Friday, February 18, 2011

Nude Nite

This year Nude Nite was in a large warehouse South of Downtown, (SODO). Terry and I arrived in separate vehicles. I parked in front of a cement factory. Terry got to the event before me and greeted me at the entrance. We got to the event early but it was already packed inside. The first thing we saw was this woman seated nude on a blue inflatable chairs with a red fabric covering her head and a phone outlet cord plate where her face would be. I started sketching Immediately. A sign invited people to pick up the phone. On occasion people would sit opposite the woman and hold the phone. Most people only did this long enough to have their picture taken. As one patron said, "I am presuming that's what pay-for-phone-sex sounds like. It was hard to hear, because of all the ambient noise, but I did hear enough." As the crowd grew thicker, fewer people took the seat since there would be an audience watching them for a reaction. Terry came back after wandering and looking at all the nude art. She mentioned that there was nowhere to sit in the whole place. I suggested she sit opposite the woman I was sketching but she didn't want to become part of the performance.

After the first sketch we walked around together and I got to see all the art for the first time. By now the venue was jam packed. Emotions Dancers slipped gracefully around among the crowd. Periodically one of the dancers would let out an ear piercing scream. We kept bumping into people we knew. I recognized the work of some of the artists I know. For the second sketch, I watched beautiful women get body painted with graffiti from head to toe. I noticed that no one was completely nude. women always wore panties. A more accurate title for the event might be Topless Night. Sketching the body painter, I was often bumped by photographers who were so excited to shoot a nude body that they never looked where they were going. Actually this was true all night, everyone stared and crashed into one another.
I was starving. We had been to a reception prior to Nude Nite but the food was gone by the time we arrived. Terry had some sushi provided by Sushi 101. She couldn't use the chop sticks provided so they wrapped a rubber band around them to make them easier to use. We wandered around looking for an open restaurant but nothing was open but fast food restaurants. We were almost home before we had to give up and go to Burger King.
I found out that an artist who exhibited work at Nude Nite had a painting go missing. If you see this painting anywhere around town, leave a comment on this blog. The artist is offering a reward for information leading to its return. The reward is either a print of the painting or a small original charcoal drawing of the artists choice. I had my own work disappear at a Sonesta Hotel fundraiser and work has been defaced at Pom Poms Cafe, we need to stop the madness or Orlando will become a cultural backwater.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at


Anonymous said...

I don't think that Orlando will become a cultural backwater, because that is already a case. Regarding fine arts and fine arts venues this city has so little to offer.

Hannah said...

To Anonymous above: How could you say that on Thor's blog? He's only one man, yet he manages to find something of cultural interest to do nearly every day in the Orlando metro area.

Anyone who says Orlando has nothing to offer in the vein of fine art is standing with their hands in their pockets and their eyes closed.

Speakeasy, that's who. said...

Anonymous: Talk about your pointless internet arguments, but since you said "so little to offer" specifically ... You're quantifiably wrong. My day job involves listing arts events for the city and surrounding counties. Takes up the whole 40 hours and then some, I can assure you.

If what you actually meant was: "I don't like the art here/It isn't up to some amorphous big city standard," well, there's your pointless debate. But given the information above, I seriously doubt you're trying very hard to find anything here.

Anonymous said...

To Hannah:
My comment WAS NOT about Thor's blog. I admire his work and effort.
I also didn't say that Orlando has nothing to offer but rather very little.
My comment was aimed at FINE ART and FINE ART only. I'm an artist living in Orlando for the last 18 years and I know very well the fine art situation in this city. There are not many galleries to show your work here. And when I say galleries I mean REAL ART GALLERIES, not coffee shops or restaurants or other venues that display art on their walls.
I have seen many galleries opening and closing through the years. Why did they fail? Because most of the people who ever come to the art openings are your friends or fellow artists. People don't care about fine art here, they'd rather have a print on their wall than original artwork. So what is that telling you about the culture in this city?

It is sad that many very good artists here have to have a day job just to survive and do their artwork as a side job, instead of being able to create art full time and live a normal life just from selling their artwork.
That is truly not possible in this city!
What Orlando needs is an Art District with studios and galleries with professional artists. There is no real commitment from the city for such activity. If you ever visited Portland, Oregon you would know what I'm talking about.

Another example: the United Arts of Central Florida helps and promotes performing artists. What did they really ever do for visual arts, except the pretentious Red Chair events or give some small grants to handful of artists. Their CEO earns $180.000 a year (charitable organization) and is interested more in attending events with riches of the town. Her attendance to art exhibits is very poor.

You say Orlando has a lot to offer, but on what quality level?

That is my personal opinion, and I'm not an outsider "with my hands in my pockets and my eyes closed".
And again I refer strictly to FINE ART situation here.

Thor said...

No one seems to be addressing the point that people feel justified in taking work off a wall and walking away without paying. I just read that work dissappeated at another venue.