Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mighty Aphrodite: MFA goes Greek and gets sexy

Posted By on Wed, Feb 6, 2013 at 10:22 PM

ANCIENT GREECE MEETS MAD MAX: Models by Spathose.
St. Pete art scene regulars, fashionistas, musicians and business owners gathered for the event Aphrodite at Museum of Fine Arts Tuesday night for an ancient art-erotica-themed soiree fitting for St. Valentine’s week.

Considering last year’s ancient erotica Valentine's night with an Egyptian theme, the tastefully provocative party seems to be picking up steam as an annual affair on the museum’s calendar — with a different historic period each year. Perhaps we'll get Romans next year ... or Samurais?

For this year’s Greek-chic party, wearable art team Spathose — Scott Durfee and George Medeiros — decked out models who paraded around like extras in a Fellini film — done up by local hair and makeup artists Kristine Marcum of VLVT Salon, Samantha Smith of Cutting Loose Salon and Chris Kiss of Chris Kiss Hair. They simultaneously resembled the gamboling toga-frocked men and women of Greek paintings but re-imagined as futuristic sex slaves.

At 6:30 p.m., the crowd was escorted into the conservatory, where Dr. Robert Steven Bianchi, chief curator of the Fondation Gandur pour l’Art/Geneva, spoke on “The Cult of Aphrodite and Greek Erotic Representation.”

Dr. Bianchi's entertaining and eloquent presentation revealed the rudimentary pornography of Greek vases and other pottery, replete with dildos, acts of fellatio, anal sex, good ol’-fashioned missionary positions and more. Dr. Bianchi enjoyed traipsing all over sexual taboos and spoke in a delightfully spunky manner. His exclamations recalled Jimmy Durante channeling Gilbert Gottfried.

Champagne and cake were served, but a little more could have been offered in the way of food and complimentary beverages for the $25 entrance fee. Some familiar party guests included fashion designer Kimberly Hendrix, Art Taco founder Luis Gottardi, The Semis' Billy Summer and former Beauville John Barker and his lovely girlfriend, Megan Fernandez — who just returned to the Bay area after living in the Big Apple. They now live in Gulfport, a much mellower change of pace.

Amid the eye candy, chocolatier Viktoria Richards showed off her bodacious treats. Other creative people with either an aesthetic or mind-body-spirit milieu attracted new customers with tasteful and interactive displays.

One great feature of the event: the camaraderie and support the museum showed local independent business owners and artists — like organic skin care and cosmetic retailer Rande James Spa, tarot card reader Michael Wells, fiber artist Marlene Glickman’s dye-your-own scarves, Exotic Wood Furnishings by Funktion House Urban Lumber & Furnishing, Kendra Zronik, massage therapist Rick Faucett, Zen Glass Studio and other talented trailblazers with interactive and aesthetically pleasing displays that made for a fun-spirited marketplace. The Greeks would have approved.

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Slideshow
Aphrodite at Museum of Fine Arts

Aphrodite at Museum of Fine Arts

For this year’s Greek-chic party on Feb. 5, wearable art team Spathose — Scott Durfee and George Medeiros — decked out models in ancient-meets-sci-fi looks, aided by local hair and makeup artists Kristine Marcum of VLVT Salon, Samantha Smith of Cutting Loose Salon and Chris Kiss of Chris Kiss Hair. At 6:30 p.m., the crowd was escorted into the conservatory, where Dr. Robert Steven Bianchi, chief curator of the Fondation Gandur pour l’Art/Geneva, spoke on “The Cult of Aphrodite and Greek Erotic Representation.” Some familiar party guests included K.Hendrix fashion designer Kimberly Hendrix, Art Taco founder Luis Gottardi, and former Beauville John Barker with lovely girlfriend Megan Fernandez — who just returned to the Bay area after living in the Big Apple. The event promoted local independent retail with displays by chocolatier Viktoria Richards, organic skin care and cosmetic retailer Rande James Spa, tarot card reader Michael Wells, fiber artist Marlene Glickman’s dye-your-own scarves, Exotic Wood Furnishings by Funktion House Urban Lumber & Furnishing, Kendra Zronik, massage therapist Rick Faucett, Zen Glass Studio and others.

By Daniel Veintimilla

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