12 Inches of Sin
Liquor, Acrylic on Board, Paul Butvila (Canada)
Mr. Happy, Oil on Panel, Sean Ghobad (USA)
Hillary, Pencil on Matches, Mike Bell (USA)
Magic Mirror On The Wall Who Is The Fairest One of All, Mixed Media Collage with Ink Additions, Nicola Filippo (USA)
An Unexpected Visitor, Collage Photopolymer, Thor Sivertsen (Norway)
Masturbation En Oro, Collage, Noémie Faligant (Mexico)
Candid, Arylic Crystal Resin Embroidery on Found Dolly, Nathan Emanuel (USA)
Sharing, Oil on Board, Eric Wallis (USA)
Little Hasan, Assemblage, Steve Bormes (USA)
Sex Clock, Mixed Media Lightbox with Moaning Sound, Seth Maturin (USA)
Rubber Lover, Spray Paint & Acrylic on Canvas, Michelle Mildenhall (UK)
Big Mouth, Latex Paint and Pillow Stuffing, Chris Bauder (USA)
Serve You, Photography, Dennis Keim (USA)
Better Than Two in the Bush, Photography, Same Source (USA)
Thank God, Digital Photography, Analysis Cunningham (USA)
Dancer in the Corner, Digital Photography, Marc Schmidt (USA)
Same Model-Double Exposed, Multi-Exposure Instant Film, Curtis Walker (USA)
For Maniacs Only, Digital, Gloria Bollard (Italy)
Santo Nino, Photography, Kelvin Burzon (USA)
My Body Is My Own, Digital Photography, Brian Janes (USA)
Overstretch, Photography. think tank ART (Germany)
Neon Bodyguard, UV Photography, Robert Babylon (UK)
Untitled II, Photography, River Thompson (USA)
Day Dreaming, Photography, John Steki (USA)
Le Salon Des Refusés Du Péché
Pleasure Zone, Gold Ink Matt Card Framing, Helm Rulfrok (New Zealand)
Night Walker, Photography, Steve Gatlin (USA)
Grasping, Charcoal on Paper, Nadia Vanilla (USA)
Infrared Rosie, Photography, Dave Hanson (USA)
Important Parts, Acrylic Latex Permanent Marker on Canvas, Janelle Whisenant (USA)
Beavers Love Peckers, Pencil on Paper, Stewart Freshwater (USA)
Lexi, Ink on Paper, CRD Larson (USA)
For The Win, Videography, Sue Kay Lee in collaboration with Lindsay Rose Russell and Mike Silvers (USA)
Sultry Poultry, Porcelain and Glaze, Lorren Lowrey (USA)
Untitled, Acrylic Paint on Canvas, Thomas Eliasson (Sweden)
What Lies Beneath, Mixed Media Collage on Canvas, Wayne Monaghan (UK)
Eat Pray Love, Mixed Media, Nancy Good (USA)
“Henkel, and Sin City, always seem to make a big impact. The 12 Inches show, now in its sixth year, draws hundreds of submissions. Last year she crowd-funded four books of art compiled from past 12 Inches shows; the fifth book comes out this year. Now, the gallerist is taking a shrewdly calculated big chance with Immersive, a daylong “art happening” that spills out of Sin City Gallery into the Arts Factory’s west parking lot on April 9. Hundreds of pieces of sexy and provocative art, from photographs to mixed media pieces, will be on display, complemented by a series of live performers.” Seven Magazine > Read More
The annual juried exhibition 12 Inches of Sin has become a five-star smorgasbord of provocative art. Brought to us by Sin City Gallery, the much-anticipated show has emerged as an iconic must-see exhibit, complete with an accompanying annual and highly collectable art book. In this innovative setting, Dr. Henkel has taken on the challenge of raising questions about what is erotic and what qualifies as art, and the complex relationship and considerable gray area between the two genres.
I have had the great honor of serving four years as a juror for the 12 Inches of Sin competition and fine art exhibition. During my time, the submissions have grown not only in quantity but also in quality and diversity.
In my own life, and as a juror, I have observed that art has a highly personal character and contains its own enigma. Great art is not always that most esteemed in the art world, and in my opinion, it seems that some of the best and most inspiring art has come from the self-taught artists who has yet to be accepted by the art world. And yet, today, in its fifth year, the 12 Inches of Sin exhibition features work that is made by those who are formally trained in the fine arts, as well as those who are self-taught. This diversity is also seen in the references to sexual preferences whether straight, gay, lesbian, transgender, objectification, anamorphic, or just the feeling that it is sexual.
Erotica is a highly charged topic fueled by cultural opinions, based in the secrets of attraction, sexual constructs, religious dogma, social opinion, personal bias, and our own triggers for titillation. Our culture has a way of creating a sense of mystery around the erotic, and this in turn shapes our behavior. For proof of this phenomenon, we can just look to the sheer number of euphemisms we have for coitus. The power of sex and the allure of the erotic are co-opted by advertising while the political system uses ideas of sex to create fear.
Dr. Henkel’s exhibit showcases artistic interpretation of our erotic behavior. It is my opinion that this kind of work helps liberate the phobic veil that contemporary culture manufactures around our sexuality. Please enjoy the show and I hope it will provide each audience member a moment in time to question their opinions about both art and eroticism and all that lies in-between.
