Seth Bogart’s exhibition Lick is raunchy, fun and provocative, with 20 abstract paintings, plastered in oil paint, and around a 100 seductive ceramics forming the show. “The ceramics were intended to make up a pretend sex shop where nothing is functional," Seth explains.
The exhibition, held at Nino Mier Gallery in West Hollywood, is littered with dysfunctional, shoddy clay replicas, messy representations of sex toys, surreal toothbrushes and make-up that is both naughty and humorous. “I turned some of my favourite books into ceramics”, he explains, referring to adult mags such as Celebrity Skin and Make Him Eat Leather. Seth pushes art to the edge of its boundaries, but his sculptured hand-cuffs, pants, tape and whips are as funny as much as they’re erotic. “Humour in life is essential, otherwise why else live?”, he questions. The artist makes what he wants to, and isn’t afraid to shock or titillate.
The artist describes his work as “perverted, child-like and outsider-ish”. He has a definitive, tongue-in-cheek style that makes his art unique and intriguing. “I love bootlegs and bad rip-offs”, he tells us. “Just as long as they’re done badly in the right way”; this is definitely the case here; it is precisely the inaccurate, lopsided, paint-smeared feel that gives the work its appeal. Pastel pinks, blues and yellows are often smeared across his works, and with his constant return to the toothbrush, we understand why he’s “inspired by dentist offices”.
Seth’s work lies between colourful kitsch and pop art. His theatrical personality is freely expressed throughout. Coming into the creative world as a musician, initially in the garage punk outfit Hunx and His Punx and then as a solo artist, Seth started doing art because he was “designing album covers, t-shirts, fliers and music video set design”. He works over a variety of mediums and categories including music, art and also has a fashion line Wacky Wacko. “Working with one medium feels boring, and my attention span isn’t good”, the artist tells It’s Nice That. His music videos feature outrageously fabulous giant papermáche backdrops and trashy outfits. He creates these brilliantly tacky worlds because “the world we live in is garbage and I like to escape”, he explains. The fantasy world that you step into in this exhibition is one of fetishes and dreams, a bright and colourful relief from the real world.
Lick runs until 4 August, 2018.
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