It’s a common misconception around some parts that I am a prostitute. And if you don’t know me, I can kinda understand why you might think that: I rent myself out by the hour, I get naked for cash, and I’ve been in more Vegas hotel rooms than even the most prolific hooker. But what people don’t understand is that I’m an Artist…and I’m just helping guys create Art!
OK, sometimes it’s even hard for me to believe that — as when, checking my email the other day, I was confronted with a closeup of my hairy anus, shot from a devious angle by an overzealous photographer with a hyperactive zoom lens. (For the love of Dog, WHY? If I intended to shoot that type of content, I would at least have the decency to tweeze, shave and/or bleach it!)
But the truth is, “Art” is subjective…and means different things to different people. It’s not all black-and-white nudes reclining on rocks — sometimes it’s topless Secret Service agents with thigh-high stockings, lace garter belts and no panties. Highbrow, lowbrow, nobrow…who the hell am I to judge? The last thing I want is to come off like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, whose definition of obscenity was “I know it when I see it.” I’m just a naked ninny with a B.A. from a shitty state university, and I’ll freely admit: I don’t know shit!
But I do know what I like…and I’ve seen some far-out stuff lately! First, a friend tipped me off to this amazing ganzfeld installation by the Artist James Turell that has been quietly lurking on the 4th floor of the Louis Vuitton store in the Crystals shopping mall for the past two years. I had no idea this amazing installation was there, because a) I abhor that pretentious mall and all it stands for, and avoid it like the plague…and b) I can’t even afford to breathe the air in a Louis Vuitton store! But this I had to see, so I called ahead to make an appointment (it’s free, but you have to make an appointment as it’s a 20-minute private viewing experience).
Oh holy hell!! This was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen!!! Basically, a ganzfeld is a giant seamless chamber uniformly backlit by colored light, with white noise piped in via hidden speakers…so that when you enter, it’s like stepping into a void, and you lose all sense of up/down/left/right. Pilots sometimes experience the same disorienting effect when flying thru clouds, and in fact you can recreate the effect yourself with some headphones and a ping pong ball cut in half, placed over your eyes while you stare at a bright light.
But why take the poor man’s route when I have this fabulous hi-class version awaiting me right down the street?? I took a deep breath and set foot into the rarefied atmosphere of the Louis Vuitton store, where a series of impeccably groomed saleswomen led me to an elevator that goes up to the secret 4th floor, which was just empty storage before Turell’s exhibit went in. I had to sign a release and put on these weird surgical booties, and then these two young chicks dressed all in white, kinda like sexy Oompa Loompas, led me into this dark, silent chamber, where you climb a set of stairs to enter the ganzfeld (as seen in the first photo).
It was amazing!! Ideally, to experience the full effect of the ganzfeld you want to go alone, so there is no one/nothing in your peripheral vision, interrupting the void…and you want to go as far forward toward the front as possible, just short of the six-foot drop at the end. That way, your whole field of perception is filled with uniformly glowing color and humming white noise — far out!! My only complaint was that one of the Oompa Loompas stays in the chamber with you the whole time, watching that you don’t accidentally fall off the six-foot ledge…and I could see her in my peripheral vision the whole time, so it sort of fucked up the void effect; I had to avert my gaze to the right, which meant I could see some of the wall seam and the little alarm where the 6-foot drop is. Stupid liability!!!!!!
Anyway, the full cycle takes 20 minutes, and then you have the option of touring the rest of the art pieces on display in the Louis Vuitton store. These turned out to be located mostly in little private salons where the über-wealthy shop via concierge service, hidden from the main floor and all the hoi polloi. If you weren’t a one-percenter, you’d never get to see this fabulous shit…which is pretty sad, in a way :-/ Still…as elitist and bullshit as it may be, I have to give Louis Vuitton props for making this amazing Art available to the public…even unrefined broke-ass hacks like me. Anyone can call 702-730-3150 and make an appointment to see it!
If, however, the idea of strutting into the Louis Vuitton stores freaks you out/makes you sick/violates your populist principles….don’t worry; I also just discovered some even badder-asser Art out in the desert, that’s also free to experience — all you have to do is gas up your car and ignore a few No Trespassing signs!
My friend Tatiana tipped me off to this old abandoned magnesium mine out on the furthest reaches of Henderson, near the bankrupt nouveau-riche enclave of Lake Las Vegas, where there are all these ginormous, circular basins where I guess they used to rinse off the magnesium or whatever. These concrete basins are probably about half a football field in diameter, and most of them are just decaying away in the desert heat, dotted with shitty graffiti and strewn with litter and filth.
