today has been amazing, (and it's not even over) @ 1pm~ @ ANTEBELLUM

dedicated a plaque in honor of RED STODOLSKY, owner of
BAROQUE BOOK STORE, (now antebellum)
that will now be perminate in the front of ANTEBELLUM, (our smoking section).

(photos courtesy lawrence elbert- hollywood/antebellum corespondent)

i had been told by newsstand owner BEN that red's ashes were scattered in the front sidewalk back in 1998,
but aparentely it had not been carried out. well today red's wish was granted,
ARNIE STODOLSKY, (red's son) scattered red's ashes on the sidewalk in front of the gallery.

there wasn't a dry eye in the room, including moi.

arnie also gave me a bottle containing red's ashes. this will be on permanente display atop the original bookcase.
come by and visit red.

photos courtesy- William Langley, Lorraine Perrotta & S.A. Griffin



check me out in the
LA WEEKLY'S BEST OF LA PEOPLE- 2011- FILM. my interview starts @ 7:09


here's a little recreation of hollywood histtory-
ANTEBELLUM gallery owner RICK CASTRO, poses in the same spot as RED STODOLSKY owner of BAROQUE BOOK STORE 30 YEARS LATER!

To celebrate what would have been Red's 95th birthday, Rick Castro, S.A. Griffin and poet Z will unveil a bronze plaque to commemorate him outside his former haven, now home to the Antebellum Gallery. Other participants in the afternoon festivities will be poet/Bukowski biographer Neeli Cherkovski, Linda Lee Bukowski, Iris Berry, Rafael FJ Alvarado, Red's son Arnie Stodolsky and others.
John Dullaghan will screen Red scenes from his doc Bukowski: Born Into This.
saturday- may 21st, (judgment day) 1pm til 4pm @
323 856-0667


wow! footage of JOAN CRAWFORD'S screen test for

posting by $ex artiste- hollywood/antebellum corespondent


the TONY WARD~ "MURIELLE" is a grafitti artwork created by artist
JULES MUCK, based on my classic photograph-

jules spraypainted this temporary masterpiece in less than two hours! ALL FREEHAND!

tony ward as a biker babe- 1996- rick castro


we have a lot to look foward to this saturday- MAY 21ST, 2O11.....

first off it's JUDGMENT DAY,

so get all your repentance in order,

and then @ ANTEBELLUM we are hosting the
BAROQUE BOOKSHOP, (now antebellum gallery!) along with
S.A GRIFFINS, ARNIE STODOLSKY, LINDA LEE BUKOWSKI, (widow of charles) and filmmaker- JOHN DULLAGHAN will screen rare footage of red & baroque books- circa 1978,

this event takes place promptly @ 1pm till 4pm @ antebellum

then...... the opening night of-
WARD OF THE STATE: TONY WARD ARTIST MUSE @ RIVERA & RIVERA GALLERY will be the event of the year, packed with TONY WARD enthusiasts and all things tony ward.
we even got a write up in JUXTAPOZ-

check out the beautiful "murielle" (graffitti) advert for ward of the state, that artist- JULES MUCK created in the window of ANTEBELLUM,

jules muck's "murielle" is based on my classic photo-
TONY WARD AS A BIKER BABE- 1997, on display @ rivera & rivera gallery.

talk about an action packed weekend!



i just compleated the instillation of the
TONY WARD TOILET II- WEST. (TWTII) @ RIVERA & RIVERA gallery in west hollywood.

this is a recreation of the original TONY WARD TOILET, (TWT) @ ANTEBELLUM GALLERY.
the premire of the the TWT II and the entire exhibition called- WARD OF THE STATE: TONY WARD, ARTIST MUSE will be on may 21st @
rivera & rivera gallery
454 North Robertson Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90048



photo courtesy- ken scanlon


By David Cotner Thursday, May 19 2011

Beauty, much like obscenity, is in the eye of the beholder. The beholder looks upon either with a discriminating eye and determines if what he sees is a rosebud or an extortionately pristine asshole. In 2005, Rick Castro opened Antebellum Gallery, the only fine-art gallery in the U.S. dedicated strictly to fetishes and fetish culture.

