Invented Icons – Irene Williams, the Queen of Lincoln Road

(Eric Smith next to the Annie Leibovitz photo of his adored Irene Williams, the “Queen of Lincoln Road,” at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. Photo by Jordan Levin.) Irene Williams, the fierce, elderly fashion iconoclast being celebrated in the show Irene Williams: Queen of Lincoln Road at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU this summer, was…

The singular, spectacular Joey Arias

Long before drag was mainstream and creating a gender-blurring self was an activist act, Joey Arias was doing both. The singular diva, singer and artist-entertainer, who performs Friday as part of Fundarte‚Äôs Out in the Tropics festival, is a legendary founding figure of New York’s art/music/nightlife underground. A word he scoffs at, one of the…

Carlos Betancourt talks Memory, Identity and Illuminations

I’ve been friends with artist Carlos Betancourt since the now-famous Imperfect Utopia days on Lincoln Road in the early 90’s, when his studio was a gathering place for the community of artists and art lovers, thrift shop glamour pusses, experimental designers, South Beach socialites (we didn’t call it Sobe yet), the simply fabulous and those…