Matt Momchilov’s ‘They Really Want You’ Transforms Queer Icons into Punk Legends

Matt Momchilov has been digging around in our subconscious. That was our first thought upon seeing the publicity image for the artist’s new show, They Really Want You, at San Francisco’s Unspeakable Projects: a sculpture of a drag queen dressed as Courtney Love ca. 1994, clutching a studded leather jacket bearing a portrait of Roseanne Barr. Momchilov approaches pop culture through a distinctly queer and countercultural lens; the Roseanne piece is part of a series of leather jackets that replace the expected macho, heterosexual hardcore heroes — Henry Rollins, Ian MacKaye — with his own pantheon of Stevie Nicks, Robert Mapplethorpe, and John Waters. While celebrating these icons, Momchilov is also dramatizing fans’ relationships to the stars they worship. Click through for some highlights from They Really Want You, and if you’re in the Bay Area, be sure to stop by and see the show in person before it closes December 1st.

Matt Momchilov, Miss World, 2011, gypsum concrete, acrylic wig, tiara, vintage clothing, clear packing tape, Revlon “Vixen” #570 nail polish. Dimensions variable. Courtesy Unspeakable Projects.

Matt Momchilov, Roseanne Barr Jacket, 2011, charcoal, acrylic, 701 metal studs, Schott Perfecto vintage leather jacket. Courtesy Unspeakable Projects.