Lukewarm, Not Hot

"ARTundressed" at Damien B. ain't bad, but curators could have turned up the temperature.

One particularly interesting work is Beach Bound by Lochai. The South Florida photographer is an expert in kinbaku, the art of Japanese bondage. In the image, a woman appears with her arms stretched behind her back, her limbs hogtied in an intricate rope pattern. The wind catches her skirt like a parachute, exposing her bare bottom. This photo looks like it might have been torn from a fashion glossy, but it still seduces.

There is a ditzy vibe to Busted Edmonton, a black-and-white photo by Jackson Photografix that depicts a bearded lad perched on a toilet bowl. His skivvies are bunched at the ankles as he is caught in a look of mock surprise while wearing stiletto pumps and applying lipstick.

Hanging inside one of the infernal outdoor sheds is a rare example of drawing at the exhibit. Ray Leaning's gorgeous pencil-on-paper work, Bastet, depicts a woman in a shiny Catwoman suit holding a whip, while Editrice shows a woman sporting pinstripe nylon stockings, a leather skirt, and a bob haircut. She appears very much like a Weimar Republic office temp.

One of the few paintings on display is Sarah Clemens's Dragonplay, a small-format oil-on-wood piece featuring a tight closeup of a blonde's breast. Four tiny dragons have alighted on her nipple, digging their barbed tails into her flesh and twisting her pink nub into a goose-pimply knot.

Gary Breckheimer is represented by some of the grittiest images in the show. In one, a nude bombshell brunette lies strapped to the rusty bedsprings of a gutted mattress atop a brick-paved road as a clueless old goat pedals by on a bike.

In Gas, a nude woman drags an oxygen tank in front of a crumbling manse. The weary blonde inhales desperately from the plastic oxygen mask as an ominous mass of clouds gathers overhead.

The image is an apt metaphor for how visitors must feel after nearly asphyxiating in the hellhole containers a few yards away. Sadly, spectators likely leave thinking they would have been better served sticking their head in a refrigerator with a copy of Hustler magazine.

"This was just a temporary pit stop and only reflected 20 percent of the original show," Romeus grouses to New Times by phone, swatting away notions he's on the ropes. "Damien was trying to stay on the safe side of things due to the nature of his clientele, but we are back on track again."

Romeus says he is pulling the work from the gallery two weeks before the scheduled July 31 close and shipping it off to an erotic art festival in Montreal. "We are glad this opportunity came up, but were also worried the work might have gotten damaged in the heat," he sniffs.

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