November 12th, 2004

A gem in the rough.

Sometimes I wonder in amazement how we as a community are blessed to have someone like Barbara Nitke in our midst. For all the activism and education and opinion changing that our SM organizations do, I can think of only a few individuals that have took making artistic and humanistic impressions so accessabile to the general public as one's life path.

Last night, I had the opportunity to attend Barbara's newest gallery opening, entitled "ILLUMINATA: Are You Curious?" It was held at Art@Large, a relatively small gallery on 9th Avenue known for its eclectic showings (Annie Sprinkle, Charles Gatewood, Spider, Pet Silvia, and others have shown their work there.)

What amazed me about the show was how the attendance was maybe 10% of people I recognized. The rest were what I imagine to be "society at large," art fans, other artists, press, and other random residents of NYC. Which is exactly how it should be - this work was not made for the SM community, but instead is meant to cast a wider net, showing positive images to the rest of the world.

We should all be thankful for people like Barbara Nitke, Charles Gatewood, Michael Rosen, Mark Chester, and other like artists.

Of course, I can't write about this gallery opening without mentioning my big surprise.

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I was on the wall! This is a photo I had never seen before - taken by Barbara at Leather Retreat during my usual morning routine, entitled "Boymeat's Caning Corner." I had seen others in a series from this scene, but not this particular shot. What an off-moment catch - a view of myself that I have never really seen.  I can't express how honored I am to have an image of me sharing space with such other breathtaking pictures that she had up.

I highly recommend to all of you to find the time to walk through the gallery yourself. Details about the show are here: http://www.artatlarge.com/
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