Morty: Hi, Apaulo! I just spent some time on your website and really love the work you’re doing. When did you begin as an artist?
Apaulo: Thank you! I started drawing when I was wee high to a chicken thigh. A bit later in life I started drawing dirty pictures. One I can vividly remember is a dragon boy with a huge dick. I was raised in a fundamentalist Christian household with no TV or radio. I was also born and raised as a girl, so you can imagine how shocking it was for my family when I was caught drawing sex pictures… let’s just say I became convinced I was possessed with demons or something. That captive feeling and the lack of words I had at the time to explain my gender truly led me to the art I do today. My art has a lot of creepyness and colorfulness because that’s how I deal with mortality and myths we believe are true about life, sex, and death. I believe my art is activism and therapy. I also perform as Puck Goodfellow doing burlesque, porn, and circus. I love using performance art to poke and prod at our society and morality and sexuality.
Morty: You’re also doing amazing signage work. How did you get into doing it?
Apaulo: I got into sign work because I need to make the money any way I can. Also, I think hand crafted signage is a dying art that I would love to keep alive … with a bunch of recycled parts like Frankenstein. HA HA HA HAH! *sinister laugh*
Morty: Are you involved in any Bay Area art scenes?
Apaulo: Honestly I know very little about the Bay Area art scene, or any scene for that matter. I have always found scenes confusing… unless I am creating them from my mind… with lots of mythological creatures and zombies. … or a BDSM scene, yeahhh!!! I know a little about the queer porn scene and the burlesque seen, but not so much the whole bay area art scene. Really, I’m in my own little fantasy land most of the time. I do love the Center for Sex and Culture and Counter Pulse, I love all the scenes there!
Morty: How would you describe yourself - with gender and beyond?
Apaulo: I simply identify as an animal and a dandy. I have found that when I am broad or creative in my identity it encourages curiosity and evolution in myself and other people and when I narrow it down to job, gender, or sexuality it encourages assumption and I get stuck in an ego box. Identifying this way makes my art hedonistic and childish and iconic and I feel free to just let my instincts do the work and not try to over think everything … I can just live in the moment and enjoy every second of my life!
Morty: I love that! Would you ever call yourself a “trans/genderqueer/gender non-conforming artist” or does that feel too limiting?
Apaulo: I guess I could call myself a trans artist because I am always growing and changing and learning about myself. I am always in some sort of magical transition. I was diagnosed female at birth and now I have more testosterone in my body, so… I guess that we humans have created a symbol to sum all this up. Like I mentioned before I identify as an animal because I think I am bigger than the word trans… it’s like I’m a nudest or a dog and people keep putting me in clothing they want to see me in because it makes them feel more comfortable.
Morty: What are you up to lately?
Apaulo: I am working on my rope (Circus performance), xxx burlesque performance and a stained glass series called “Holy Perversion”. Also, since there seems to be a need for a kinky queer art and play space in the East Bay my lover, Jay Very, our friend Becka and I are putting together a queer artist collective and kinky/xxx performance/play space called The Velvet Rope. I’m so excited!
Morty: Please send the details when things are up and running! Lastly, who do you feel inspired by?
Apaulo: I like the photographer David LaChapelle and Leonardo da Vinci. But really I feel inspired by my fellow artists and queer family that are always pushing the boundaries of our society and art. People like my lover Jay Very, my girlfriend Poppy Foxheart, my tattoo artist friends Tanya and Monster, performance artists Ben McCoy, Sadie Lune and Dave End, and photographer Ryan Donahoo. I could go on an on and list all my friends who have been working their gay asses off for art but it would take a lot of time! Thank you for reading and getting to know me!
Get to know the art and life of Apaulo Hart even more here:
Apauloarthart.blogspot.com and Puckplay.blogspot.com
I do dirty work… Art is sex.