Art School Stole My Virginity
Vyner Street Gallery,London E2
I was fortunate to get into Clayton Pettet's much-hyped performance on April 1 and it certainly fooled anyone expecting a live sex show, as all the preceeding hype suggested.
Instead, it was the skilfully executed culmination of months of high-profile publicity. Perhaps that was the intention because the only penetration was made with a lot of bananas being sucked.
Clayton says his performance was a rejection of established ideas about virginity and sexuality and an assertion of his right to his own definitions. In that he succeeded but his paintings and other artworks are reminiscent of the comic art tradition used by anarchists and radicals in the good old days of the late '60s and '70s. They're perhaps unknown to today's youth but they're based on the same in-your-face, crude and explicit imagery as runs through Clayton's totally sex-act-obsessed art.
He's achieved the level of recognition he hoped for and has the technical skill but there's a question over how Pettet's art will develop - there's a limit to the number of sexy self-portraits an artist can promote.
He wants to challenge what he sees as an oppressive, second-rate and exclusionary modern art world yet he will need to do more than this to achieve that. But good luck to him.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.