Thursday, July 31, 2008

“COCKED! The Possessed Male: Object of Desire” Opens on Pride Weekend

story and photo by LEO E. LAURENCE

Copyright © 2008 by Leo E. Laurence • All rights reserved

Pride weekend was timely for the opening of a multi-media art exhibit, COCKED! The Possessed Male: Object of Desire, in the Luis de Jesus Gallery at 2040 India Street in Little Italy.

The exhibit was billed as “a contemporary survey of post-masculine art created by 21 artists, al-most all living and working in San Diego.

“COCKED examines issues of masculinity, art and ‘production’ – the idea that men are predis-posed to make, build and transform objects, starting at an early age (forts, go-carts) to adolescence (cars, musical instruments) and on through adulthood (houses, furniture) and even their own bodies (weight-lifting, drag/gender manipulation).”

The unusual exhibition runs through August 23 and is multi-media: painting, sculpture, photog-raphy, video and performance.

Though the emphasis of the exhibit was on the male, and the opening was on Pride weekend, those attending the opening reception on July 17 were predominantly younger women.

One of the artists was Seth Augustine, age 31, of San Diego. He posed completely painted in gold as performance art in front of the gallery during the opening reception. He had also posed for a mural-size photo of himself in a brief bathing suit in a typical 1960’s pose.

The photo shows “what it means to be a man, now,” Augustine said in an interview. “I wanted the notion of perfection (of the male image), to have it almost like the idea.”

Another work of art by Augustine is of an enormously enlarged bodybuilder’s, bulging bicep and is titled Man Whose Arm Exploded.

“This is an allegory for a documentary about a man in the early 1990’s who explodes. He had continued to inject his biceps with steroids for many years.

“This guy developed these massive arms to the point that he developed a cyst and it exploded. It had to be cut out of his arm.

“(The sculpture) is like a caricature. The pose is taken from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s famous 1976 Mr. Olympia pose,” Augustine explained. This is his last show before going to China to do an apprenticeship in sculpture.

For comment, contact Leo Laurence at, or at (619) 757-4909.

Photo captions (top to bottom): Sculptor and model Seth Augustine, age 31, posed in performance art outside the Luis de Jesus gallery for the opening of the currently running exhibit: COCKED! The Possessed Male: Object of Desire.

Sculptor and model Seth Augustine, age 31, stands before a mural-size photo of himself titled Perfection, and taken to depict the ideal male image.