Thu 8/1-Sat 8/3 @ 6-8PM
Photographer Bob Perkoski is well known about town from both his commercial work and his on-the-site street photography for Fresh Water Cleveland.
It was Fresh Water that led him to shoot his first burlesque show. “I saw that a burlesque show was coming up and I thought that would be cool to shoot since I love shooting live shows. So I shot the show and was enthralled by it all. They [Fresh water] loved the photos so I kept shooting.”
The show was The Roxy Remembered in 2013, put on by Le Femme Mystique, now Ohio Burlesque, the area’s longest-running burlesque troupe. It was founded by burlesque performer, Bella Sin, who also founded and runs the Ohio Burlesque Festival, which will have its 9th iteration this week at the Beachland Thu 8/1-Sat 8/3, with more than sixty performers in three shows. And since then, Perkoski has been at almost every one.
This year as an added attraction, Perkoski will be doing an exhibit of his burlesque photos at the Space: ROCK Gallery next door to the Beachland. And he’s got something to celebrate this year — a new book called Rust Belt Burlesque, featuring about 120 of his photos taken at Cleveland shows, and text by Fresh Water editor Erin O’Brien, who tells the story of burlesque in Cleveland and how Sin was a catalyst for its revival here.
Both Perkoski and O’Brien will be in the gallery from 6-8pm each evening of the festival, prior to stage time, selling and signing copies of the book.
Expect to see a variety of work on the walls, not just the photos in the book.
“I’ll probably add a few photos from the book but it’s mostly photos not from book. It’s mostly just the ones I liked, that stood out. Some of these shows before I was the official festival photographer, I was just showing up to shoot shows and I didn’t get around to editing the shots. So I was finding stuff I had shot. I have enough for several books, if I ever want to do a sequel.”