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Readers' Choice 2020: Toronto's resident drag creature wants to take you by force
For the past four years, Yovska has been haunting Instagram in an array of floppy ears, beady-eyed masks and long, pointy fingers.
“Growing up as queer, as an immigrant, I always felt a little bit out of place,” he says. “When you think about aliens coming from another planet, people might say, ‘Oh that’s a weird creature.’ But I felt I could relate to them on some sort of level. It became an obsession.”
As a student of OCAD University’s material art and design program, Yovska’s textile-based explorations of identity as a first-generation queer Mexican-Canadian collided with a budding interest in drag – but not traditional, wig-and-rhinestone drag. Nearly 80,000 followers later, Yovska has appeared on the reality competition Dragula and claimed the title of NOW readers’ favourite artist Instagram account.
Yovska’s influences range from queer icons Leigh Bowery and Klaus Nomi to Björk, Guillermo del Toro and Mexican folklore. As the popularity of drag explodes, more light is shining on alternative drag acts, who combine elements of camp with seriously committed costuming. But Yovska isn’t the kind of monster that yearns to be part of the mainstream world.
“I would love to drag people into my dimension,” he says, flashing a toothy grin from under a zombified bunny mask. “By force.”
Watch our interview with Yovska in the video below. Check out the full list of this year’s Readers’ Choice winners here.