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"Call Time" Turned Primping for Pics Into an Avant-Garde Art Party

The intersection of dress-up and modern art.
The intersection of dress-up and modern art.
Briana Saati

Last Friday night (stop thinking about Katy Perry), the inviting glow of The Nightclub's neon sign guided art lovers out of the rain and into the dressing rooms of four performance artists.

"Call Time: 7 p.m.," the third in a series of 12 curated exhibitions showcased in a one-night venue, literally put artists A.G. Viva, Antonia Wright, David Rohn, and Jillian Mayer on display for patrons as they individually prepared to shoot for Cultured magazine's Fall issue.

"The public is invited to watch the decisions they make for how they want to be self-represented," said Viva, who produced the exhibition. 

"Call Time" Turned Primping for Pics Into an Avant-Garde Art Party
courtesy The Nightclub

The artists invited to partake in the photo shoot each use image, identity, persona, and presence as a part of their artistic practices. There was no shortage of such elements as the evening progressed.

Wright and friends painted eyeballs on the eyelids and foreheads of patrons; Mayer painted her face onto her butt (you had to have been there); and Rohn talked up event-goers dressed in character as aging Hollywood starlet Penelope Pedal.

Like an Andy Warhol dress-up party or a thespian's backstage "five minutes 'til curtain" dream, "Call Time" delivered an honest interpretation of what an artist endures to become.

"Call Time" Turned Primping for Pics Into an Avant-Garde Art Party
Briana Saati

Wright engaged the audience; not only did they get to peer into the artists' methods of preparation, but they were invited to actually become a part of it as she painted extra pupils onto the flesh of the willing.

"Call Time" Turned Primping for Pics Into an Avant-Garde Art Party
Briana Saati

Waiting for a new set of peepers.

Pedal stole the show with her flamboyant gold locks, tight red cocktail dress, and 5 o'clock shadow. She is one of the many characters Rohn has brought to life; perhaps it was the liquid courage in her martini glass, but Pedal dished about her romance with Robert Downey Jr.,  sexcapades with Roger Moore, and her successful Jenny Craig ad campaign.

"Call Time" Turned Primping for Pics Into an Avant-Garde Art Party
Briana Saati

I'm ready for my close up, Mr. Director! Pedal in action.

"They knew that I'd been exposing myself for years," Pedal joked about her feature in Culture.

"Being famous and being an artist is very much about exposing yourself and exposing your vulnerabilities... It's great that people realize that it's culture," she said.

"Call Time" Turned Primping for Pics Into an Avant-Garde Art Party
Briana Saati

Directly opposite to Pedal's dressing area is Mayer's. Unlike the glitzy P.P., there is no vanity, no changing panels, and no director's chair. Instead, there is a bright magenta sheet on the floor, covered in costumes and props of all assortments: cheetah duct tape, a wig, a wicker purse, plastic flowers, and a unique makeup palette that undoubtedly had a hand in producing the face on Mayer's um, not face.

"I wanted to put my face on my backside...I wanted to invert that traditional way of showing the work. I think this is more of the performance and the final product that comes out in the magazine is the archive," Mayer said. 

The evening was personal to say the least, but that was expected of Miami's art collective, which isn't about that quiet, stuffy gallery life.


--Briana Saati

Follow Cultist on Facebook and Twitter @CultistMiami.
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