Friday, January 10, 2014

The Yummy Balmy Dance Music Jam

Recorded at 848 Community Space, June 24, 2000 to celebrate the opening of Tasmanian photographer Tony Ryan's show.

This is when I performed with my CHEROTIC ALL-STAR BAND at the opening of the first U.S. exhibition of the work of the tasmania's erotic photographer Tony Ryan.  It broke out in the second half of the performance into a very juicy erotic dance which pulled in several audience members!

When I reviewed Tony Ryan's first book of photography, “Beauty/Reality” for
the 7th issue of my zine, The Cherotic (r)Evolutionary, we had not met in
person.  I met Tony on the Internet.  I was searching for erotic art that
wasn't legs-spread, beer- can- in- the- ass- dildo- in- cunt- sucking- cock
parody on sex (such parodies have their place, but ...). And that is where
the world also met Tony. On the Internet is where Tony broke out of the
isolation that is felt by most artists who do not do fashionable art, who do
not fit in, or who run afoul of the local art power structure, and/or live
in the boonies ...   In Tony's case, Tasmania!  As our correspondence
continued, I encouraged Tony to live out one of his dreams, to come to the
Bay Area and show his photography in the U.S..  He was able to actually come
twice, appearing on my live internet show, The Shaman's Den, both times.  In
2000, Tony showed his photography at 848 Divisadero, a radical art space in
San Francisco, where I had done a series of performances in the late 90s.
We did a great music jam to launch the exhibit.  He also showed his work at
Passion Flower in Oakland, an adult shop where I also performed over the
years, doing all-night and other extended time ritual audience-participation
performances.  Tony was eager to return in 2001, so I set two of my students
to work finding spaces that would host Tony's photography in San Francisco
and Oakland/Berkeley.   This time, Tony was able to show in four different
spaces, including a repeat visit to Passion Flower, and an exhibit at
Artists Television Access (ATA) in San Francisco, an underground film/video
house where I have also shown my films.  I was happy that Tony could show
his photos here, to expose a live audience to his work.  He was also able to
do a series of photo shoots in the Bay Area while he was here.

Tony shows that by putting your art directly out into the world, you can
by-pass all road blocks that the power structures put in your way.  The work
is humanistic (thus, truly feminist), completely erotic because it is not
limited by sex. Tony, as do I, admits to being especially attracted to
working with women, to what he calls the special tension. In fact, he
subtitled his first book, "Male Eye-Female Mind". By doing so, he called
attention to the major and active role of the female models in the creative

I think Tony's art and my own have evolved from similar beginnings.  Some of
my earliest performances were what I call “street performances”.  I had been
painting oils for years, painting with a brush strapped to my forehead,
painting nudes from magazine photos. One day, a rich woman asked me to paint
a nude of her. My wife set me and my paints up in the fancy living room as
the woman undressed. On that day I realized how art can give people
permission to do what normally is forbidden.  This began my street series. I
sat on the center plaza, "selling newspapers". But selling papers was only a
context. The context for me was an excuse for watching people, talking to
people who had the slowness and the insightful curiosity to stop and
talk...a way for me to ask them to model for me. I painted a lot of the
special people from the street performances. I noticed the changes in the
people when they took off their clothes; how they relaxed, how they started
talking on a deeper level about important personal things.

In this same way, the nude body in each of Tony's photos is just the
starting point to reveal the "subject's" personality/spirit, to explore
relationships, and to dive into the magical intimate altered reality of the
shooting session, the special intimate reality created when artist and model
come together in art.
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