This is the only SFW photo of CHRISTEENE on the Internet
In preparation for a recent trip to Austin, Texas, a dear friend of mine sent me a series of Vimeo links, each with a title more bizarre than the last: “Tears From My Pussy,” “Fix My Dick,” “Bustin’ Brown,” “Workin’ On Grandma,” “African Mayonnaise.” This was in the context of a Skype chat, and so the links were coming fast and furious. He insisted that I watch them then and there, and so I did. I can only imagine what the look on my face must have been as I took in these videos, and had my tiny, thus-far innocent mind blown harder and harder, again and again, five and a half minutes at a time. And when it was all over, and he was done laughing at my slack jaw and goggle-eyes, he uttered three simple words: “That was CHRISTEENE.”
How to best describe CHRISTEENE? Another friend said it best, after I enthusiastically foisted CHRISTEENE’s oeuvre on him: “You know how some drag queens try and look filthy, but they’re still glamorous, and you joke around and say, ‘oh girl, you look like shit?’ but it’s really just funny? Well, CHRISTEENE actually looks like shit. Like, CHRISTEENE genuinely looks like CHRISTEENE was just shat out of someone’s asshole.”
CHRISTEENE is a mess: clumpy, greasy hair that looks like it was shampooed with some kind of unspeakable muck, and then conditioned with lube; a face that’s a smudgy mess of smoky eyeliner and lipstick that looks like it was applied by someone’s butt; a scant few strips of something that was probably once clothing but no one can really say for sure anymore; wild eyes and a gold tooth; and a nasal drawl that sounds like a shell-shocked toddler. And CHRISTEENE is the best, filthiest gender-terrorist-hip-hop/R&B-performer you will ever see. CHRISTEENE just released a full-length album, Waste Up Kneez Down, which is so full of dick and pussy references, it might just qualify as a concept album (which wouldn’t count for anything if it weren’t for the fact that the songs are genuinely incredible). And CHRISTEENE is coming to Hotnuts for Pride.
Hotnuts is a high-fashion-dumpster-clown-mess rager of a drag party thrown by neo-drag entities Mary Messhausen and Produzentin (with inimitable door service by the charming El Bear Ho), and it is, hands down, the best party currently going in this town. It used to be a monthly event at the Beaver; but the party had simply grown too large (whether it was the popularity of Produzentin’s unbelievable DJ skills or the glamorous Mary’s um…hostessing services is a matter of debate), and is now every three months (or so) at the Garrison. The party is just as much an epic dance marathon as it is a fashion show; guests can get a discount on the door price if they show up in drag (some kind of drag, any kind of drag, the more outlandish and messy and crazy, the better). There is usually a theme to suggest an appropriate look (this month, due to messianic anticipation of the guest, the theme is “Christmas With CHRISTEENE”). The evening is dutifully documented, and Produzentin keeps a catalogue of the avant-fashions of Hotnuts on her website. (As long as your outfit is intact for your photo-op, you’re fine).
Both Mary and Produzentin are very close friends of mine, and as soon as I returned from Austin, the city that CHRISTEENE currently calls home (although I think CHRISTEENE’s actual home is under a highway overpass), I had to let them know about the phenomenon. I was sure that, as in-the-know as they are, they would obviously have heard of CHRISTEENE ages ago. They hadn’t (!) and so I had the sublime joy of proselytizing on CHRISTEENE’s behalf. One might go so far as to say that, in fact, not only was I ahead of the neo-drag entity curve on this one, but I am, in my own small way, responsible for CHRISTEENE’s impending arrival. As a conscientious (and humble!) journalist, I simply couldn’t make such claims without corroboration, and so I tried to reach Mary and Produzentin for a comment, but all I got was an email from Mary that read “Baby incest diaper felching.” Clearly, she had been listening to CHRISTEENE’s album.
CHRISTEENE is also appearing at the Garrison for a video screening tonight (8 pm).
Sholem Krishtalka is the Toronto Standard’s art critic.