Even in its languid flaccidity, Gavin Glass’ penis is magnificent.
It’s not the star of the show in this collection of portraits — nude, semi-nude and otherwise, a series by photographer Chad Perry, known professionally as eliQQN, now on display at the 512 Collective on High Point’s Washington Street — but here it is, dangling saucily in a row of yoga poses, and there it is again, in a Photoshop job, emerging from his mouth like a long tongue.
It’s not like everybody wasn’t warned.
“The back room is… definitely PG13,” Perry tells the crowd on the front lawn before the doors of the exhibit opened. “But I’m gonna tell you to go to the back room on your way through. We’re pushing boundaries, people.”
The series itself is gloriously lit with a technique Perry calls “thin-wall lighting,” casting a strong shaft of light across a dark space and allowing Glass to play in its shadows. And when he came up with it a year or so ago, Perry says, he had Glass in mind.
This is a near-perfect collaboration.
Glass is a singular artist, known in burlesque circles as Stage Slave Gavin, whose onstage antics with his Vaudeville After Dark troupe both tickle and titillate. But the man himself is a work of art, from the cascade of curls in his sculpted beard to his style of dress — tonight for the reception, he’s wearing a multicolored, polka-dotted waistcoat with matching shorts and pale pink loafers — to his tanned, glabrous form that Perry has so masterfully captured in stark light, right down to his penis, which as I’ve mentioned is magnificent.
And in all of these shots, the beauty of his soul exudes through the shadows and light.
As they shuffle through the back room of the exhibit, some avert their eyes and others blush, but most take the scene in with due appreciation. The onlookers bottleneck near the entrance and then trickle out the rear door for the backyard party, which will include stilt-walkers and firedancers, and is about to begin.
Perry slips through this mass of people to put stickers on the pieces he’s already sold, five of them so far, all of them from the back room.
Portraits of Gavin Glass will be on display at 512 Collective through the end of October. See the Facebook event page for details.