“People are very surprised,” says local mixed-media artist Anthony Dortch, whose new exhibit, Come Play With Me, recently opened at the Vitruvian Gallery. “It’s not my typical style.” The series is a play on the “animals” of the gay community — chiefly bears, pigs and puppies. As ever, the pieces generally start from photographs, which Dortch later embellishes by drawing in pen and ink. Come Play With Me is a bit more explicit that Dortch’s previous works, depicting the idea of sexual activity in the background. “[It's] definitely sexually charged,” he says.
All next month Dortch will offer a Pride-related exhibit titled Revealing Colors, in which he’ll feature images of people embodying the moods of the colors in the LGBT flag. Green Lantern hosts that exhibition, his second at the bar after his superheroes-styled Leather Nation series during January’s Mid-Atlantic Leather.
Mr. DC Eagle 2014 Ramien Pierre will be a special guest at a leather/pup-themed reception for Come Play With Me this Saturday, May 10, preceded by an afternoon “Puppy Mosh” with the gay social group Mid-Atlantic Kennel Korps. As part of the reception Dortch intends to have a few live nude models that patrons can help cover in body paint as part of an interactive performance piece. Dortch will then have the models lie down on fabric, to create silhouetted splotches over which he’ll later paint to make another piece in the series.
Says Dortch, “It should hopefully leave a memorable impression on people that art can be a lot of things, not just pictures.”
The reception for “Come Play With Me” is Saturday, May 10, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., preceded by a Puppy Mosh starting at 4 p.m. The exhibit runs to June 15, at Vitruvian Gallery, 734 7th St. SE, 2nd floor. For more information, visitvitruviangallery.com.