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The Atlantis Exhibition: The under-the-sea erotic art party Minneapolis has been waiting for
The mythical Lost City of Atlantis is the inspiration for an evening of art and music set to take place at Gallery 13 in downtown Minneapolis this Saturday, September 26. The Atlantis Exhibition is a collaboration by 27 artists and musicians, produced by local multimedia artist Jacob Alexander. Alexander's work is heavily influenced by his fascination with ancient civilizations, and the Atlantis project has been in the works for over a year.
Headlining the event is artist Oni Sakti, a Boston native who works with various media, including photography, pen and ink, acrylics and typography. His comic-book-inspired drawings of nudes have garnered a cult following among some, but are not universally accepted as art. "Some people, when they first see it, immediately view it as porn," Alexander says. "It's so rare to see erotic art shows here [in the Twin Cities] and it's challenging people to really dig into it and see the art in it."
Alexander sees Sakti's provocative work as representative of ancient views on sex and nudity and decided to include his work in the show as a means to infuse some ancient spice into what he calls the "puritanical" Twin Cities art scene. "The way our culture interprets sex today is as a game or a competition—something perverted. But in ancient cultures, they were so proud to document it."
There is nothing vanilla about Alexander, who is well-known in a few downtown Minneapolis clubs as a performance artist who works on human canvas. His nude models, the "Ink Girls," will make an appearance at the Atlantis show. Fifteen models will be transformed into mermaids by Alexander and his production team, Virtual Warrior Ink. Alexander paints the models with his special blend of water-based ink and adorns them with rhinestones, gold leaf and sparkles. Assisting him are VWI's hair and makeup artists, Shelly Gill and Sarah Morrison. Amid Sakti's erotic art and Alexander's bare-chested mermaids, local design darling Laura Fulk will display some of her fashions.
The mermaids, artists, and party people will mingle in a "Sunken City"-inspired atmosphere complete with fountains, columns, video projection, and music by six local DJs. Attendees wearing the theme color—blue—will receive a $10 discount off the cover charge.
Jamie Thomas (jethomas319 [at] gmail [dot] com) is a freelance journalist living in South Minneapolis.
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©2009 Jamie Thomas