Over the past five years, following an ambitious exhibition schedule, Castro has showcased artists as diverse as David Hockney and Robert Mapplethorpe, gay-cheesecake illustrator Tom of Finland, sideshow-oddity chronicler Joel-Peter Witkin and serial killer John Wayne Gacy. In the process, he has unveiled seminal — so to speak — images site-specific to Los Angeles fetish culture, including physique photographer John Palatinus, infamous '80s queer/fetish/noise venue Club Fuck! and the venerable chestnut of L.A. punk rock photos dating from 1977 to 1987. Back then, encountering fetish culture was as intimidating as anything imaginable for the square and the unenlightened.

LA WEEKLY- Is there a particular kink that's showcased most often at Antebellum?

RICK CASTRO- "I am equal-opportunity — anything can be fetishized, anything is fetishized, so I will have endless themes," Castro says. "Keep in mind that fetishes aren't always explicitly erotic or sexual — there's the tribal fetishes, Native American fetishes. Some of those Native American fetishes are really beautiful. The actual origin of fetish was that of projecting power onto an object and giving the object a spirit."

LA WEEKLY- What does he find erotic?

RICK CASTRO- "Oh, well, I find pretty much everything in life erotic, but if you're asking what my fetish is, I'm a bondage enthusiast and I've been so since I was maybe ... 5?"

LA WEEKLY- When charting out his own fetishes, does he analyze them in terms of the essence of the thing to which he responds most, or does he just go with it?

RICK CASTRO- "Well, over the years, sure — when I was younger, it wasn't anything that I could articulate, but one of the reasons I opened the gallery was that I felt I was the appropriate person to present fetish to the mainstream. I see fetish that's very much a part of 21st-century culture — I think this is the era of fetish.

"Freud defined fetish in the late 19th century and there's been very strong fetish references throughout the 20th century. But I think now is when the general person is really open to accepting kink as something that's part of who they are as a human being and it's not a perversion. It's a very interesting aspect of sexuality. It's a very interesting aspect of a person's personality.

"Each individual person hones down what their fetish is — but everybody has at least one."



photo courtesy- Tom Andrews





do you believe it? do you think this is true?


everyone needs to check out this site now- BUSTERS WORLD

report back to me when you do... here's a little about buster-

Balloons are a fetish for me in the true meaning of the word, being both an obsession and a sexual stimuli.
However, unlike the psycological definition of a fetishism, I don't require balloons to function sexually, they only enhance and further stimulate the experience. The fetish is something that developed as a child and has remained with me as an adult.

I have alway thought that I was completely alone with this fetish, but in the past few years I have discovered many others that also have balloon fetishes, although most of them prefer to keep it secret and to themselves.
Like most fetishes, there are a wide range of activities and images that can beconsidered arousing with balloons, but for me, the facination began with the texture and sensation of the feel of the balloon itself, along with the exhileration of seeing or experiencing a balloon on the edge of bursting.

I like to: blow balloons up until they are full and tight and hard and about to burst. At the point a balloon gets so big that it is overinflated and pear shaped, my heart begins to race, and I find the fear of the balloon exploding an exhillerating rush.

Being a bit of an exhibitionist, I find it a turn on to show just how big I can blow a balloon myself....

Press tight balloons against my body, or have tight balloons pressed against my body. Against the underside of my gentals in particular... I find the soft stretchy pressure particularily intense.

Lightly brush or have an incredibly tight balloon brushed over my nipples and chest lightly... I like this especially when my nipples are swollen and sensitive.

I like to experiment with different ways of "wearing" balloons... Pulling really big inflated balloons over myself, and watching them bounce around.... or trapping myself inside a huge balloon and then inflating it with an air hose...

I like to sit on balloons and see them expand and distort even further....see how much they will take before popping.

I like to straddle or lay across a giant balloon while it is inflating, and feel it grow beneath me...lifting me off the ground and holding me suspended in mid-air, while I hump away against it...fearing it bursting and sending me to the ground.

I love the 'ringing' sound a really big tight balloon will make when you thump it. and the way it "wobbles" as it bounces.

The sound of a balloon being powerfully inflated by mouth even turns me on...

I love the smell of balloons.... won't you be my balloon buddy?

I just love having balloons around....even though they are not always the source of sexual excitement.

I like to see: guys blowing up balloons by mouth. This is especially a turn on if they are into blowing the balloon really huge, all the way to bursting...

I like to watch a rough and tough man touch, play with, or 'fondle' a balloon ... particularily if he is not aware of what he is doing. It is kind of a tension of opposites that excites me...

I enjoy watching a man pop a balloon, especially if it is as a show of strength or just 'cocky.

