Angels of Light

Tashi Shimada


Edition : First / Portland / Wild Life Press / 2015 / Softcover. / Fine
10 Postcards in custom sleeve with Obi. One of 125 numbered copies.

The Angels of Light were a free theatre group formed in early 1971 in San Francisco by Hibiscus (aka George Harris Jr). They gave spectacular free shows in local theatres and performance spaces in both San Francisco and New York gaining a cult following in the process. The free aspect of the performance referred to both the style and absent admission fee, which built on an ideology of communal living, sharing and the eradication of private property. Their shows were spontaneous, loosely scripted fantasy stories set within homemade sets with the group performing in lavish hand crafted costumes. The shows challenged the notions of both gender and sexuality, bending perception and the rules of conformity. Show titles were just as inventive with names like Myth Thing, Flaming Hot Exotica Erotica, Titillating Titresses of de Amazon, Ghoul Diggers of Transylvania and Peking on Acid to name a few. The founding members of the Angels of Light including Hibiscus, Harlow, Sandy, Miguel and Tahara were a breakout group from The Cockettes and formed the Angels as a reaction against the perceived commercialisation of The Cockettes. Hibiscus had originally founded The Cockettes in the same free spirit with the whole group of both men & women living communally, but as they grew in popularity some members wanted to make a living from their art and did not subscribe to the free philosophy of living on welfare to create an alternate society. Tashi Shimada was a member of the Angels of Light for a period in the early 1970’s. His photographs capture the Angels of Light both performing and behind the scenes applying make up and glitter ready to take the stage.