A new Film by Eric Minh Swenson
12 Inches of Sin is an annual juried exhibition of contemporary erotica that presents a serious categories study of practice in the field, and brings to the forefront new and imaginative formats for the exploration of sex, gender, fantasy, and love.
The show has a twist; every piece submitted for consideration must be one foot square or less. This means careful consideration by each artist, the compression of space means that the product requires a certain level of discipline and rigor, and in many cases a close examination of the artist’s aesthetic as he or she makes Lilliputian that which looms large in the imagination. This tininess is also a clever nod to the secretive status of erotica, and functions beautifully as a metaphor for the keyhole voyeur.
By Kristen Peterson :
Name: Aaron Sheppard, artist
Education: Bachelor of Fine Art, Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C.; Master of Fine Art candidate, UNLV
The artist: The Nebraska born-and-raised Sheppard embodies remnants from his various lifestyles — construction worker, art student, drag performer (Barbie Q), rocker. The 6-foot-4 artist weathered the grit of Washington, D.C., wove through the New York underground scene performing in his band, Peter and the Pansexuals, and meditated with monks in Japanese temples. His long hair, mutton chops and eye makeup are a seeming amalgamation of a childhood spent in his grandfather’s lumberyard and his rock ’n’ roll dreams. A subtle cowboy drawl lingers from childhood summers spent with family in Amarillo, Texas.
His work: Sexuality, individuality and gender identity are dominant issues in Sheppard’s performances and paintings. Multimedia works, pieced together from paint, wood, canvas and found objects, are raw, intense, guttural and emotional, a result, he says, of strategically purging his internal dialogue. He’s not just working through his own issues. His thesis exhibition, “lipstickaforkinme,” on display this week at the Donna Beam Fine Art Gallery, explores expected and realistic roles of women in today’s society via how they are represented and often exploited in media and popular culture, from fashion to porn.
As one of few artists in town active in performance art, Sheppard teamed with artist David Sanchez to produce “Lustre Flux,” a monthly performance art event at the Aruba hotel, and posed as a living sculpture (mannequin hanging in the window) in the “3Dimentia” exhibit at the Contemporary Arts Center.
For more info on Eric Minh Swenson visit his website at thuvanarts.com. His art films can be seen at thuvanarts.com/take1
Instagram : @ericminhswenson
Eric Minh Swenson also covers the international art scene and his writings and photo essays can be seen at Huffington Post Arts : m.huffpost.com/us/author/eric-minh-swenson/