But this bad-ass graffiti artist who goes by the name Aware. sneaked in one day and painted one of the basins in the way back to look like a giant Wheel of Fortune, like from the TV show! Only, instead of it being a regular Wheel of Fortune wheel with stripes reading “BANKRUPT” and “LOSE A TURN…” this is the Wheel of MISfortune, and the stripes say shit like “BANK OWNED,” “LOSE A HOME,” LOSE A JOB,” and “LOSE ALL HOPE.” Plus, all the dollar values are $000! I guess it’s supposed to be a statement of sorts on the whole housing/economic meltdown….which makes it particularly awesome that it’s located right across the street from broke-ass, poseur-ass Lake Las Vegas. HA!!!!!
Anyway, I hiked out here one afternoon with Tatiana to check it out, was completely blown away, and then came back a week later with my friend Shutterbug Studio to make some tasteful Art of my own — a mixed-media masterpiece involving my Ass and my Twat. I sincerely hope the original Artist isn’t offended! (I’m a fan of Aware.’s work for the most part, but come to find out he’s the one who covered up the supercool Trust-O-Corp graffiti in the abandoned waterpark with shitty black Olde English lettering, so I can’t endorse him 100%.)
Apparently, you can see the Wheel of Misfortune from airplanes coming into Vegas — it would be out the righthand side of the plane, just past Lake Mead and due south of Lake Las Vegas. If you’re flying into town, be on the lookout! But if you want to check it out on foot, in person, be advised: there are NO TRESPASSING signs everywhere, and the place is really gross and dirty, and probably contaminated with all kinds of horrible stuff…..in short, just about as hazardous as venturing into that doucher-ass Louis Vuitton store, so choose your poison!!
Anyway, I’m all for appreciating the Art of others, but to pay the bills I gots to make Art of my own, ya know? Toward that end, I did a third photo shoot with this amazing photographer from the Bay Area out in Tecopa, near Death Valley — this is the same guy I shot with/shroomed with before, but he keeps hiring me because he’s working on an absolutely amazing project, which unfortunately I can’t give you the details of yet, because it really is so amazingly bad ass that he’s waiting to finish the series before releasing it to the public. All I can say is, these are among the coolest and most technically amazing photos for which I’ve ever bared my ass, and I can’t wait to share them with you!
Anyway, we stayed in a cabin at Delight’s Hot Springs resort this time, which has always been my favorite resort out there — I love the charmingly busted-up old cinderblock cabins they rent out, and the vibe is just overall sort of Bonnie-and-Clyde-meets-the-Apocalypse. The cabin we rented on this trip, however, was super busted up — it must have been one of the oldest ones on the property, and it was honestly pretty shitty…so be advised, and stay away from cabin #2!! I still recommend the rest of the property, though.
Our plan for this trip was to shoot two nights in a row, in the wee hours of the morning. The first night, we shot from 3am-5am, then went back and slept all day in the air conditioned cabin. The second day, we intended to shoot from midnight-2am…..but after a delicious lunch at Pastel’s Bistro and some after-dinner mushroom truffles, we got so totally zonked that we ended up pissing away the entire night laying out by the mudhole, staring at the stars and talking commie philosophy with some crazy poet in a bathrobe. FAR OUT!!! We’re actually going back next week to do another session — this photographer had never shot a nude model before, so he was pretty nervous the first couple of shoots, and really only hit his stride the third time…but then was derailed by mushrooms. So next time, I’m not bringing any distractions….it’s gonna be all about Art!!!
Speaking of nude photos, I also did a two-day shoot for this new website, Diverxity.com, that’s sort of an alternative to Model Mayhem…only porn-ier, and viewable by anyone — not just models and photographers (on Model Mayhem, only members can view the nude photos). I guess the idea is, models sign up and post explicit nude photos, and then anyone who wants to can sign up for a membership to view them — you don’t have to be a photographer. Well, I’m pretty square when it comes to shooting erotic/adult-type content (I don’t do it, so please don’t ask), but I’m friends with one of the guys who launched the site…so I agreed to be part of their first-ever group photo shoot, on location in fabulous Las Vegas.
