Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Dirt on the Dirty Show

Checked out the Dirty Show last night. My second time there and I guess I am left with the same "eh" feeling I had last year. I certainly didn't have a bad time (helped along by the good Dark Horse Black Bier -- great beer selection on tap -- and the cute bartender at Slow's before the show), in fact I had a lovely evening out overall, but I had a hard time finding traction with most of the art.

The quality varies widely, not surprisingly, but most are photographs with a good number of paintings/drawings, etc. I really wish there were more sculpture, and more variety in the 2-D art. After a while, all the boobs, clits, and penises start to run together. What then made something stand out was almost always 1) interesting lighting or 2) a funny/clever title. I started to find myself actively annoyed at the huge number of "untitled" works. There are no artist bios with the pieces and when an artist did have multiple pieces in the show (rare), they weren't generally grouped together. These choices on the part of artists (lack of titles) and show organizers (displays) made it a hard to develop much connection to artists and pieces -- I guess I'm not willing to just take it all on face value. I want to see a larger vision, know why it was created, how things connect...
A few pieces did stand out. There was a bronze of a woman doing an almost downward facing dog pose with a wild spray of hair on the floor -- it was cool and her round rump was just begging to get a playful grab. :) The Lego mosaics (below is an example) were fun -- though the one in black and white of female figure was the best because the effect was much more subtle and you had to be up close to see what it was made of. There were certainly also some photographs that captured interesting textures of skin and light. These were scooped up early -- didn't see anything I would even have considered buying that wasn't marked "sold" already.

People-watching is, of course, the other reason to go to the Dirty Show. My suspicion is, however, that the real freaks who come out are not the folks in vinyl fetish gear or garter belts thongs and tape over their nipples, but the folks in jeans and sweaters.

Oh yes, and there are live shows going on, usually with bad techno music playing along. So much potential, but the shows generally just ended up being cheesy stripteases. In general, I think folks did remember that humor is erotic, too.

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