MIR27 - Worldbuilding & Kink
Worldbuilding is the act or process of constructing a world, oftentimes an imaginary world. This is a common practice within the genre of science fiction. However, while imaginary, these worlds are powerful vessels for considering what’s possible within reality. Author and activist Adrienne Marie Brown writes, “The realm of science and speculative fiction could be a great place to intentionally practice the futures we long for.” She continues, “all organizing is science fiction….we are bending the future, together, into something we have never experienced.” In a similar fashion, those who engage in self-expression at the fringe of what is deemed acceptable by society are constantly rewriting what is possible. As kinksters, we find and create different forms of joy-seeking, pleasure practice, relationship structures, community-building, and more. In a sense, we engage in a form of everyday worldbuilding. We create ever-expanding conceptions of the human experience that challenge those around us to consider what is possible or acceptable.

This exhibition was created to honor this aspect of kink and curate a collection of artworks by contemporary kinksters that each engage in worldbuilding in their own way. We invite you to explore and consider the different ways each artist is pushing the boundaries of the normative “world,” what kinds of worlds they are each constructing, and for who.

Featured Artists
Chicago, IL

Abhijeet is a drag artist and nightlife producer in Chicago. Hailed as a 7ft tall Bollywood Barbie, she brings the glitz and glam both on and off the stage through larger-than-life looks and performances. In addition to being a featured artist at Chicago’s favorite LGBTQ+ venues, Abhijeet regularly intersects drag and kink on stage. From wearing a 5 foot chastity cage as a garment, to hosting parties as a demon hound, to using pups as seats on stage, she brings kink into numerous spaces throughout Chicago and beyond. You can follow her on instagram.

San Francisco, CA

Axle likes opening folks’ eyes to new kinks, and has crafted various in-depth erotic story universes to do just that. Through written word, image curation and at times choose-your-own-adventure style engagement, Axle invites his instagram followers into “good twisted scenario[s].” Through worldbuilding, Axle not only provides jerk-off fuel for the horny, but also explores his own gender identity and comes into his own kinky interests. We’re excited to include one of Axle’s worlds in this show for you to explore. You can follow him on instagram.

Chicago, IL

Finn is a drag artist in Chicago that regularly intersects the magic of drag with the freedom of pet and creature play on stage. She writes “through exploring the world of pups, animals, and adorning myself in this kinkwear, I am able to become another being outside myself. It is freeing and helps to soothe my anxious tendencies.” You can follow her on instagram.

House of Huitlacooch
Chicago, IL

The House of Huitlacooch is a Chicago-based queer and trans People of Color (QTPOC) kink and BDSM collective. They conduct community organizing and create art with the goal of “creating spaces that give the representation our community has been deprived of.” By embodying the world they envision, the House is itself a form of worldbuilding, looking to “explore new realms of kink, prioritizing safety, respect, pleasure, & abundance.” The House hopes to blend their world with MIR by highlighting trans BIPOC bodies, thus “de-centering the cis white gaze, & illustrating that rubber & kink is for all.” You can follow House of Huitlacooch on instagram.

Jeremy A. Teal
Austin, TX

Teal (Mr. Texas Leather 2019) is working on a project titled “I, Too, Am Kink” to “explore the participation and necessity of [People of Color] in Kink and BDSM by capturing images, stories, and some video.” In this way, Teal is building a BDSM world in his own image of and for folks of color. Learn more about Teals project on their website or follow them on instagram.

Maxx Aguilar
Chicago, IL

Aguilar is a “product designer and multidisciplinary artist that works with a variety of media such as drawing, painting, printmaking, digital imaging, photography, music, metal working, and fashion design.” Learn more about Aguilar’s creative practice on their website or follow them on instagram.

Ralic Turman
Sumy, Ukraine

Ukraine-based digital artist Ralic Turman creates 3D worlds that blend science fiction and sexual fantasy. He takes “unexpected combinations of incompatible entities” and invents new worlds that bring them together through high-tech bondage and pleasure. His vision of BDSM reaches beyond our reality — and our galaxy — but speaks to human desires of submission and control. You can follow him on Twitter.


MIR26 - "Joy In Kink"
The exhibition "Joy In Kink" considers the power of finding, expressing, and creating joy through art and kink practices. This show in the third floor lobby gallery of Center on Halsted explored how artists represent joy in the process, experience, and documentation of their practice as well as through the humor and subversion of sexual norms.  The exhibition featured work from the following artists.

LARRY BULLER - Is a ceramicist living in Lincoln Nebraska. At first glance his work suggests the domestic, ornamental nature of ceramic objects, but upon closer look one discovers a showy, transgressive content that is conceptualized around issues of gay sexuality, the phallus and sexual fetish objects. These highly decorative pieces resonate with his varied experiences as a gay man.  Learn more on his website larrybullerceramics.com or follow him on instagram

ZACH GREAR -  Zach Grear is a self-taught artist inspired by Queer erotica and tattoo iconography. He uses markers and collage to alter found imagery, specializing in vintage gay porn magazines he used to shoplift as a teen. Each piece transforms the original image into a new “othered” version of itself. Recurring words and symbols add to this distortion, challenging the original intent of the image. His artwork also includes portraits of his personal heroes along with peers in the contemporary Queer art scene. Zach currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.   Learn more on his website zachgrear.com or follow him on instagram.

nosoxnosex - Is a graphic designer by day and these works are his secret creative outlet. No deadlines, no rules, no expectations from others. Just exploring the porn world, making collages about things that tickle his fancy. In a way, animated collages are the perfect art form to capture what he seeks want to express. The works are explicit.  Learn more about them on their website nosoxnosex.com or follow them on twitter.

