Tag Archives: Dorian Katz

The Fabulous Subtle and Confrontational Art of Dorian Katz

Laurie says:

I’ve been a fan of my friend Dorian Katz‘s work for a long time. It can seem deceptively simple and childlike until you pay attention. Then you realize that you are looking a a remarkably high quality of art that confronts a remarkable array of social bigotry and phobias.  Ones that damage many lives. Her avatar is Popper the Pony.

She recently created 2 superb zines. One about Popper’s first visit to the Whitney Biennial – The Pony’s 1st Whitney (the biennial) & Other Art Mischief. You can buy the zines and lots of other work here.

She says: This was my first time at a Whitney Biennial. At home in the San Francisco Bay Area, visiting survey shows on what’s important locally leave me with overwhelming feelings of despair. On the subway to the Biennial, I began sketching and writing my feelings about visiting this important show. I stopped to sketch and write frequently during my museum visit. This was the start of A Pony’s First Whitney: the Biennial.

And what an outrageous visit it was!

The second is This Zine Does Not Meet Community Standards, a collaboration between Dorian and other artists.

She says: We chose the title, This Zine Does Not Meet Community Standards, to mock Instagram’s generic response when they censor people. Our community is queer artists and sex workers.

My friend, Buck Deerborn and I were discussing that we meet people who have never heard of Sesta-Fosta, a law that claimed to reduce online sex trafficking. Sesta-Fosta is really a censorship law. It endangers Sex Workers physical safety and livelihoods. We decided to make a zine with a few friends to discuss it’s impact, online censorship more broadly & what sex workers like about their job.

I think this quote from Gigi Otálvaro-Hormillosa in Art Practical  says a lot about Dorian’s work.

Though Katz’s visual works evoke a visceral response, it is also the durational and participatory context of their presentation—as described in the examples above—that enables a fuller engagement. The strength and efficacy of her images lie in their ability to serendipitously penetrate the viewer’s psyche and body—whether while sitting on the bus, or riding the slow waves of sleep or lovemaking. Their depiction of radical genders and sexual practices does the important work of keeping our beloved and dystopian Bay Area queer, which has increasingly proven to be a challenge given the region’s drastic demographic shifts since the early 2010s.8 The sexual synaesthetics and utopian imagery that characterize Katz’s drawings offer relief in the midst of dark times, making her art practice a politicized form of art therapy, as well as queer culture preservation.

Dorian’s instagram account is here. You should really check it out.

Poppers the Pony Art, Plus Coloring Book Party! San Francisco, March 30


Debbie says:

Laurie and I are both fans (and friends) of Dorian Katz, aka Poppers the Pony. Poppers’ art is usually erotic, frequently whimsical, sometimes extremely pointed, and always worth seeing. Her work has been on display at Wicked Grounds in San Francisco since January 15 (and will be there through April 30). On Saturday, March 30, from 6-8 pm, Stacked Deck Press, which has featured Poppers’ work in several publications, will host a reception and coloring book party at Wicked Grounds for their Butch Lesbians of the 50s, 60s, and 70s Coloring Book. We imagine Poppers pawing the ground in pleasure and anticipation.

Cover of Butch Lesbians coloring book

Gigi Otálvaro-Hormillosa wrote about Poppers/Dorian in 2018, The Performative Drawings of Dorian Katz, aka Poppers the Pony. Otálvaro-Hormillosa writes:

Dorian Katz’s drawings make me feel good. They make me laugh, put me at ease, titillate, inspire, seduce, and provoke me. Her spectacular species function like comfort animals who take me away to colorful fantasy worlds where tantric Olympics are possible, providing much needed respite from the traumas that perpetually unfold in ordinary reality.

The article goes into the ways that Katz pairs art and science, serious thought with delightful images:

Let there be smut!

In yet another playful art-meets-science experiment, Katz created A Field Guide to Horses by Poppers the Pony (2016), a zine that combines the facts of certain species, such as seahorses (unique because the male seahorse can get pregnant), Bretons, and Fabellas,5 with fictions concerning their adventurous sex lives. Katz’s humor is complemented by her interactive approach, which lends an embodied and psychic force to this extraordinary, animalistic, and ecstatic body of work: she’s provided audiences with opportunities to participate in her work by inviting them to color her images…

Read the whole article, which also has more images than I could fit here, including some in color.

If you live in or near San Francisco, come to Poppers’ reception on March 30, and if you can’t make the reception, be sure to check out the show before it closes on April 30. I can promise you that Poppers’ work will make you smile … even while it’s making you think. And you never know … it might also make you whinny.