Kalup Linzy caught the attention of art-world movers and shakers early on in his career with satirical and raunchy soap-opera videos featuring a menagerie of over-the-top characters, mostly played by him. The performance and video artist had only been out of school for a couple of years when, in 2005, The New York Times opened its review of the group show "African Queen" at the Studio Museum in Harlem with four heart-stopping words: "A star is born," referring to Linzy and his now infamous piece "All My Churen."
The Florida native, with his syrupy southern twang, is a renaissance man in drag who writes, acts, directs and sings. His influences range from Def Comedy Jam ("I just live!") to "Lady Sings the Blues"-like sorrow and heartache.
Now that he's taken on the New York art world (last spring the Studio Museum presented a survey of his work in the show "If It Don't Fit") and impressed the fashion set (he collaborated with Proenza Schouler on a music video for their 2010 resort collection), Linzy is hoping to make a go of it in Hollywood.
Having returned from the Sundance
Film Festival where he screened a compilation
of his shorts and wowed festival-goers
with performances at night, Linzy is feeling
that much closer to his dream of making a
feature-length movie. He is putting the finishing
touches on a script titled Ova Katessa,
and the formidable producer Lisa Cortes (of
Precious fame) has come on board to help get it
made. "It's about an aspiring soap vixen who
often gets in the way of her own success,"
Kalup wears a Linzy says, adding, "I love drama."
Kalup wears a tuxedo jacket by Louis Vuitton, shirt by Black Fleece by Brooks Brothers, shorts by Haleh Nematzadeh, tights by Wolford and cuff by Alexis Bittar