Dildos, art, and DJs

The Boutique on Albert Street provides a new space to exhibit art

Artwork by: Quite Frankly

Prepare yourself for Winnipeg’s kinkiest art show ever.

“We are keeping art and sex accessible to people, and keeping it fun. We’re exposing people to stuff they may not have seen before.”

Sarah Bertnick, local artist and employee at the rebranded Exchange District adult shop The Boutique (formerly Fantasy Boutique, a spinoff of Discreet Boutique, which closed in 2012), says the store’s upcoming event The Halloween Hangover is a place where people who have never been to a sex shop and people who have never been to an art show will feel comfortable.

Although there is a cliché of embarrassed men in sunglasses and caps with upturned collars surreptitiously dashing into shops with blacked-out windows to grab an item and rushing away without a word after making their purchase, this event makes coming incognito not a cliché but an opportunity. It’s a costume party, with prizes available from the store.

After opening for their first event at this year’s Nuit Blanche, co-owner Holly Dagenais realized she wanted to host more. During the annual arts and cultural celebration, the adult store welcomed between 700 and 800 patrons and party-goers.

The Boutique is remodelling their unfinished basement to look like a dungeon for the event. The walls, made of rough stone, old wood, and corrugated metal, will be adorned with steel grating. The grates will be hung with darkly sexual works by local artists: including Ken P. Smooth, Quite Frankly, Maxx Red, Malodomini, Cassidy Lemon, Raeisaman, Rodrigo Pradel, Dany Reede, and Roch.

Frankly is an artist’s moniker for Bertnick, who works with acrylic paint as well as pencil; her works depict, as she says, “creepy, sexy ladies.” Lemon’s work follows along a similar vein.

Artwork by Malodomini and Maxx

Artwork by Malodomini and Maxx

Malodomini—another artist who uses a moniker and is actually named Devin Reimer—works large, and makes abstract oil paintings based on photographs of self-made dioramas. Smooth is a steampunk artist whose weapons-grade sculpture will be on display. Red’s pieces will include pen and ink works of the chaotic and surreal macabre. Raeisaman creates collages, Pradel works with a modernized style of pinup girl art, Reede is an illustrator that could be considered a 90s fanzine revivalist, and Roch is flying in from Calgary to showcase pen and ink works.

There will also be group works by former students of the University of Manitoba’s fine arts program.  Frankly, Red, Malodomini, and Lemon were part of the same program at the same time, and still work together, just as the former local group the Royal Art Lodge once did.

When you descend the foreboding staircase into The Boutique’s fantastically-lit dungeon, you will be met by DJs in a cage suspended from the ceiling. Colony Collapse will be playing his own darkly electronic music, while Asher Moai will be spinning upbeat works in a 1980s-disco throwback. DJ Grudge and DJ Squid will be playing drum and bass and possibly some acid techno, while DJ sELF will be laying down progressive psytrance.

The shop will be open for business that night, where you can buy some of the most exciting products that range from condoms and simple vibrators, to amazingly unique kinky items, including a dildo made from black moonstone and labradorite. They sell other unique products, including locally-made fare, and Dagenais is always looking for more local producers, so get in contact through their website at http://fantasyboutiquetoys.blogspot.ca.

The Halloween Hangover will open on Saturday, Nov. 2 from 6 p.m. until 1 a.m.

1 Comment on "Dildos, art, and DJs"

  1. Ken P. Smooth | October 31, 2013 at 10:09 pm |

    …..The DJs will be in enclosures hanging from the ceiling…………not suspended in cages……………..just to make sure.

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