Bebe Daddy Services, 2013-2018
Since 2013, Ryan Brewer had explored the intersection of persona and labor through the creation of an art-as-commerce project—Bebe Daddy Services—which functioned as an operational business, a social sculpture, and a performance project. As the owner/operator, Brewer worked under the pseudonym Bebe Daddy. The venture arose out of a carpenter-in-the-nude service that initially investigated sex work and gender stereotypes while turning profit.
By using wordplay to brand the business (and himself), Brewer sought to humorously scrutinize aspects of patriarchy and gay erotic appropriation of the term “daddy” by linking it to the namesake of a certain popular women’s retail clothier. In this tongue-in-cheek way, Brewer emasculated male-dominated power structures, while simultaneously providing legitimate services long-associated with “manly” men: building and construction.
The project has since developed into a design+build/project management firm in addition to a clothing line Bebe Daddy Apparel. All apparel sales benefited local non-profits including the Los Angeles LGBT Center, The Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the Anti-Violence Project, and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Promotional materials for the Daddy Cap featured a range of models varying in race, gender, and body type, further upholding the project’s goals of addressing serious topics of identity in a jovial, supportive, and inclusive way. From Brewer’s perspective, anyone can be a Daddy, or can at least ironically flaunt the title to undermine the powers that be.
Through the creation of Bebe Daddy Services, Brewer aimed to build a socially responsible business and art project that redefines the creative service industry (and what it means to be a working artist) through a commitment to the elevation of the communities that he serves. In 2015, the Bebe Daddy persona was absorbed into a gay-themed home renovation TV show pilot. (Logo TV, unaired). The business and art project came to a natural end in 2018.
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