Splendor in the ass

Pub date February 7, 2007
SectionArts & CultureSectionTrash

365 NAKED DAYS I didn’t care if 2006 was half over when I discovered artist Sara Thustra’s poster-size, silk-screened and stitched butcher-paper calendar last year. Stuffed with a zine and riddled with mythical critters, a hairy hippie Adam and Eve, and a monstrous Paul Stanley–esque rock ‘n’ roll hydra head, it was so handsomely handmade — the paper-ephemera equivalent of a fun-loving, snaggletoothed boy toy with dirty locks who sews his own clothes — I had to have it anyway. Despite the handful of calendars dangling on my walls, I’m always late. So I seemed to be the last to discover the almanacs Thustra — also known as Z and notorious for his polemical posters, Gay Shame actions, and graf artifacts — has been whipping up over the past few years.

This time, however, Thustra has outdone himself. "Ten Pictures and Two Pin-Ups," the anarcho-artist and Brande Blah’s 2007 porn calendar, is chockacock full of hard-ons, pendulous boobies, and orifices that are fully open for business (and pleasure), along with a soupçon of hardcore still imagery. Writer Lorelei Lee distills life as a local porn talent in the episodic, dryly humorous centerfold text, but the real stars here are the gay/straight/whatev, proud, whimsical, body-painted, greased, Mohawked, skanky, scraggly, and beautiful sextivists, posed before a sweetly kicky and kinky colorful backdrop, as if crust punks were out to replicate a Laugh-In set, equipped with only childhood sheets and tube socks. Why does that down-home DIY flava continue to tantalize so many years after the advent of amateur vids and Calvin Klein ads? It works, and Thustra and Blah preface the affair with a manifesto of sorts: "We hope you look at these images with sweetness and kindness…. We live in a world where it is unsafe to be sexual. We think that this reality holds us back from honest communication between friends, family, and other communities. Most of all it holds us back from lots of fun, self exploration, and of corse [sic] … lots of fucking." Are those the creators themselves posing as December’s pinups? Are those dimples I spy with my little third eye? Nice knee-highs! (Kimberly Chun)

Calendar ($20) available at Needles and Pens, 3253 16th St., SF. (415) 255-1534, www.needles-pens.com