I wrote the the foreward to Andy Warhol Men, a book which contains hundreds of rarely seen illustrations, paintings, drawings, silk screens and photographs of men, and their various body parts, by Andy Warhol. The book was published in late 2004. If you'd like to purchase a copy, visit Chronicle Books here.
Here's what I wrote...
Andy Warhol Men Introduction by Alan Cumming.
I have always maintained that the mark of a great artist is their ability to draw a good bum - a bum that stirs our loins, be we man or woman, attracted or repelled by the idea of a real, naked, honest to goodness bum in such close proximity to us.
But a great, great artist, I have realised, is one who can evoke such a bum and cause such stirring in a line drawing only. No rococo shading and texture, or Botticelliesque nonsense, just a simple collection of lines on paper that magically produce a sense memory of something so visceral it can actually arouse.
Aubrey Beardsley could do it. Picasso could do it. Cocteau could do it. And Andy Warhol can do it.
Leafing through the pages of this book was a revelation for me. I knew Andy was a genius of that curious and now much-copied fusion of art, pop culture, celebrity and kitsch, but – and I am feeling like my mother even writing this – I hadn’t ever realised he was so good at drawing.
I have already cited my criteria for greatness in this area, so let me just say that Andy Warhol is truly great: he can do brilliant bums.
Whether it is his longing for them, or indeed the sheer volume that passed so close to his dark-glassed eyes that makes his reproduction of them so evocative I know not. All I know is they float my boat.
But this book is not just a celebration of the anus. It takes a more holistic view of man seen through the Warhol prism.
His male nude photographs are at once intimate and raw, the subjects’ faces rarely seen. Of course, that makes it easier for the focus to stay with what Andy wants us to concentrate on: the member, the pudendum, the cock.
(I feel it is my duty to warn you there are a lot of cocks in this book, and whether you are a fan of them or not, you must agree Andy shot some quite nice ones.)
But just as he became famous for pointing out the beauty and weirdness of material objects we had previously thought mundane, here we have a collection where Andy can fascinate and mesmerise us with not just the beauty and weirdness of that absurd muscle we boys all have in our underwear, but the faces the owners of those muscles choose to project to the world.
The series of pictures of drag queens is so endearing - partly because it differs from the slightly detached, objectifying feel of most of Warhol’s photography - and we share the joy these boys feel at having someone simply take an interest in them.
Desire is big in this volume: Andy’s for the men he shoots and draws, the men’s to please him.
But an even bigger emotion is joy, Andy’s that is. He obviously loved men. And like his pictures of soup cans and brillo pads he forces us to reconsider that men, and all their essences, are pretty extraordinary.
This is a fascinating collection from a man who understood the value of capturing the everyday for tomorrow. How lucky we are. Enjoy!
I interviewed the gorgeous Megan Mulally for the fourth of my series of specials Eavesdropping with Alan Cumming for the Oxygen channel in LA. We had never met before but got on like a house on fire.
I took the lovely Liv Tyler to Coney Island for the third of my Eavesdropping with Alan Cumming shows for Oxygen.
During the press tour for X2:X Men United I did a lot of talk shows, including The Jonathon Ross Show for the BBC in the UK
And then here I am on Caroline Rhea, Conan O'Brien and Graham Norton as well as clips from coverage of the premiere in LA, the WB11 news in NYC, E News Live and soooo on.
I provided the voice for the bumbling yet kind-hearted Bruno the Bear in this CBBC Scotland series about a girl and her enchanted adventures with four beautifully carved animals that spring to life on her command. Shoebox Zoo was first broadcast on CBBC in September 2004.
I shot an Orange Mobile phone commercial which was shown in UK cinemas. It was part of a series of ads in which various actors tried to pitch ideas to Mr Orange. It's quite a hoot.
I played theatre director Mark Bodine in The Goodbye Girl, a Turner Network Television original film that offered a contemporary turn on Academy Award-nominated Neil Simon's classic about a dumped-on divorcee and an aspiring actor who become unwilling roommates in a New York City apartment.
Directed by Richard Benjamin, the film was shot in Vancouver in the spring of 2003, and aired on TNT in January.
In the last ever season of Frasier, I played a yogi named Ahmrit who gives private classes to Niles and Daphne in an episode that aired in March. I'd always liked Frasier, so it was great to actually be in it. The most amazing thing about the week-long process was seeing how skilled the cast was at knowing exactly what was needed to make the script work best. They had been playing these characters for so long they just had it down. I was full of admiration for them, both for that reason and that they hadn't gone crazy playing the same people for ten years! I'd only ever done one US sitcom before, but they made me feel I was in very safe hands. The only bummer was I didn't get to shoot my scenes in front of the live audience. We had to pre-record them because David Hyde Pierce had to do yoga moves that needed a body double!
Son of the Mask is a follow-up to The Mask (1994). I shot this movie in Sydney, Australia from November 2003 until March 2004. I played Loki, the God of Mischief (natch), who is on a quest to get his precious mask back from the hapless Tim (Jamie Kennedy) and Tonya (Traylor Howard). He does this by taking on lots of disguises. There's also an uber-cute baby and a dog! What's not to like? Son of the Mask is directed by Larry Gutterman and was released by New Line Pictures.
This was a really long film and full of effects, but even though it was sometimes incredibly technical I sort of went into a zen place and didn't really engage with it all and just tried to remain in character and pretend it was a normal film! Of course getting to swish around in a leather coat makes me happy any of the day of the week, and this was also the first of two films I did back to back (the other being Reefer Madness) in which my character goes into loads of disguises, so it was always fun to look forward to my next crazy creation. And filming in Sydney was really amazing - a beautiful city and a funny, down to earth crew.