history?
Haha! Well.. I have always had a thing for werewolves. Gimme a furball howling at the moon every time!
Woof! Thanks, Krys!