“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
12 Inches of Sin is an international juried art exhibition that features sophisticated, intelligent, witty and provocative artworks from around the world. The juried exhibition explores eroticism and sensuality through the lens of contemporary art, with one twist: every piece submitted for consideration must not be larger than one foot square. This constriction of the art’s physical space creates a tension within the art itself, expanding the challenge inherent in each piece’s creation.
The exhibition fosters fresh and exciting work by both new and established artists, and provides art patrons with the opportunity to secure works of art from prestigious and emerging artists that embody both the cutting edge of today’s contemporary art world and the vast breadth of artistic expression. Artists from 23 countries have participated to date.
Invited artists are featured in a series of art books reflecting each year’s competition. An annual immersive art festival is held each year to celebrate visual and performance arts. For additional information please visit www.12ofsin.com.
12 Inches of Sin is an international juried exhibition attracting submissions from allover the world, and as such, the show is recognized as one of the key venues for the erotic art genre.
Known for showcasing daring artwork of all types, Dr. Laura Henkel, Director, Sin City Gallery says: “It’s so exciting to debut JP’s work. I cannot wait to share his work with Las Vegas and beyond. We were delighted when he was awarded best in show for the 12 Inches of Sin exhibition and it’s truly an honor to show case his work which has among many remarkable qualities beauty, mystery and skill. Evocative, subtle and yet also sometimes thrillingly shall we say unambiguous, these contrasts mean he is a master of his genre.”
Clearly imbued with a sense of handwork and craft, and often drawn on non-traditional perishable materials, the works are intensely erotic. Titillating, daring, and intoxicating, a visit to a gallery of his works drives the visitor from one picture to the next to see what intense sexual encounter is captured. Some pictures are overt, graphic and undeniably sexy, while others are subtler –the use of negative space punctuated by a hand, a mouth, and the tilt of a brow or the costume floating fay-like in the sky of the paper.
The play of light and shadow, the sensual line drawing highlighted by white, or black recalls instantly the intimate erotic sketches of the famous artist Gustav Klimt. Like Klimt’s portraits of women in erotic bliss, Rakehorn captures the immediacy, ardor, and moment of erotic encounters. We feel as if we have come upon a series of wonderful secrets, a treasure trove of hidden desires.
Using ordinary people as his subjects, Rakehorn places a heavy emphasis on the process, drawing, filling in, taking away, and this practice is visible in the finished image. This technique makes the artist’s work all the more engrossing, and often deceptive, one stares into a network of seemingly industriously sketched darkness, to see a face emerge, and then the rest of the body clearly engaged in a sexual encounter. Through all the shadow, lines, sfumato, it is as if one can hear breathlessness or a heart beating.
Other pictures are tributes to sexual expression, such as the couple in movement, two becoming three with an intriguing sense of otherworldliness, heat, and passion.
There is an intrinsic naturalism to the artist’s work, not only in the sense that his works are realistic, but his attitude to human sexuality is not isolated, pulled apart from real living in a fetishlike way, but rather runs through themes of the lifecycle experienced by all people, life, creation, death and decay. Blue is like a ghostly memory, a remnant of a dream, an anonymous woman, nude from the waist up, her body disappearing into the wall.
Moving beyond sublimation and allegory, Rakehorn’s work is a masterly dance between lascivious views of the most amatory of embraces and an understated grace. One lovely picture shows the movement of hands forming illusory wings from a smoky background and a classical nude. Of his noteworthy practice, the artist says “I try to make pictures that stand up as objects in themselves, without needing lengthy or esoteric explanations. However, that is not to say that they are all surface. I like unfinished work, too. For me, a highly finished picture or sculpture is somehow dead. Sketches, workings, they retain a sense of potential, of life.”
While much of the art is sensational or sometimes delightful to enjoy in a gallery, artists like Rakehorn are universally appealing to the novice art collector, the amorous gift giver and have course, the serious collector of erotica.
Highlight Hollywood, the premier source of all news concerning the entertainment mecca, features Sin City Gallery’s Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to create a four-volume set of art books. > Read More
Yahoo Finance featured the gallery’s Kickstarter campaign to raise capital for the publication of a four-volume set of books featuring 126 artists from 16 countries. The books reflect the annual 12 Inches of Sin international juried art exhibition. > Read More
A camera alone does not make a picture. To make a picture you need a camera, a photographer and above all a subject. It is the subject that determines the interest of the photograph. – Man Ray – Oct. 2, 1966
The enchantment of erotic art has had a long history. From the explicit picture by Gustave Courbet L’Origine du monde to the sublimated metaphors of French Rococo painting, and the mystery of Victorian pornography, there has always been a dialogue between the explicit and the abstract in erotic art, and it is this dance that defines eroticism. For the artist Will Roger Peterson, one of the co-founders of Burning Man, the subject is one of celebration and performance. Exploration, spirituality, freedom and artistic expression are fundamental.
The appeal of Peterson’s compelling erotic black and white photographs is multifaceted. Peterson’s practice is at once technically interesting, intellectually engaging, and deeply sensual. In the pictures, there is a playful fluctuation between object, participant, viewer and voyeur. This fluidity is at the core of the success of Peterson’s alluring dance series (1987-present). The beguiling stop motion photographs skillfully merge erotic dance with the mystery of the 19th century Eadweard Muybridge’s photographic studies of movement. Using modes often associated with surrealist photography, Peterson inverts proportion, space and perspective creating an enthralling sense of discovery. To this end, Peterson uses motion effect including one-second exposure, strobe and spotlights on the moving subjects to create a dialogue about codified definitions of erotica, fine art and pornography. The spellbinding photographs emerge as a convergence between all three, suggestively fluctuating between a sense of the bacchanal, of the boudoir and the artistic. Light, shadow emerging from a darkness that is almost moonlit, pale snowy skin against light orchestrates a moving portrait, with an illuminated feathery atmosphere.