VEE ELECTROPAPI - Vee Electropapi is a New York based lifestyle teacher and performer of electro sensation arts, fireplay arts, shibari and rope suspension.  In Vee’s Caribbean-based Black Indigenous ancestral healing practices, they realized that salvation can only happen when desire is liberated. Holiness is liberated queerness. In this art exhibition, Vee explores the crucifixion, ascension, and sainthood of the Black and Indigenous queer trans two spirit body as a sanctuary of desire in kink and bdsm. You can contact Vee on instagram or email them at Electropapizap@gmail.com

RUSH - Rush is a California based rubberist and artist who finds joy in art and obedience.  You can follow him on twitter or instagram.

DILLON ROSE GARDNER - Dillon says "I enjoy the details. I enjoy hyper focusing on the everyday things n moments that make me feel anything, good, bad, ugly beautiful... its all feelings and I love to feel. It's seeming like the exploration of self through make believe play. kink to me is the definition of incorporating fantasy into reality." You can follow them on instagram.

ABHIJEET - Abhijeet is a drag queen and nightlife producer in Chicago. Hailed as a 7ft tall Bollywood Barbie, she brings the glitz and glam both on and off the stage through larger-than-life looks and performances. In addition to being a featured artist at Chicago’s favorite LGBTQ+ venues, Abhijeet is a founding member of nightlife collective A Queer Pride and the producer of sold-out drag brunch Dim Sum & Drag, underground party series BOOTS, and the city’s first-ever outdoor drag festival Chicago Is A Drag Fest. You can follow her on instagram.


Ed Negron was perhaps best known to attendees of Mr. International Rubber (MIR) as the friendly guy taking portraits in the photo booth, getting candid shots in the market, or photographing the contest.  As MIR staff photographer for the last decade, he had access to every aspect of the event, and worked diligently to capture aspects of the weekend that might not be as visible to the average attendee. He used his camera to highlight under-represented communities, to capture intimate moments, and to record on film the personal sense of pride and power that many experience at events such as MIR. Our memorial exhibition featured his work from the past few years, and drew upon his work for MIR pulled from our archives.


Aaron Moth is the artistic alter ego of a Polish artist, fascinated by photography of architecture, nudity, eroticism & queer art from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.  Aaron Moth uses mostly erotic and pornographic pictures, through the technique of collage, he creates a new, more sensual quality.  His works can be found in private collections, among others, in Great Britain, Spain, Germany, Poland, Brazil and the United States of America. Aaron Moth breathes, lives and works in Berlin.

Andi Fogt is a Chicago based artist invested in creating work exploring gender and sexuality. They graduated from Herron School of Art and Design with a BFA in Printmaking. Their aesthetic draws heavily from a background in intaglio and screenprinting, focused primarily on imagery which revels in line works and flat colors. They’re a body-positive, fat-positive, leather, genderqueer relationship anarchist who believes that art can (and should) be accessible.

Shilo McCabe has been photographing the leather, kink and sex-positive communities of the San Francisco Bay Area for over 15 years. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally and is honored to have her images in several print publications. Her work has been included in the Kinsey Institute Gallery's permanent collection and her self-published exhibition catalog from the “I masturbate…” show is now housed in a library at Harvard University. She is honored to work as the current Director of Photography for International Ms Leather Productions, LLC. Additionally, she has served on the board of LVA: Lesbians in the Visual Arts and was a Project Photographer for the Bay Area Women of Color Photo Project.


Fabrizio Cotognini was born in Macerata, Italy in 1983, and now lives and works in Civitanova Marche in the region of his birth. In 2009 he was one of the artists in the Leather Archives and Museum exhibition entitled “Low” curated by Scott Ian Ray. Works loaned from the collection of the Leather Archives and Museum.

Efrain J. Gonzales is a photographer working in New York City. The two works featured here are from two larger collection of photographs taken at “Kink and Draw”, a regular event hosted by The Baroness. Artists of all stripes gather at Lucky Bar to sketch and create art based on an array of latex and fetish clad models. Works loaned from the collection of the Leather Archives and Museum.

Katie Vota is a Chicago-based artist working to create interactive environments and sculptural objects that engage viewers in ideas of play, touch, pleasure, power exchange, and the roll of the active body in shaping identity.

At MIR22, The Art Of Rubber, the Mr. International Rubber Organization was able to begin a program of art exhibitions as part of the weekend.  The goal of this initiative is to bring new artists and perspectives to the attention of our attendees each year. We strive to avoid traditional "beefcake" imagery, and to explore other expression of rubber and kink in an artistic context.  These exhibitions are brief and temporary at this time, exhibited at Center on Halsted just for the three days of Mr. International Rubber. Below you will learn more about our exhibitions, past and present.