REX NEW YORK MINESHAFT BAR POSTER : NUMBER TWO (1980)




LARGE PRINT OF NEW YORK MINESHAFT POSTER DESIGNED BY REX (1980)


Superb large-sized (11 3/4 by 15 1/2 inches) reprint of REX poster art originally commissioned in 1980 for the notorious New York Sex Club THE MINESHAFT. This was the second of three designs REX was commissioned to create over the span of the club's existence (1976-1983). The design also appeared on thousands of MINESHAFT t-shirts which are still sold by the artist and worn world-wide. This one-of-a-kind fine-art reprint was struck for five REX European print 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 and is dated (on lower right boot tip) 9-27-80. The original was exhibited at the LESLIE-LOHMAN GALLERY in 1994. The image later reproduced in numerous American and European Gay Magazines over the next several decades including DRUMMER, MANDATE, HONCHO, ADVOCATE MEN, INSTIGATOR, ALPHATRIBE, UNCUT and BONER. It was later featured in the French hardcover portfolio REXWERK (Paris 1986) and the large hardcover volume REX VERBOTEN published by Bruno Gmunder in Berlin in 2012. NOTE : Uncirculated print is in pristine condition with no discoloration, fading or suface 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 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 emerging, 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 checked ID and any dress code violations, then up a flight of dark wooden 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 around them. Men from all over the world made a 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. It was not politically correct by today's standards, for that term had not been "imposed" upon us yet by the thought police. 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 dark cubby-holes until nearly noon when it closed for the cleanup crew. The music was consistently weird each night ranging from Wagner to Janis Joplin, Mozart to James Brown, mixed so seamlessly the music seemed to seep from the walls. 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 sexual inhibitions and live out their fantasies in a non-judgemental space. Much of the incredible ambiance centered around the main bar staffed by a variety of hard-working bartenders. It was the consistent "hot" quality of both customers and the staff that served them, which made the MINESHAFT a legend. For sexual athletes, the closing of THE MINESHAFT in 1983 signaled the end of a hedonistic golden age


MINESHAFT POSTER NUMBER TWO (1980) : 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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