By ZL Boudreaux
Last Thursday at the Spanish Moon there was an exotic, erotic, and psychotic display. Artists of all kinds gathered for the substantial group that witnessed it. By midnight, the tobacco-friendly crowd outside was nearly as swollen as the one inside, migrants through the madness squeezing through bodies like blood through a clogged vein.
Cru$ade was what they called it, a guerrilla art show presented by Corporate Slave Productions. On the bill were over 40 artists, performers, poets, musicians, and DJs.
Several artists donated work for a raffle benefiting The Crew of Ragtag Misfits which donates clothes, time, and more to sick and impoverished children in the local area. Local cognoscente Jay Price MC’d the spectacle in one of his chromatic plaid suits and led the evening of fringe freak-out.
“Being that it’s Baton Rouge, it’s a lot more conservative. You can get arrested if you show up to an art gallery and there’s nudity. I have a couple friends it happened to,” said Tex Anne, an artist and future U.S. National Guard MP who paints nude humans based off real models. “I can’t get into the galleries downtown, they won’t take my stuff.”
Freedom of the human form and sexuality were in many if not most of the art that night. One artist, Poette Iva, reclaimed some old skateboard decks and adorned one with a flying penis, as well as several smaller prints of other phalluses.
“I feel like every artist has this one thing they draw when they don’t really have any ideas for something else to draw, and d*cks are kind of my thing. Plus everyone kind of thinks d*cks are funny, so I just went with that,” said Iva.
Jana King was grouped with the poets who performed spoken word periodically throughout the night, but her poetry was more performance than stanza. She delivered a monologue on college athletics and the hypocrisy of racism while opening a bottle of Moscato, pouring a cup to sip, and holding a raw steak.
“Instead of writing poems and speaking them out loud, you learn to juxtapose actions, how to use props, how to use your body. It’s action not acting,” said King, a performance arts student at LSU.
When someone creates something, it shows everyone a part of themselves. A shard of glass on the misshapen polygonal reflective creature inside of us. However, we interpret that shard, and the fact that we feel the need to understand it at all is what makes it art. In this way, art of any kind is a deeply personal connection between artist and viewer. Peering into someone else’s interpretation of reality even for a short while can be extremely and overwhelmingly insightful.
Pruez, a professional artist who originally started with erotic horror art, had a piece for sale that was created with a hefty personal price. It was a terrifying eyeless lady screaming, painted with acrylic across three wooden boards holding a syringe in one hand and broccoli and carrot in the other, which got him kicked out of his mother’s house. He now supports himself solely from his art.
“I paint generally what makes me laugh.” Said Pruez, “I know I’ve got to wake up and paint, so it’s whatever I find funny. If it’s a creepy kid eating worms out of a can or a giant squid attacking a city, whatever.”
Be sure to check out Corporate Slave’s next production at Spanish Moon on Nov. 19, “amatorius.”