Hottest Ticket in Town: Dirty in Detroit

Intrusions VI
Through February 16
Bert’s Warehouse Theater
2727 Russell St., Detroit
Tickets $15 in advance, price to be determined at the door
21 and older

So, they say nothing happens in Detroit. Think again. Detroit’s ninth annual “Dirty Show,” touted as the largest exhibition of erotic art in the United States, returns for eight titillating days to its Eastern Market home. Do they stand in line to see art in Detroit? Oh yeah. This is the hippest art opening in the city every year and attended by all those in the know.

“We’re not trying to draw the raincoat crowd,” says longtime organizer Jerry Vile, adding, “You can see more flesh at any strip-bar, and wilder things on the Internet. The ‘Dirty Show’ is more the intellectual side of erotic art.”

Here is what Michael Hodges in the Detroit News had to say, “…Vile — who as a kid could sniff out a hidden Playboy magazines anywhere in a house — promises the work will range from “Grandma-safe to somebody’s-going-to-hell.”

Taking a broad view of “erotic,” one amusing piece by local photographer Sooney Kadouh focuses on a tarted-up toy poodle lusting after a MilkBone. Another, by the Australian group “Bad Behavior,” features two amorous young men — one decked out in oversized bunny head and bunny feet.

Among the 300-odd works that will be on display are some by names, such as Detroit’s Niagara or Bettie-Page photographer Bunny Yeager, that will be familiar to many gallerygoers. And some, like surrealist H.R. Giger, are very big names, indeed.

This year, the “Dirty-Show” jury pawed over some 2,500 submissions. But the bottom line for Vile, who concedes he’s no art expert, is that people have a good time. And the “Dirty Show,” he contends, almost always succeeds in discouraging the dour crowd.”When you keep away the prudes and the snobs,” Vile says, “nobody’s left but the fun people.”


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