This group exhibition at Gallery 1313, curated by the director Phil Anderson, is a brave and somewhat pleasing exhibition by some 23 artists. More than half of the artists are women and the works seem centred on the female experience. A few of the artists are from outside Ontario such as Yvette Tang (Vancouver) and Kelsey Vaughan (Edmonton).
The works were selected online, and Anderson was surprised that artists didn’t embrace the me-too movement or have very little to say politically. The quality of work was even and there were certain favorites for everyone. Grace Dam’s painting The Blackberry is powerful in its quiet way, showing how cellphone interrupts even the most intimate moments of our lives.
Photographer, Ravi Persaud’s One Night Stand stood out with its mystical loneliness, created by the soft warm light and the crumpled bed. Painter Nora House’s work, Selfie had a nude figure holding a phone camera for a pose. John Nobrega’s video animation works, The Failed Seducer, were dark and wonderful.
Photographer Steve Socha used an overlay technique in his photo works while Vancouver photographer Trint Thomas’s Purity, a silver gelatin print, seemed like it was from another era of more innocence.
Vancouver queer artist Yvette Tang’s bold, dark photographs, The Punisher, express a fascination with fetish sex.
The Cell Gallery artist, Shawn Postoff’s work, though not part of the Sex Show, provided an appropriate match looking at the male figure.
The Sex Show 2019 at Gallery 1313 was not as offensive as the sign outside the door warned but none the less an eclectic mix of works with a sexual theme from a variety of artists that made the exhibit worthwhile. In these times it seems few people are willing to celebrate this subject matter that is usually only heard about in the media in negative tones.
Ashley Rowe Flick
Images are courtesy of Gallery 1313 and the artists
*Exhibition information: February 13 – 24, 2019, Gallery 1313, 1313 Queen Street West, Toronto. Gallery hours: Tue – Sun, 1 – 6 pm.