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Artist Jessy Nite on Porn, Wynwood Lovin', and Why Not To Take Art "So F***ing Seriously"

See Jessy Nite is a Bad, Bad Girl at Primary Projects.

Late last week, we reported that according to Trojan Condom Survey, Miami residents are number one in the country when it comes to sexual satisfaction. Not just that, but we are also at the top of the list of how many times we get down and dirty each year. Really, what they are trying to tell us is that we are a bunch of floozies. (Hey, at least we are using condoms... let's hope.)

So it's no surprise that when local artist Jessy Nite decided to find her calling, it was porn. Well, porn-inspired art, anyway.

Nite, who moved from New York to Miami five years ago this month, is presenting her newest creation, "Color Me Porno," tomorrow with the help of nightlife veterans NFA Crew. Together, they are turning two giant rooms at Villa 221's Skybox Gallery into an adult-themed playground with word searches, connect the dots, and wall art that all the carry the theme of sex, sex, and more sex.

Before the big debut, we chatted with Jessy Nite about just what fans can expect this evening, her thoughts on the Miami art scene, and why everyone should let their freak flag fly.


Cultist: OK, I need to know the details of your new show, "Color Me Porno."
Jessy Nite: I had a solo show in February where we had a Color Me Porno installation, and that was so much fun. Then when I had this opportunity to do it again, but I wanted to do it full on. "Color Me Porno" comes from these coloring books I use to make. They were pretty shitty, but fun. Like one page was connect the dots, but it was a ball gag. It's really ridiculous. It's just supposed to be fun. "Color Me Porno" has been a series, and this exhibition starting Friday is another one, The Play House edition. There will be coloring, dirty word searches, connect the dots. It's going to be an adult playhouse.

Artist Jessy Nite on Porn, Wynwood Lovin', and Why Not To Take Art "So F***ing Seriously"

People will be able to participate?
Yes. It's essentially my art on the walls with crayons on the floor so people can go at it. I wasn't really sure people would participate the first time around in February. I didn't think they would color in the lines. People were fucking hilarious. They would color in the lines, they would write crazy words, they draw their own pictures. The energy is fun.

This is not your typical "walk around and glance at art" kind of gallery.
No. But I think this is where art is going right now. People are trying to push it. We are so involved with each other's lives with all the things we have available with computers, Apps, our phones. People want to be a part of something. With a lot of my installations, I encourage people to have their own experience. It's really important to me.

Do you think people that are a little conservative should stay away?
Nobody should stay away. If it offends you, that's OK. But I encourage everyone to at least try. The gallery is a little less dirty. The porno playing cards are really dirty. There aren't dildos going, well, into orifices. I saved those for the playing cards.

Artist Jessy Nite on Porn, Wynwood Lovin', and Why Not To Take Art "So F***ing Seriously"

What inspired you to get so down and dirty with your art?
I don't understand why people take art so fucking seriously. I have studied it my whole life. I want to make stuff that people look at and enjoy. Maybe they laugh a little bit. Maybe it makes them a little uncomfortable. But sex is one of the most enjoyable things in life -- why not celebrate it?

 

Would you say porn is a big part of your life?
I am 26 and I grew up with the first generation who always had the Internet. We were the first people to have porn, any kind of porn, any time and for free. For us, it is a big part of our lives if we want to admit it or not. As women, does that make porn our competition? Should we be jealous? Is that our new expectation? I don't know if we know yet.

What do you hope people take away from this?
I hope people have fun -- that is my main goal. There is nothing in particular, but I do hope that they leave with something. Even if it's that they look at art in a different way or maybe they realize they need to loosen up a little bit. It's going to be different for everyone. There is an open bar, great music from DJ Elle, and porn. Everyone is going to get a little horny and maybe get laid. We hope so.

Are you a little afraid people are going to think you're a hussy?
I am sure they do. My boyfriend helps me with a lot of it and I always think, "God, I wonder if his friends think I am this super slut now." Oh, people always think I am a lesbian too. Most people wonder why I only draw girls, but it's because it's more fun. You can color their hair, nails, eye color, and little outfits. Most of my fans are women anyways.

Artist Jessy Nite on Porn, Wynwood Lovin', and Why Not To Take Art "So F***ing Seriously"

What are your thoughts on the Miami art scene these days?
Compared to a year ago, things keep changing. Wynwood is blowing up. A lot of my friends who were the foundations for the art scene for me have moved out west. What's happening now is that there are a lot of things popping up. There is a lot of room for new people to make an impact. Artists in Miami are really lucky. We are a little bit of a smaller town, so there is plenty of room for a lot of people to get a lot of great attention here.

Is there a reason so many artists are moving out west?
I love Miami, but I work in advertising. I am an art director. It is an amazing place, but there is a lack of creative jobs here. Maybe in 10 years there will be, but we are all career people. We are just looking to build and further our career in whatever way we can. I think the people that moved have no malice against Miami but it was just their time to grow.

Any plans to call Los Angeles home anytime soon?
Not today. I do hope artists start getting paid for all the hard work they do. Everyone wants everything for free, especially when it comes to presenting our work. That's just not realistic.

Do you think Art Walk Second Saturdays are more for hipsters or art lovers?
I think the two go hand in hand. Second Saturdays are a good way for people to go out and see shows. It's also a good excuse to get dressed up and be seen. Some people have bad feelings towards Wynwood, but it's a great place for creativity. It's going to be our little Brooklyn. Things can get played out, but we are still growing. If people stay psyched, there is nowhere to go but up. In my experiences, Miami artists support each other. It felt really good. Honestly, I didn't expect it.

"Color Me Porno" opens Friday, July 20. A private preview runs from 9 to 11 p.m., and is open to the public from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. Admission is free. Visit primaryprojectspace.com.

Follow Cultist on Facebook and Twitter @CultistMiami.


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