I have known that I was a balloon fetishist as long as I can remember. As a child, balloons were my favorite toys. I would always beg for them when ever we were at a store. My step-father would always blow them up for me, but he loved to tease me, and blow them up bigger than I wanted them or threaten to burst them. I would squeal in protest, and that only made him blow harder! I was terrified of the balloon bursting, but absolutely facinated by how big he could blow them up.

Many years later, still facinated by how big a balloon could get...I tried blowing them that big, the fear/excitement had an unusual effect on me, giving me an erection. At the age of 12 or so, I had no idea what was happening, but thought it was neat, so I began rubbing myself with the big balloon...very shortly I then had my first orgasm. This reaction only added to my facination with balloons, and I continued to use them to masturbate with. Of course, I soon also discovered that this was not 'acceptable' behavior, as my parents discovered my trick. From then on, I kept my balloon activities secret (most kids hid playboys under the mattress, I hid balloons!) I also soon realized that I got the same reaction in my groin when ever I saw guys blowin up or bustin balloons. later in life, I discovered that certain men could produce that reaction even without balloons present, and my sexuality began to take a more 'normal' course.

I still use balloons in a masturbatory manner, and since I have become more open and accepting of my own fetish, have found many exciting ways to incorporate them into sexual play and fantasies with the help of some great fun loving freinds. I am always looking for new and exciting opportunities to explore and promote my own fetish.

buster meets cher!-


photos courtesy- Lupin Dolci - brescia/antebellum corespondent



check out my interview in the DAILY FRONT ROW

La Vie en Ruffian: Fetish Tea Time

Ruffian From The West Coast

Ruffians Brian Wolk and Claude Morais are back in the Big Apple after several weeks on the West Coast. This week, they share their interview with Rick Castro of Antebellum Gallery and discuss fetish tea, Tony Ward and more!

“The art of fetish is an age-old craft spanning epochs, cultures, socio-economic strata. It has been studied by figures ranging from the Marquis de Sade to Sigmund Freud. Rick Castro, owner and curator of Antebellum Gallery, simply defines fetish as human obsession, which can manifest itself in love for shoes, leather, bondage—or perhaps the ritualistic drinking of tea.

Mr. Castro is a Renaissance man living in Hollywood, and his extraordinary aesthetic background in photography, fashion, and film is evident in his tremendously sophisticated curatorial skills. Trained under the likes of Herb Ritts and Joel-Peter Witkin,
he is not only a collector, but also a highly respected photographer. His work appears in many published volumes including
13 Years of Bondage and, most recently, in the Dior Homme editorial for FLAUNT, 2002. We were lucky enough to be invited to high tea in the garden of his jewel box gallery. We were served in grand style, and of course, no fetish tea would be complete with out a pig mask-wearing butler who was at Master Castro’s beck and call whenever he rang the bell.

Brian: I was reading about the great events that changed your life in your Wikipedia entry. Let's start with your love of tea.

Rick: My tea master BRYAN MULVIHILL aka TROLLYBUS lives in Vancouver. He has served tea to the Queen, and orchestrated the world tea party that was held globally . I became obsessed with tea after I went to London for the first time in 1996, but my tea master is the one who taught me all the ins and outs. There are so many different ceremonies.

(tea for three @ antebellum)

Claude: You also cited A Clockwork Orange as a life-changer...

Rick: I read it first in my aunt Nicky's new & used bookstore in
El Monte, CA. It must have been 1969. Reading it was an epiphany for me in language, and the violence was portrayed as glamour. It was beautiful and scary, and it made sense it would become the future and norm in our culture.

Brian: Fashion is definitely a fetish—a commercial fetish, perhaps. In terms of your process, is it different when you do fashion photography verses your art fetish photography?

Rick: I never intended to do fashion. In the 80s, I was a stylist, a costume maker and a designer.
Incidentally, Rick Owens was my patternmaker. When I decided to go into photography, it was a reaction against fashion. I started to explore photography, and fetish as my subject matter was a natural choice.

Claude: Did you have a mentor when you went into photography?

Rick: As a stylist, I worked with Herb Ritts and observed his lighting, which is an important part of my work. He was obsessed with golden light, which is also known as the magic hour. I also worked for George Hurrell, from whom I learned a lot about glamour photography. A hard light diffused makes everything look incredible. I asked Joel-Peter Witkin,
(whom i was also working with) to take me to buy my first camera, and he took me to a camera shop in Albuquerque,
where he lives.

