The art of lust and life: ‘Reverse Cowgirl’ at Yellow Peril Gallery (The Providence Phoenix, 04/09/13)

REVERSE COWGIRL, Guest Curated by Tom West
If Batman’s dark latex costume-armor actually indicated his dark sexual appetites, Curtis Aric’s Fluffer might be the motorcycle he’d ride — or at least keep in the Batcave for quiet kinky nights in. It can’t actually roll anywhere, but when you plug in the motor, the frame sitting between two-foot-wide racing car tires becomes one monster vibrator. There’s something both awesome and kind of unsettling about the machine.

But Aric hits a sour note with a sculptural head of a lady wired to the handlebars. Its eyes are closed and its mouth open in apparent ecstasy, but there’s something creepy about it. Its placement could suggest that the whole bike is the woman’s body or that the head is a trophy. The mouth is smeared with red clown paint and the eyes crossed out, which in cartoon lingo can mean dead.

It’s a centerpiece of “Reverse Cowgirl,” a roundup of 11 Providence artists at Yellow Peril Gallery (60 Valley St, Providence, through April 14), and demonstrates both its pleasures and drawbacks. “It’s important to strip away any veneers of shame and repulsion surrounding sex in art and take a more critical look at the role sex plays in our private and public lives,” artist Tom West, who organized the show (and is in it), writes in introduction.

Read the review by Greg Cook in full in The Providence Phoenix »