REX NEW YORK MINESHAFT BAR POSTER : NUMBER ONE (1976)




LARGE PRINT OF NEW YORK MINESHAFT POSTER DESIGNED BY REX (1976)


Superb large-sized (11 3/4 by 15 1/2 inches) reprint of REX poster art originally commissioned in 1976 for the notorious New York Sex Club THE MINESHAFT. This was the first of three designs REX was commissioned to create over the club's commercial life (1976-1983). The design also appeared on thousands of MINESHAFT t-shirts which are still in production and worn world-wide. This rare one-of-a-kind large size print was struck for five REX European exhibitions: (1) CNCPT GALLERY Amsterdam in 2014 (2) ANCO HOTEL Amsterdam in 2015 (3) BALLERY GALLERY Berlin in 2016 (4) REX VERBOTEN Colonge in 2017 and (5) REX WORLD Antwerp in February 2018. Printed in the Netherlands from the artist's original negative, but never issued in the US. The original pen-and-ink drawing was created by the artist in New York in 1976. The original was exhibited at the LESLIE-LOHMAN GALLERY in 1994. The image later appeared in numerous American and European Gay Magazines over the next several decades including DRUMMER, MANDATE, HONCHO, ADVOCATE MEN, INSTIGATOR, ALPHATRIBE and UNCUT in the US. It was later featured in the French hardcover portfolio REXWERK (Paris 1986) and in the large hardcover portfolio REX VERBOTEN published by Bruno Gmunder in Berlin in 2012. NOTE : Uncirculated print is in pristine condition with no discoloration or suface stress marks

A MEMORY OF THE MINESHAFT BY REX

The MINESHAFT was a legendary gay sex club on Little West 12th Street in the meat packing district of New York's Greenwich Village. The brainchild of manager Walter Wallace, it was not the first gay sex-club in New York that Wallace had managed, but it was his most successful. The MINESHAFT was destined to become the most famous gay sex club in the world, partly because it came into being just as Gay Liberation was taking hold, and before the AIDS crisis appeared and unprotected sex was outlawed by health and police regulations. While homosexuality was still illegal in most of the US, the MINESHAFT existed in an area of New York where law enforcement looked the other way when it came to gay activity. One entered the MINESHAFT thru a heavy RED metal door, past a doorman who dhecked ID and up a flight of dark creaking stairs into the front-room bar on the second floor. Physically THE MINESHAFT consisted of a labyrinth of rooms, stairways, toilets, closets, hallways, bathtubs, gloryholes and slings spread out over two stories and a roof area. It was characterized by superb theatrical lighting which flattered everyone, making all who attended feel part of the sexual "performances" being staged for one another. Men from all over the world made a gay pilgrimage to THE MINESHAFT including Truman Capote, Rudolf Nureyev and Freddie Mercury. It was this mix of very different "types" of men united in lust that made the MINESHAFT so unique. By todays standards it was not politically correct, for that term had not been "inflicted" upon us yet. It was a contemporary of New York's Studio 54 uptown and many men who frequented one were regulars at the other. After hours when the regular bars closed at 4 AM THE MINESHAFT hit its stride with anywhere from 200-300 men from all over Manhattan and the tri-state area packed into its cubby-holes until nearly noon when it closed for the cleanup crew. The music was consistently weird and different each night ranging from Wagner to Janis Joplin, Mozart to James Brown, mixed so seamlessly the music seemed to seep from the walls in the background. Anything that could be fantasized was realized somewhere in The MINESHAFT whose motto was "The School for Lower Education". In the best sense of the word, the MINESHAFT was "the pits", where men could abandon inhibitions and live out their sexual fantasies in a non-judgemental space. Much of the incredible ambiance centered around the main front bar staffed by a variety of hard-working bartenders. It was the consistent "hot" quality of both customers and staff that served them, which made the MINESHAFT a legend. For sexual athletes the closing of the legendary MINESHAFT in 1983 signaled the end of a hedonistic golden age


MINESHAFT POSTER NUMBER ONE (1976) : Measures 11 3/4 by 15 1/2 inches : Printed in the Netherlands in 2014 under the supervision of the artist from his original negative

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