It’s a Nikon FG and I still have it.

Brian: Do you miss film now that you use digital?

Rick: I don’t miss the trouble and the expense. I never enjoyed being in the dark room. Digital is cleaner, but you can never replace a nice fiber print. But you have to respect digital for what it is—a different art form.
Would you like a cookie?
(Rick rings the bell and the pig servant returns and pours more tea)

Brain: Tell us a little about Hustler White and your collaboration with legendary film maker Bruce La Bruce.

Rick: When I started to take photographs, I discovered that street hustlers were better than real models.
One of my favorite subjects was Zack, who I met while I was pulling out of a Carl’s Jr. drive-thru.
I saw him exiting the bus with a cowboy hat, bandana, and his "wife-beater" shirt was stuffed in his back pocket. He told me stories of his time in prison, and saving Charles Manson from a fire. These tall tales are also known as “yarns”
(due to their often fictitious nature) and became the inspiration for my first zine. It was pre-internet, and queer kids created their own world because they had nowhere else to go. When I met Bruce in 1991, I told him I had been documenting these street boys on VHS and was going to name the documentary Hustler White.
The reason for the title is they used to wear white jeans because at night, you can see them on the avenue,
and the white color emphasizes the baskets.

Brian: Wow, what a great piece of urban fashion anthropology!

Rick: Bruce said he would like to collaborate and make it into a feature-length film, so we wove the stories into a narrative.
We originally cast a real hustler for the lead role named Monty, but within 3 weeks he had stolen a john's car, a guitar and paintings, married a girl, and got another girl pregnant, so we decided he was a security risk. So at that point I called my friend, Tony Ward, and pleaded with him to take the role. Remember, this was post-Madonna sex book, and he was pretty famous at this point, but he read the script and said yes. I thought he was the modern day Joe Dallesandro. He was perfect for the role.

Brian: Tell us a little about your interest in bondage…

Rick: I've been into it since I was four. As far as photography, I am interested in capturing the moment. When I photograph, I have to worry about the lighting, the position, etc. When I shot the Dior Homme editorial, the look of the ropes and they way they were tied over the clothing was critical.

(bondage & briefs by rick castro, search & destroy one-of-a-kind- underwear by the late/great- wil munroe)

(dior homme editorial by rick castro- flaunt magazine- 2002)

Claude: Why did you open the gallery?

Rick: I opened the gallery in 2005, and it was a life-long dream to specifically open a fetish art gallery. I consider myself a fetish person. I understand obsession, so I thought I was the right person to bridge fetish to mainstream…to fuse art with fetish. I like to show contemporary art mixed with vintage erotica. I don’t have a roster of artists that I use over and over. I like the discovery process and mixing things together in an eclectic way for each show.

(orginal painting by allen hatch on a vintage violin)

(original photograph by john palatinus- circa 1957)

(jesus saves- art & display by jesus silverlake)

(hot-cross-buns by charles dimont)

Brian: Tell us about your salons…

Rick: Well, (over the years) I have had tea salons with human furniture, bondage demos, a fetish book club, and fetish film nights at the Egyptian theatre just behind the gallery.

Claude: Were there any events or people in your childhood that affected your work?

Rick: I had my aunt Nicky who owned a bookstore, and that was one of my first exposures to literature and art.
My mom worked there and used to pick me up after school. That was where I had some of my first experiences with erotica, as they used to keep nudist magazines under the counter in brown paper bags. Incidentally, next door at the Karmel Korn Shoppe, where I used to buy caramel corn, Bob Mackie used to be the counter boy, which I recently confirmed this year when he came to the gallery to pick up a piece of art a friend purchased for him.

Brian: How did you meet and discover Tony Ward?

Rick: It was 1984, I was thumbing through Intouch (a naughty boys magazine at the time) and saw a picture of Tony while I was working with Albert Sanchez, who was the West Coast photographer of Interview magazine. I called his "agent" and he said,
“If you can pay for his bus fare then ya got him." He came up from La Jolla and we hit it off immediately. He was my first subject on my first photo shoot, and we have been friends ever since.
In fact, we have the only Tony Ward-themed toilet which I will give you a tour of now.”

(plaque of the TWT)

(the one-of-a-kind, original- TWT, (TONY WARD TOILET)