Local artist Patch Whisky's newest work begs the question, "What's in your closet?" Because in the fantasy world of his latest installation, it's mannequins and chains, old desecrated issues of Playboy, and murals.
Whisky opted to forgo the traditional hangers and shoes found in a typical closet for the aptly titled Fuck Art exhibition at the Museum of Sex in New York City. "It's Patch Whisky's dirty little secret closet," he explains. "I chained mannequins up and turned them into alien monsters, and I turned Playboy centerfolds into aliens."
The exhibition, which opened in February and is set to run through June, was created to spark a dialogue about the sexual boundaries that urban art is able to push. It features shocking and titillating works from 20 of the world's most popular street artists like ROSTARR and Miss Van and includes graphic depictions of sexual acts, sensual sculptures, and, of course, Whisky's alien sex fantasy.
"I was going to try to turn part of the gallery into a bedroom — this little alien dude's secret hideout where he does sexual things — but it went from a bedroom or living room quarters to a closet, because they didn't have too much space," he says. "So I turned it into an X-rated closet with whips and chains."
Whisky was invited to participate in the show after a random meeting with the museum's director this past December at Art Basel in Miami, where he had set up a mobile art gallery. A month later, the museum contacted Whisky, asking him if he would participate in a street art show they were planning. "They were interested in my mannequins and Playboys that they saw in Miami," he says.
The artist leapt at the chance to participate and promptly flew up to New York, spending two weeks installing his piece. "I painted a mural that's 12 feet long and 10 feet tall with cartoons doing sexual things. They were getting dirty," he says, adding that he also painted aliens on the covers of 20 old Playboy magazines for the show.
For Whisky, being showcased in the Museum of Sex is huge. "It's the biggest show of my career, and it's the next step in my career to be shown with those artists," Whisky says. "There are a lot of heavy hitters in the art scene — artists who are really traveling all over the world right now and doing their own thing. It was an honor to be a part of that."
The exhibition is bringing Whisky a new level of exposure as well. "There were about 1,000 people who showed up for the opening reception," he adds. "I don't get that kind of exposure living in Charleston. I told the guys, if this was going on in Charleston, it would be the biggest event of the year — to have all these amazing artists in one place — but for New York, it's just another day in the neighborhood."
Whisky hopes that the attention garnered from the exhibition will allow him to continue to work on his fascinating installations, hopefully on an even grander scale. "Instead of a painting on a wall, I'm trying to create an environment for people to be engulfed in — painting the floors, the walls, the ceiling. I create this kooky, fun world that nobody's been to yet," he explains. "I want people to feel like they're inside of a cartoon world of my imagination."