An art exhibit in Hollywood featuring Winnipeg artists is being billed as erotic art from the coldest city on Earth.
Winnipeg filmmaker Noam Gonick is the curator of “WinniPig,” which features 75 pieces by 26 artists, all of whom are current or former Winnipeggers.
The exhibit, which opened June 1 and runs until June 23 at the Antebellum fetish art gallery, is the second that Gonick has curated; his first was in Paris last year.
“This gallery is in a very funky, old corner of Hollywood,” said Gonick from Los Angeles, adding it’s located beside designer-to-the-stars Marco Marco’s boutique.
“Paris Hilton was there right as the show opened and the front of the gallery was swarming with paparazzi, cause she was trying to sneak out, so it was pretty hot.”
Celebs aside, Gonick said the idea for the exhibit came from Antebellum owner Rick Castro.
“He was just picking my brain, he knew I’d done the show in Paris,” said Gonick.
“He’s always been fascinated by Winnipeg and what could we do about a Winnipeg show at the Antebellum Gallery, so I just put one together in pretty short order.”
Castro said he has met many Winnipeggers over the years and has ties to the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art in downtown Winnipeg.
“I was interested in presenting artists from Canada, specifically Winnipeg,” said Castro, who opened the gallery almost seven years ago.
“I see ’Peggers as having an original approach to art and perhaps to life. They don’t take it seriously, they have fun, yet (are) professional and provocative. ’Peggers have a mutual bond and camaraderie that continues on, even when they leave their safe haven and venture into the world.”
Gonick said the show has already received positive reviews.
“They were really wowed by the quality of the craftsmanship of the Winnipeg artists. There’s a lot of just really beautifully crafted work,” he said. “Two pieces sold on opening night.”
The name of the exhibit, WinniPig, comes from Gonick’s youth when, as a teenager, he acted as host for provocative American artist Lydia Lunch at a Plug In event.
“She took a beer bottle off the waitress’s tray and winged it at an audience member that was heckling her, I’ll never forget that,” recalled Gonick with a laugh.
“And then somebody in the audience said ‘You’re the queen of Winnipeg’ and she said ‘I’m not going to be the queen of Winnipeg until you rename it WinniPig’ and everybody went crazy, so we decided to name it in honour of that — that crazy, epic performance.”
Castro said he has yet to visit the city, but plans on coming soon.
“Antebellum is pleased to be the first gallery in Hollywood, perhaps California, to present Winnipeg art,” he added. “I hope this is the beginning of a mutually kinky connection. Antebellum has a Winnipeg fetish. I will visit very soon, I am obsessed!”
Though the exhibit is physically in Hollywood, a virtual gallery can be seen at brendenfortescue.com/winnipig for the next six months.
Aliza Amihude, C. Graham Asmundson, Paul Butler, Paul Cherwick, Sharron Zenith Corne, Shawna Dempsey & Lorri Millan, Dan Donaldson, Daniel Ellingsen, Elle Flanders, Larry Glawson, Phyllis Green, Doug Harvey, Andrew Harwood, Larusson & Pyszczek, Zachari Logan, Guy Maddin, Bonnie Marin, Doug Melnyk, Robert Pasternak, Joshua Pearlman, Jon Pylypchuk, Paul Robles, Slomotion, Wayne Sommersell
Warning: The images in this slideshow contain nudity and other adult content