~ Will Roger Peterson, Cultural Founder, Burning Man
Does size really matter? It is said there are two types of people in the world: size queens and liars. For 12 Inches of Sin, the Sin City Gallery’s inaugural erotic art exhibition juried by an eclectic group of academics, perverts, and academic perverts handpicked by prominent erotologist Dr. Laura Henkel, both size and content are the organizing principles. Attempting to maximize usage of the intimate gallery space, the size constraint for submissions assured there could be a greater number of accepted and exhibited works at Las Vegas’ premiere gallery of erotic art. An equal division of the foot—itself a common fetish object— 12 Inches is a sly allusion to that length to which many aspire, but few attain. Sex, like life, is a game of inches, and so is its depiction in the surprising and remarkable works in Volume I.
As two-hundred-square-foot micro-apartments proliferate in major cities, our private space is shrinking. In polite society, erotic art cannot be openly displayed in the home, office, church, temple, or mosque. It must be hidden in closets, drawers, or buried in the woods, only to be appreciated up close and very personal. These diminutive works may arouse or disturb, and may attract or repulse; it all depends on you. This brings us to the sticky concept of sin, etymologically derived from guilt, misdeed, and error. Though all of the seven deadly sins contribute to Vegas’ nickname, the gallery and this exhibition focus squarely on lust alone. A universal definition of erotic art, negotiating that sharp edge in the shadowy realm differentiating it from pornography, has proved elusive. United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Potter Stewart said that hardcore pornography was hard to define, but “I know it when I see it.” Though he later recanted this position as untenable, he was definitely on the right track. Applying Occam’s razor to this thorny problem, I submit this simple test: if you can masturbate to it, it is porn. Sexual content that does not incite masturbation is erotic. While this test is admittedly highly subjective, it is truly the only one that makes any sense. There is no accounting for taste, or even a taste for accounting. We live in an age where we are defined culturally and individually by Internet porn searches; the data cloud is analyzed in real time, yielding a dynamic map of the global sexual psyche. If we have learned anything, it is that anything can be fetishized.
With the Made in Heaven series, Jeff Koons and Cicciolina smashed the barrier between pornography and fine art. Kim Kardashian’s ubiquitous ass is mainstream entertainment. It is anybody’s game. The images in this exhibition seep into the moist dark cracks of our minds, turning us on, and tuning us in to what each of us brings to the party. Try as you might, you cannot help what you like.
~ By Henry S. Rosenthal, Artist & Art Patron, San Francisco
“Sin City Gallery’s annual juried art show of erotic art always provokes and inspires, but this year, is doing so on an unparalleled scale. Gallerist Laura Henkel has promised a selection of not only the winners of the competition, but the runners-up.” ~ Geoff Carter/Vegas Rated Magazine > Read More
If you have had the opportunity to talk with Dr. Laura or have heard her on the radio, you know she isn’t all that fond of the term ‘erotic art’ because of the negative response most people have to it, as well as being an incredibly stale reference.
Dr. Laura has co-authored a manifesto with art historian and former curator of The Museum of Modern Art, Rosa Berland, that captures the essence of the genre and fully represents Sin City Gallery, the artists who exhibit there, and the patrons who appreciate the art. We are proud to introduce to you: Modern Provocateur Manifesto.
Modern Provocateur is an expansive contemporaneous term that describes artwork that depicts or is about human sexuality.
The art thematics may include polemical intent, e.g. challenging political or socially inscribed roles. As part of the contemporary art movement, these artists engage their public often in very challenging ways. At times, artwork features transgressive content and form including the depiction of what has been long regarded as private in unexpected formats. This work however moves far beyond pornography or erotica, as it is critically engaged in not only the expression of sexuality, but also the idea of reception.
In terms of visual representation, it can be either explicit and include images, symbolic motifs or it can be the evocation of human sexuality in allegorical, metaphoric or symbolic terms.
The category encompasses all mediums, from classical studio works such as sketches and painting to film, multimedia, sculpture, photography, digital and performance based work. The terminology takes into account not only social change, e.g. more societal openness about female sexual expression, the increasing acceptance of bisexuality, homosexuality and transgendered people within our culture, this genre also addresses formal concerns such as the pervasiveness of sexualized or erotic imagery in the digital world, commercial or otherwise, as well as post-war artistic practice that involved the use of the body as the canvas or primary expressive mode.
The complexity of this type of visual art is in part because when it does cause scandal, protest, outrage or shock, the criticism is often myopic, and does not always take into account the entire narrative or concept behind the work or the maker or the construction of socially acceptable parameters. As well, particularly in western culture, a less than holistic attitude towards the expression of sexuality exists.
Modern Provocateur celebrates the beauty of the anima and animus within each of us, and permits both the artist and the viewer to express and explore without shame or apology.
Elegantly rendered hands in charcoal and white conté recall 15th century Renaissance sketches by Michelangelo and Da Vinci. Rather than resting idle in sepia-toned space, the hands rove, grasp, explore pleasure and express a multiplicity of touch and caresses over time. British artist JP Rakehorn is featured in this issue of DTLV. > Read More
Marshall Bradford calls his Las Vegas photography business No Bullshit Studios. On his website, he has what amounts to a manifesto: He aims to produce “the best work I can with no games, no ego, and no attitude,” and professes to have “zero tolerance for flakes and people who don’t respect (my) time and effort.” One look at the photographs that comprise Desert Bound bear out every word: You can see the patience and devotion in every exposure. Geoff Carter of Vegas Rated Magazine captures the essence of Marshall Bradford’s work in Desert Bound. > Read More
Bettie Page may have already been a well-known pinup and fetish model in the New York area when she met model-turned-photographer Linnea “Bunny” Yeager while vacationing in Miami, but by the time Yeager’s photo of Page wearing nothing but a Santa hat graced the pages of the nascent Playboy in January 1955, both women’s respective profiles were raised considerably. PJ Perez writes an exquisite article for VegasRated Magazine. > Read More