What happens when you invite 50 artists, described as "rabble-rousers" in the press release, to make art about sex — whether dirty, funny or just plain bizarre? Well, in a playful exhibition entitled, "The Double Dirty Dozen (& Friends)," you get a large sign on the door that states, "No One Under 18 Admitted."
The show's title references the 1967 take-no-prisoners war film "The Dirty Dozen" by Robert Aldrich, in which a gang of ex-cons join forces for the impossible mission of assassinating German war criminals. Freight + Volume Gallery ditches the weapons for wit as the group of artists embarks on the debatably comparable mission of representing sex in a manner that will shock and titillate the most jaded libidos.
The challenge at hand requires a lot more than NSFW body parts to make us blush... and we have to say, mission accomplished. For example Paul Brainard's horrifying work, "The Birth of Tim Tebow" features the pretty and pure football player emerging from a porn star's family jewels. Also, the Doritos logo is pictured, which makes the scene even worse. But more off-putting (in a good way) than the pop-political jabs are the scenarios which amp up the silly. Johnston Foster's "El Natural" makes literal the dirty old man who appears like R. Crumb's Mr. Natural was hanging out with Tom Hanks in Cast Away.
Is sex in art still shocking? Maybe so, maybe not, but we certainly find it funny, strange and worth exploring. We are happy to visit any exhibition where outcasts are glorified and artists are invited to push the envelope a bit, letting freak flags everywhere fly freely.
"The Double Dirty Dozen (& Friends)" will show at Freight + Volume in New York until September 22, 2012.
Take a peek at the dirty minds of some very uninhibited artists below. You were warned: the images are definitely NSFW.