This Valentine’s Day, queer muse Richie Shazam took concepts of love and lust and blasted them out in a zine collaboration with Mike Krim of Paper Work NYC. In Cold Love with Richie Shazam is a collaged publication “filled with poisonous, sexual, and sinful photos.”
The zine is equal measures provocative, playfully dark, and artfully personal. “Sexuality in the media is just about as fake as Valentine’s Day,” Richie tells The Creators Project. “We are influenced to look a certain type of way and then made to feel bad if we don’t. We are made to believe that we are supposed to have a Valentine’s Day date, and this zine serves to debunk these fallacies.”
Within the pages of In Cold Love you will find an exploration of the sick and grosteque as a political stance on how we approach notions of love and lust. Richie uses his own "brown queer body" as a catalyst to communicate how limited Valentine's Day traditions are, to encourage individuals to pursue their own visions of sexuality, and to give power to those who find themselves alone and with their friends.
“I've never had a traditional Valentine. All my life my best friends/ sisters have served as my Valentine's Day dates. Although some may find that depressing, and I'll admit that at times I did too, I can't wait for Vday now. My friends and I keep each other single and strong," he says.
The theme of single and strong is woven throughout the portraits of Richie taken by Krim. Richie says the images in the zine “take on a bloody, carnage-like savagery in which my man-eating ways are on full display in my different mutations, placing myself in different fantasies, dark places including myself getting de-robed in a cemetery in Queens.”
Yet the zine isn’t all just pretty portraits of Richie, he invited his ball-busting female friends to write about their sexual escapades to further incriminate everyone in the pursuit of lust. Julia Fox wrote about her sex-capades with a gay junky prostitute friend, Sanam Sindhi shared an intimate story on childhood experimentation, while Brittany Chanel penned some poetic sexual prose.There are also red hot illustrations by Natalie Krim throughout.
“This zine," Riche says, "goes out to all the real girls who aren't buying the Valentine's Day dream. Truth is, love hurts, it traps you, chews you up and spits you back out.”