High Art:
Boys in the Sand and Legend in Her Living Room

by Tony Phillips

Whatever else you care to say about it, Fire Island’s long been a hub for visual artists, from abstract expressionist champion Frank O’Hara, who lived on the island until he was struck and killed by a dune buggy in the summer of ’66, to queer auteur Todd Downing, whose stop-motion Chucky emerged from the surf to be dusted with coke and poppers in his 1997 short film Dirty Baby Does Fire Island. Finally, a panel of “experts” including David Groff and Henry Scott dish not only visual artists, but the poets, novelists, journalists and playwrights who’ve claimed this ever-eroding sandbar as their own personal paradise and Petri dish.

And if they were to choose a single artist whose first two solo albums rang out across the island like a clarion call, it would surely be this diva. In addition to releasing her latest effort Bare, she’ll open her similarly titled photography debut the same day. If you’ve been holding your breath for this release, exhale on your way from Tower and pop into the Spike Gallery to check out the lovely self-portraits of Annie Lennox.

Desire in the Dunes: Fire Island and the LGBT Imagination, 6pm June 9 at the New School (66 West 12th St), $5. Call (212) 229-8903.

Annie Lennox: Bare, opens June 10 at Spike Gallery (547 West 20th St), free, but limited.