Tom Rubnitz

Rubnitz in costume

Thomas Block Rubnitz (born 1956 in Chicago, Illinois - d. August 12, 1992, Manhattan, New York) was a video artist most often associated with the New York City East Village drag queen scene of the late 1980s. His video tapes were mainly inspired by pop culture and Las Vegas style shows. A number of his works featured RuPaul and members of the B-52s . He also made the 1987 documentary Wigstock: The Movie about the annual drag queen festival.

Rubnitz's other works include "Strawberry Shortcut" and the infamous "Pickle Surprise".

Rubinitz worked with the B-52's in 1987 to produce a "public service announcement" for the Art Against AIDS organization's "Summer of Love" project, which visually referenced the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles in tableau vivant form, featured the B-52s, Willi Ninja, Allen Ginsberg, Nam Jun Paik, Quentin Crisp, Lady Bunny and David Byrne, among many others.[1]

In 1989, Rubnitz released the song and video "Love is the Message" under his own name. The song sampled Danny Krivit's edit of MFSB's instrumental "Love is the Message."

Tom lived in Manhattan. He died at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center of an AIDS-related illness in August 1992 at the age of 36.

External links


  1. Dangerous, "Art Against AIDS: The B-52s and Friends" (Feb 23, 2012)

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