"There’s certainly more time now, and being cooped up inside, it’s good to have a reason to shave at least every other day."
What are you currently working on?
I spent years performing in drag in L.A. and N.Y., but stopped about ten years ago. Just recently started up again, and could barely glue on an eyelash or line a lip. Currently it’s mostly just visuals, but maybe I’ll whip up a couple song parodies.
Has your art making shifted in response to the pandemic? How?
I want to do a drowned Ophelia look, but that may take some effort. These are all selfies I take in my stairwell, but I like to think of them as Warhol Polaroid portraits, as they are all just head and shoulders.
What is the role that art can play in helping us confront our new reality?
There’s certainly more time now, and being cooped up inside, it’s good to have a reason to shave at least every other day. There is certainly a huge amount of art being produced now, and I think it’s likely in the future we will look back on this as an important era.
My “art” goes out on Instagram, and we are all glued to social media even more. My phone has shown me a bar graph of how much my use is up over the past few weeks. Still trying to live an actual life, even if society had become alarmingly virtual.
Stephen Vara is a performance artist living in Baltimore. See more of his work here.