Cassandra Levine emerged from a smoothie bar on Commercial Street in Provincetown wearing a long, boldly worded T-shirt. “I am not being rude,” she said. “Your Makeup Is Terrible,” is a song by a band with “Alaska” as the first word of its name. Let’s skip the band’s full name here.
For Levine, the T-shirt is a joke that refers to her work, she says: “I am an artist who works with drag queens.” She has been living here for a year, she says, and “that’s how I know the band’s vocalist, Race Chaser.
“I am interested in how you translate drag culture into painting,” she says. In her portraits, she tries to take the ephemeral quality of a stage performance and make it into something more permanent. She takes iconography from various performers to create composite images. “They are not traditional portraits,” she says.
Levine sometimes forgets the message she’s wearing, she says, but then remembers when people react to her shirt by saying, “Oh, my makeup is not that bad!”