This was a really cool idea — six or seven photographers signed up and paid who knows how much for two full days shooting a pool of eight models, one day at a rental house, and the second day out in the desert. Everyone took turns shooting with each photographer, and it was a pretty diverse group of models, as you can see from the photo…so everyone got a variety of shots.
The house we shot in on the first day was nothing special, just an AirBnB rental squatting in the shadow of the freeway…but the desert locations we visited on the second day were amazing, and provided endless opportunities to create amazing Art. We hit the dry lakebed, a Joshua tree forest, some railroad tracks, a lonely desert road and then this fabulous rocky outcropping that had some kind of WWII memorial in the form of a cross at the top, that provided for a really cool backdrop. All in all it was a really fun day, and it fired me up about finally getting the Goddess Collective going!
The whole reason we started the Goddess Collective was so that we could arrange group shoots like that — the Collective membership is now up to 6 or 7 high-quality, mostly untattooed, all-natural Art models, and between us we know a shit ton of fantastic locations out here in the desert. All we need is a van and 3-5 photographers, and we could totally help satisfy the Art needs of the entire planet! We need to get on this!!
But meanwhile, I have other fish to fry — crazy psychedelic German performance Artist fish!! I was recently approached by a local wacky personality/singer/performance Artist by the name of Mister Tony, who wants me to be a part of his act by driving him around L.A. in a giant psychedelic hearse, while he lays in a Plexiglas coffin in the back, with his EDM tracks blaring from the external sound system, with the goal of attracting the attention of record labels out there. HOW COULD I SAY NO TO THAT?!
Mister Tony’s story is actually really interesting. A few years back he was just another German automotive engineer toiling away at the BMW plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina…but then he got laid off, his dog died and his wife left him, all of which led to a meltdown/epiphany: he wasn’t meant to be an engineer, he was born to dance!!! So he spent his severance pay on a bunch of electric-acid-Kool-Aid-colored pimp suits and a hearse with a $20,000 psychedelic paint job, and moved to Vegas to become a superstar!
I first met him back when I worked at a nightclub — he goes out every single night, making the scene and getting his name and face out there. Back then he gave me a copy of his CD, which is a bunch of EDM-type dance tracks with titles like “Please Mister Tony” and “The Happy Hearse,” and I was totally blown away. It was like Dieter’s Dance Party crossed with Austin Powers and maybe a dash of Kraftwerk — intense!! So when he approached me recently to be a part of his act, you can see why I said yes.
I guess he feels like he’s milked the Vegas market long enough, and now it’s time to move up to the big leagues — i.e. go to L.A. and try to get a record company to finance a music video, which he is certain will go viral a la Gangnam Style, making him famous and wealthy in the process. He offered me an 80-20 split if I go with him as his chauffeur, driving this fuckin’ hearse up and down Sunset Blvd. or whatever…but he also wants me to be part of the act!!
During his darkest hours in South Carolina, when rednecks were beating him up as he tried to perform in the clubs out there, a dark side to his personality emerged, telling him he wasn’t good enough, that he should give up, etc. But rather than give in to this self-doubt, he gave his dark side a name and a character– Evil Tony! Evil Tony can’t stand the fact that Mister Tony goes around spreading happiness and the joy of dance, so he sends his secret weapon, Wonderhussy, to seduce and destroy Mister Tony…thus ending Mister Tony’s reign of joy. Evil Tony possibly also has a devil’s tail which he plugs into Wonderhussy’s Electric Vagina to recharge his Evil energy…this shit is all still in development. LOLz!!!!!
Anyway, this is all 100% on spec, and I don’t expect to make any money off of it….but what the hell, sometimes ya gotta do shit for the fun of it, right?! Sometimes it’s fun to make Art for the sake of Art, ya know? But by some miracle it does pan out, and I do become a viral video sensation…I have a plan! I’m gonna use my newfound wealth to hire male models and make my own Art. Art involving lace buttfloss, silly facial expressions and ridiculous poses. I may even get a close-up of a hairy anus or two, who can say? I plan to call this genre Revenge Art…and who knows, some day you might catch my show on the 4th floor of a K-Mart somewhere in Nebraska.
P.S. I also went down and hiked the Grand Canyon last weekend…..here’s a short video about it. They say you’re not supposed to attempt hiking all the way down to the bottom and back in one day…but this is the second time I’ve done it, and I’m here to tell you it’s totally doable. It’s an asskicker — something like 4500 feet in elevation gain and 17 miles roundtrip — but it’ll definitely help get you to the point where you can crack a walnut in your ass!!!!