"Nylon" by ChrisTopher Crowder
As any anthropologist or psychologist (or marketing executive) will tell you, autumn has a strange effect on the human psyche. Autumn is the overture to winter - that time of year when the days become colder, the nights become longer, and our gears shift to a slower speed than the one they rev-up to during the languid heat of summer.
Our ancestors reacted to this change with fertility rites and the occasional virgin sacrifice to remind themselves that "spring break" would roll around again in a few months. It was a nice set-up (unless you were the virgin) and it certainly made for great parties.
And all of this probably explains why there's going to be a Dirty Show at Bert's Warehouse.
No, you didn't slip into a coma. No, it's not February. Yes, Virginia, there will be a Dirty Show when Valentine's Day shows up next year. This is ... Part II or the Fall Edition or the September Event. Call it anything you like, but rest assured it will be the most talked about exhibition of the month. And yes, the pun was intentional.
Jerry Vile and his merry wanksters have once again accumulated a massive amount of art, sculpture, and photography to fill a hall several times over. They've also raised a modest army of live performers to entertain you between drink orders and interludes of eye-popping. And once again they've given a number of creative Detroiters the opportunity to express themselves in a manner befitting the scope of their talents.
We asked one of them to answer a few questions. Folks, say hello to Topher Crowder.
Why are you participating?
I love participating in the Dirty Show! It's a wonderful event and it really brings back fond childhood memories of camping with the cub scouts and hanging out at truck stops. Seriously though, for me it’s not about the sex. Sex is like pizza. When it’s good, it’s good. And when it’s bad ... it’s still pretty good. I love the Dirty for the art.
Every year, Jerry Vile manages to orchestrate a vastly complex show combining all mediums created by artists from all over the world. It's all here - photography to performance, sculpture to painting. There is nothing that makes me prouder than to show up with an Artist badge and then to stand back and listen while an amazed (or outraged) public politely points out the size of the "details" on a work that I’ve submitted.
What is your most vivid memory of a past show?
My most memorable Dirty was 2007. Jerry Vile was able to get a HUGE painting done by the late Russell Keeter for the show. I remember walking through the show and then entering a room, turning around and looking up at this epic three-paneled oil painting done by one of Detroit’s true artistic masters. The hairs on the back of my neck began to stand up and tears began to form in my eyes. Then a girl walked by in thigh-high stockings and six-inch platforms and all became right in my world again.
Why is the Dirty Show important as both a Detroit event and an art exhibit?
It’s not just the Dirty Show. It’s Jerry Vile. Jerry is able to mastermind an art exhibit that people will come out to see in the dead of winter or during a snow storm or during the slow days of fall. And these same people will wait patiently in line to get in. This is Jerry giving the people what they really want. Every year, twice a year now, he's able to show fantastic artwork that NO other gallery in Detroit or the nation will exhibit. And to an artist -- any artist -- that is an act worthy of praise.
by Robert del Valle/Special to Metromix