Post-Dirty Post

February 11th, 2007

D20 7173 Post Dirty PostI’m back from my first experience of the Dirty Show in Detroit and I don’t quite know what to say about it. I really didn’t know what to expect, and what I saw was and wasn’t what I expected.

I hesitated to enter my work in this show because I don’t think my work is really in tune with the focus of this show. Having seen the show, I was right about that. Thanks to the prudish values that seem to dominate the surface of our culture, I’m used to being the artist with the most controversial work at any group show I participate in. At the Dirty Show I found myself to be probably the most conservative artist in the show. Not a problem, but certainly a different situation.

As far as the content of the show, I was surprised and in some ways disappointed at what I saw. I’d say that about half of the work on display was excellent. Some was figure work, like mine, not really oriented toward the erotic. Other pieces were serious efforts to make art that dealt with human sexuality. Many were very successful. Some were disturbing. Many were interesting. That half of the show was certainly art.

But the other half of the work there was, well, just dirty. It seemed to me to just be shocking, crude and pointless displays of sexual activity. The work in this half, in my opinion, was largely artless, of poor quality as far as craftsmanship, and had nothing to say…it was simply showing various forms of sex. So, I guess I’d call it pornography.

Not that I have a problem with that. Porn is not something I’m particularly interested in, and certainly not something I want to do…but I also don’t want to see it banned or restricted beyond being kept away from children. I am totally opposed to censorship. The very idea of someone else thinking they are better qualified than I to decide what I should see or hear or read just makes me instantly angry. So I certainly want to go on record as being totally in support of the right of the Dirty Show to present whatever dirty “art” work they want to display.

And, being used to the usual turnout at gallery openings of a few dozen people, the huge crowd at the Dirty Show was fantastic. And who can complain about an art show with lots of beautiful women dressed in little more than pasties and a g-string walking around in the crowd. It was obvious the work was being sold and lots of people were having a great time.

So, will I enter the Dirty Show again? I think so. I don’t think I want to change anything about what I’m doing with my work to align more with what is shown at the Dirty Show. But I think I’ll send in some work again next time and see if they want to include it. It’s a show worth seeing. It’s good that nude work has this outlet where it can be seen. I don’t think I even want to suggest they work at raising the quality and eliminating the work that I didn’t like. It is what it is. It’s well named. It’s fun. If you can go see it, do.

Here’s another shot of Gaea from last week. We shot some new things in the hotel in Detroit. I may post some of those soon.

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About this Blog

Photos and comments by Dave Levingston. This is the place to see my most recent work which may include nudes, dance, landscape, nature and whatever other kinds of photos I feel like taking.

Since it does contain nude photos, this blog is not intended for viewing by anyone under the age of 18.

All photographs and written comments on this blog are protected by the copyright laws of the United States.

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