Whether you're intimidated about going into art galleries or intimidated about going into sex shops, the Sexy Art Gala hosted in London's new sex shop, Spot of Delight, is a great excuse to face both fears.
The free event begins at 7 p.m. tonight at 426 Richmond St., and is a great way to kick off Valentine's Day weekend.
Spot of Delight co-owner Ana Brown and artist Nic DeGroot collaborated to organize an evening featuring paintings of the nude female form, live jazz music courtesy of Sean Stanley, and free cheese, wine, cider and gin and tonic tasting. The atmosphere will feel of a classy Old Hollywood night.
A Western student will be modelling semi-nude as De Groot paints her live. The finished painting will be raffled off and won by an attendee at the end of the night.
DeGroot is presenting work both the experienced artist and the amateur can appreciate.
"I've talked to people who think that conceptual art, and what would be called modernist or contemporary art, is kind of a joke on them because they don't get it," he says. "I'm trying to bridge the gap between the viewer and the art."
The nude women in De Groot's paintings are not the standard, picture-perfect models you see in ads. The women all have different body types and exude different personalities.
"I want different kinds of female forms, and I think it's kind of interesting putting it in this sort of environment because it's a sex shop and real people have sex, not the people in ads," he says.
But the gala isn't just a great way for symbolic expressionist paintings and a sex shop to meet. According to Brown, "the message for this art gala is to celebrate the beauty of the female form."
Anyone can celebrate the female form, as one of Brown and De Groot's goals was to make the event approachable for all kinds of people to attend.
"A lot of people feel intimidated going to a traditional art galleries ... or might not have a lot of knowledge about art," says Brown. "We really want to make art accessible to people who have never been to an art show before."
So come by yourself, bring your partner or even a friend, for a guaranteed night of festivities and naked bodies.