The Folsom Street Fair, held on September 30 this year, claims to be the world’s largest ‘leather event’. From 11 am to 6 pm the fairground in San Francisco’s South of Market district will be filled with people in their most outrageous leather/rubber/fetish attire. To promote and celebrate the fair, Folsom Street Events have released a poster using well-known community members as players in an innovative version of the culturally iconographic “Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci. The photograph, by gay culture photographer Fredalert, includes leather fetish objects at a table at which men and women eye each other.
Andy Copper, Folsom Street Events Board President says, “We are extremely pleased with the outcome of this poster, and we are looking forward to a particularly inspirational event season. There is no intention to be particularly pro-religion or anti-religion with this poster; the image is intended only to be reminiscent of the ‘Last Supper’ painting. It is a distinctive representation of diversity with women and men, people of all colors and sexual orientations.”
Folsom Street Events acknowledges that many of the people in the leather and fetish communities are spiritual and that this poster image is a way of expressing that side of the community’s interests and beliefs. This year, Folsom Street Fair is dedicated to “San Francisco Values,” previously used against the San Francisco community for its support of sexual diversity and now used by Folsom Street Events as a way to reclaim power by the fetish community.
Andy Copper, adds “We hope that people will enjoy the artistry for what it is – nothing more or less. Many people choose to speculate on deeper meanings. This is one artist’s imagining of the ‘Last Supper’, and we have made it our own. The irony is that da Vinci was widely considered to be homosexual. In truth, we are going to produce a series of inspired poster images over the next few years. Next year’s poster ad may take inspiration from American Gothic by Grant Wood or Edvard Munch’s The Scream or even The Sound of Music! I guess it wouldn’t be Folsom Street Fair without offending some extreme members of the global community, though.”
Folsom Street Events is a non-profit agency that produces four events annually: Bay of Pigs, Up Your Alley, Magnitude, and Folsom Street Fair. The mission of Folsom Street Events is to create volunteer-driven leather events that provide the adult alternative lifestyle community with safe venues for self-expression while emphasizing freedom, fun, frolic and fetish and raising critical funds to benefit local charities. In 2006, Folsom Street Events marked the 23rd Folsom Street Fair with nearly 400,000 attendees and $310,512 donated to charity.