Many of Peterson’s images of a woman dancing are subtly erotic, elusive portraits of ballerina like dancer. The subject is Crimson Rose, Peterson’s partner of many years. The images are as much an expression of her sexuality and personality as his desire, or that of the viewer / voyeur. Peterson deftly shows glimpses of the feminine body against a foggy and dynamic elemental movement. She is deeply alluring, mesmeric.
Other images are reminiscent of classic example of modernist feminine beauty, channeling the magnetism of Gustav Klimt’s erotic poetry of womanhood; there is the play with closeness and distance that characterizes erotic art.
Conversely a number of racy images showcase fetish, costume and role-playing. Throughout, there is a riveting sense of delight, sexuality and enjoyment. As well, one of the most compelling pictures is an inversion of the typical female nude, a self-portrait of a masked Peterson as an expression of male virility veiled in mystery that also functions as a trope on surrealist practice linking his work to the practice of Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Andre Breton, Brassai, Salvador Dali, and Andre Kertesz.
Peterson’s journey to the capturing of the reverie of sexual exploration has taken an interesting path. Before beginning his study of the elusive subject of human sexuality and desire, he began in a field defined by quantification. Originally trained in analytical chemistry, Peterson worked at the Rochester Institute of Technology, eventually earning an MFA and finally serving as a professor of photography. As a teacher he became well known for his course, “In Search of the Mystical Image.” And indeed, Peterson’s work juxtaposes the mystical and ephemeral with physical desire in this series of suggestive photographs, a dance is captured as a moment in time with tactile sexuality. Always interesting in depicting and portraiture, Peterson moved to California in 1991 to concentrate on portrait photography. However, when digital film took over the industry, he turned his focus to Burning Man. This concentration culminated into an artistic and personal affinity for the desert. Today, in addition to his captivating erotic photographs, Peterson also takes botanical photos and aerial images of Black Rock City. As a pioneering co-founder of The Burning Man Festival, Peterson’s work is intrinsically tied to exploration, dance and the expression of self and sexuality. The dance series mirror not only an undercurrent of raw sexuality, but also the grace and choreography of classic art, and modern photography.
This focused study of Peterson’s erotic images offers an unprecedented and intimate view into the magnetism of sexuality, dance and discovery and is the first exhibit of the artist’s work in twenty years.
Alternately alluring, shocking, deeply suggestive and subversive, Bradford’s work has a magnetic power, his masterly admixture of haute couture photography and sexuality is the thrill of the illicit paired with an admiration and hunger for so much splendor. This engenders an irrepressible desire to see more, provoking an admiration and hunger for so many splendors. The show includes twenty photographs in black and white as well as in color, and offer a unique view into the artistic oeuvre of this esteemed erotic photographer.
The works are all brilliantly composed and have a cinematic quality. Many of the images are connected to archetype of the vamp, the femme fatal so often seen in fashion, film, theater and art. While an undisputed sexiness is present in all the works, Bradford’s mastery over his medium is the cornerstone of his work. Bradford combines the thoughtful and clean use of light, magnification, focus, reflection of texture, and a sensual game of veiling, and exposure, creating a series of works that have at their core, a sense of theatric.
Bradford’s stunning photos are part of the colliding worlds of fashion and sexuality, and as such are part of the tradition of the great fashion photographer Helmut Newton, in the sense that Bradford builds on Newton’s precepts for a new vision and constructs stylish, posed and iconic pictures of bondage, sexual subjection and fantasy. As well, Bradford is fully engaged with the provocative image of a beautiful woman, her accessories and props highlighting her sexuality, her power, or the power of the voyeur over her, something Newton was unabashed about, this pleasure of looking, this need for beauty, and sexual experience.
More than a collection of images from a sexual subculture, Bradford’s work meets at intersection of erotica, burlesque and performance art and as such is multifaceted, masterly and unerring beautiful. The artist’s ability to engage in contemporary leitmotifs, and transform his images of sex into distinctive portrayals of explosive beauty makes his work stand apart.
Residing in San Francisco, S.M. Shifflett’s pieces are rich, detailed, realistic paintings. With an emphasis on transgender and queer themes and a range in subject matter from fetishes, tattoos and the human form, Shifflett’s body of work pushes boundaries, hoping to affect people at a very deep, visceral level, and hoping to expose audiences to a part of society that is real, beautiful and should be more readily accepted and embraced.
Images that make the artist feel are those that reflect the human condition. Such images transcend time, language and culture. When an image is compelling, it is possible to feel connected to the artist. Shifflett knows what it feels like to want to create such art: to express what is innately human, to break through the jaded shell our society has imposed on us and make those who view the art feel something. The quest is to arrange pigment on a flat surface and make the viewer feel as strongly when looking into the eyes of a Caravagio or a Van Gogh, to speak where language falls short.
Shifflett’s paintings are prized by internationally collectors. It is typical that new works are sold prior paintings ever leaving the easel.