Starting 1 August until 12 September 2010 the ABC Treehouse in Amsterdam is hosting the group exhibition “Naughty but nice”, RopeMarks will be present with five pieces a kinbaku demonstration and kinbaku workshop.

This is what the Treehouse says about the exhibition:

Naughty but Nice is the follow-up to the groundbreaking Happy exhibit, which began in 2006 as the largest exhibition of gay and lesbian artists in the Netherlands, and by its fourth edition (2009) had grown enough to question its own premise: what, actually, is ‘gay’ art? Are we helping – or stereotyping – the artist by promoting him/her in a ‘gay’ exhibition? The 2009 edition of Happy was a particularly good example of this conundrum: pieces like “Symphonic Red Chairs” by Etienne Go – a brilliant photographic study of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion – could be seen as ‘gay art’ only when the viewer was informed of the sexuality of the artist.

Exploring this question, the curators of Happy (Harald Seiwert and Rene Zuiderveld) and the director of the ABC Treehouse (Donna DuCarme) came to the conclusion that many people, when thinking of ‘gay art’, imagine erotic poses and skimpily clad models. But this begs a further question: why does a 400 year old nude elicit praise and critical analysis, but photos of a nude 60 year old woman elicit outrage and criticism? Is it really a struggle between Rubens and Playboy, or are we uncomfortable with the idea of seeing a woman over a certain age as a sexual person? Why is a photo of a buffed, underwear-clad man “advertising” when it’s a giant billboard on Broadway, but “gay” when it’s a photograph hanging on the Treehouse walls? When are high heels high fashion, and when are they kinky? Can one man’s gay art be another woman’s romantic pose? Would a rose still look as sweet, when painted by someone who doesn’t share your sexual orientation?

In Naughty But Nice, Seiwert, Zuiderveld and DuCarme invite some of our favorite HoLeBi artists from the Happy exhibits to join with some new Het artists to explore erotic art. These artists, in accepting this challenge, challenge all of us, in turn, to look at our ideas of gender, sexuality…and art.

For the length of the the exhibition RopeMarks contributed five pieces, photo’s.

For the opening RopeMarks contributed

  • a kinbaku demonstration and
  • a specifically tailored kinbaku workshop for the interested art crowd.

And since the catch phrase “a picture says more than a 1000 words” still holds true, here are some (bad) iPhone shots of the day of the opening.


Treehouse | RopeMarks