Thursday, May 29, 2008

The narrow minded people of West Chester

Recently, a wonderful woman who has sat for my Red Chair project opened a boutique that caters to women and couples with products and education targeted at enhancing their sexuality. This is something that is desperately needed, most women and couples do not like to shop in the seedy "adult" stores, where the products are shabby and the atmosphere is basically creepy. Jill has opened a boutique that is tasteful, educational and welcoming to those who want to explore, enhance and reinvigorate their sexual beings. But now the city of West Chester, Pa wants her closed. Below is a new report:
NBC10:Sex Shop For Women Causes Chester County Controversy

WEST CHESTER, Pa. -- A quiet Chester County community has become riddled with controversy. The issue is a sex shop some say must go.
"Sexuality is something that is natural. I'm not exploiting it like everyone else," business owner Jill McDevitt said.
The 22-year-old said she thought West Chester would be the perfect place for her new store. The downtown is trendy and packed with young students.
Feminque Boutique, which has been open for three weeks, is an adult store catering to women, selling lingerie, lotions and adult novelties. Those are in a back room.
But she said not everyone has welcomed the store...."I think anytime you take something like that -- something involving human sexuality and pervert it -- that's wrong," the Rev. Edward Deliman said.
The monsignor of St. Agnes Church said he has written letters to the borough, spoken about the store at Sunday service and has been encouraging other parishes to protest the shop at Tuesday night's planning and zoning meeting.

Now the Monsignor of St. Agnes of course is calling sexuality perverted, but what about the hundreds of young alter boys whom the Catholic Church scared? Oh I am sorry that's another topic. And besides, the Pope said they were sorry.

Anyway, Jill has a wonderful concept that should be embraced with open arms. The town of West Chester's zoning committee should do the right thing and stand by her.
Please let Jill know you support her, her website is

Monday, May 12, 2008

Hiding nudity in plain site

Hundreds strip naked in Vienna for artist.
I am sure most of you by now have heard of Spence Tunick. Since 1994 he has had thousands of people strip nude and pose in public in what he calls temporary installations. He describes his work as "...the individuals, en masse, without their clothing, grouped together metamorphose into a new shape. The bodies extend into and upon the landscape like a substance."
Originally I felt his work had an edge; he set up these daring shots with hundreds of volunteers, skirting the law and making these very interesting landscapes. But now, he is very celebrated and he is being granted access to pose his photos anywhere he likes and thousands of people want to be involved. What was once unique and different has been commercialized and almost trivialized.
I bring up Tunick's work because I find it interesting to see his work and hear how he explains it. I realized that his work is the polar opposite of what I am doing. When I photograph a nude person or group of people it is as much about them as individuals as it is about me the artist. Their own sexuality and, personality come into play, not sterilized or sanitized for your protection. In Tunick's work it is about him as an artist using the nude as a vehicle. The individual person is lost in a sea of bodies. And with these large groups of people, the nude actually disappears into this mass which becomes part of the landscape. Totally acceptable to be viewed on Good Morning America or some other tv news tabloid.
I will always give an artist credit for doing something different and inovative whether I like it as art or not, I just find it wild that Tuncik was actually able to make the nude common. Pity.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Heart of Peace Exhibition

Well tonight is the opening of the "Heart of Peace" exhibition at the Greenshire Arts Consortium. Greenshire is an amazing place of peace and relaxation run by two of the nicest people you'd ever want to meet. According to Arlene and Jim, "The inspiration for this mixed-media exhibition comes from the understanding that humanity and our earth community share unique commonalities, with peace and love often being the thread that weaves together this genuine connection."

Opening Reception and Peace Garden Dedication
May 2, Friday Evening, 6pm - 9pm
Peace Garden Dedication will be at 7:30 pm
Facets of Peace Portrayed by Artists:
Harmony with Family, Friends and Community Understanding of Commonalities and Differences Expressions of Beauty toward our Living Planet Inter-racial and Cultural Connections; Unconditional Love Sharing, Giving, Altruism, Personal Tranquility, Peace of Mind Bonds of Brotherhood, Sisterhood; Reaching Out to Humanity

Three of my images are part of this beautiful exhibition along with the works of:
James Ambrogi, Alix von Auenmueller, Claudia Balant, Lesta Bertoia, Ron Bevilacqua, Janet Bishop, Audrey Clymer, Edna Dollin, Wendy Ellsworth, Patricia Goodrich, Marianne Knipe, Scott Ogburn, Ruth Rosenfeld

I hope to see you at the opening!