Sandie Crisp, ‘Goddess Bunny’ of the Underground Scene, Dies at 61

This obituary is an element of a sequence about individuals who have died in the coronavirus pandemic. Read about others right here.

Sandie Crisp, a transgender actress and mannequin who, below her stage title the Goddess Bunny, served as a muse to generations of artists, homosexual punks and different denizens of the West Hollywood avant-garde, died on Jan. 27 at a hospital in Los Angeles. She was 61.

Her demise was confirmed by Mitchell Sunderland-Jackson, a buddy. The trigger was Covid-19, he stated.

For a long time, Ms. Crisp was a well-known presence on the sidewalks of Santa Monica Boulevard and in the hustler bars that after lined it, the place she dressed like a grungy diva and lip-synced songs by Donny Osmond, Judy Garland and Selena.

In the 1980s and ’90s, she grew to become a well-liked topic for artists who frequented that scene in addition to their collaborator. Directors solid her in underground films, and he or she appeared in music movies by Dr. Dre and Billy Talent. A nude of her sits in the everlasting assortment of the Louvre.

After the Baimas divorced, Sandie spent several years in foster homes around Los Angeles, at times subjected to abuse by doctors and at least one foster parent, according to Sandie’s account and that of her half brother, Derryl Dale Piper II.

She returned to live with her mother when she was 11, and by 14 she was beginning to present herself as a woman, Mr. Piper said, a turn that brought conflict with their mother, who was deeply religious.

Ms. Crisp left home after high school, moving to West Hollywood and joining a small community of punks, artists, homeless teens and hustlers. She made her mark almost immediately. Foulmouthed and dressed in sequined gowns that she often sewed herself, she insisted on being treated like a celebrity. Her penchant for telling wild tales about herself — like how she had appeared in off-Broadway musicals and dated celebrities — only made her more intriguing to her peers.

“She was such a visually extreme person,” said the photographer Rick Castro, one of many artists who hired Ms. Crisp to appear in their work in the 1980s and ’90s. “The way she carried herself, like she was a movie star, like old-school Hollywood royalty — she didn’t carry herself like someone who should be ashamed,” he said in an interview.

Mr. Castro first photographed her in 1985, and his work led another photographer, Joel-Peter Witkin, to have her pose nude for his photograph “Leda and the Swan,” which was later bought by the Louvre.

“She was like a surrealist painting, but in real life,” Mr. Castro said.

By the late 1980s, Ms. Crisp she was a mainstay for avant-garde filmmakers like John Aes-Nihil, who cast her in several movies. She also appeared in short films, many of them unscripted and shot on hand-held cameras; they could be found at video stores like Mondo Video A-Go-Go, a gathering place for the Los Angeles underground.

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