Earlier this year, New Times bestowed Little River Yacht Club -- the furniture shop, studio, salon, and gallery -- with the honor of Best Place to Meet Intelligent Men in Miami. This Saturday's closing reception for the space's current exhibition, "Bros B4 Hoes," looks to add a few more qualifying adjectives like: sensual, platonically loyal and, most importantly, willfully ambiguous.
Showcasing sculptures made from dildos and portraits of the artists (all male) near-naked and stacked in human pile-ups, "Bros B4 Hoes" straddles a delicate line between humor and homophobia, earnest discourse and ironic lampoonery, and a whole art show's worth of good ol' fashioned dick jokes.
We spoke with one of the show's anonymous organizers -- we've been told
to credit Funner Projects -- but if you want a clue as to who's involved,
check out the beefcake portraits after the jump. Is the exhibit ultimately a big gay joke? The answer is yes and no.
Viewers have the chance to slide down a giant penis ("You are reborn from a penis rather than a vagina, making you more of a man") and scale a rock climbing wall comprised of dildos (a piece about facing one's "fear of penises," an anonymous bro explains). There are portraits of the involved artists posed like Chippendales models. The crux of those photographs lie in a relatively basic, irony-laden question: "These guys are just bros, right?"
The anonymous bro we spoke with explained that the show was "not making fun of homosexuality or homoeroticism, but embracing it" but followed, humorously enough, that none of the artist's "have the balls to be gay."
"We can fuck around slapping asses all day," says anon bro. "But when it comes down to it, we aren't man enough to take the plunge. So the work in the show deals with that."
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This semi-coherent, just-barely-P.C. artist statement encapsulates the delicate tight rope "Bros B4 Hoes" walks. It embraces homosocial thematics (a fine arts "bromance," if you will), crudely hetero humor, and bros' relationship toward homosexuals.
A straight man's humorous-but-limited perspective on a gay man's existence is a suspect lead premise. But despite a lightly problematic theoretical recklessness and a messiness inherent to the shows concept, "Bros B4 Hoes" conducts a rich and varied interrogation of masculinity, and it's interpersonal networks and signifiers, as a whole.
"Bros B4 Hoes" closes tomorrow at Little River Yacht Club (70 NW 73rd St., Miami). The show starts at 1 p.m. and is curated by Funner Projects Visit the event's Facebook page.