A NEW YORK FASHION WEEK EXHIBITION
“In a world with tightening reins on sexual freedom, CHRISHABANA is doing his part to keep us free and, more importantly, freaky.”
- roytel montero,PAPER Magazine
CHRISHABANA invited guests to explore their wild side as they ventured through an underground West Village sex club turned cyber playground at the aptly titled “Send Nudes” exhibition . Many surprises awaited visitors once inside the NSFW labyrinth, including installations by visual ad performance artists Vincent Tiley, Peter Clough, and Latex Lucifer. In one room, guests became the star of their own CAM4 sponsored webshow while in another, dating app HUD invited them to get up close and personal marking up live model, Jacopo Olmo. The “climax” of the exhibition was a sculpture designed by CHRISHABANA composed of mannequin parts, sex toys and selfie sticks. Each stick held a phone featuring a gallery of 1000+ nudes submitted by friends and fans of the brand. Visitors made their way around the display and its surrounding shop of CHRISHABANA jewelry and brands including CREEPYYEHA, Walter Van Beirendonck, and Vasta Eros.
The inspiration for the exhibition originated from a common plight facing our current generation: digital censorship. Recent crackdowns on content by social media platforms and even the Chinese government have threatened the future of sexual expression in the digital age. Even CHRISHABANA is not immune to Instagram’s messages prudely wagging a finger at “inappropriate” imagery. In a similar sense, NYFW is another entity that many feel has lost its luster due to a lack of innovation and increased restrictiveness. Staging the event at the beginning of the season was the perfect opportunity to break away from constricting monotony and celebrate the “current obsession with Sex and the Self”. In Chris’ own words “Censorship is a problem and it’s up to us as artists to stop this regression from continuing”.
Photos by Finlay Mack and Dom Smith
The Send nudes Sculpture
CHRISHABANA tapped visual display artist Ryan Schaefer to construct a sculpture that would be the “climax” of the exhibit and a physical stand against the internet’s unrelenting judgement over human bodies and sexuality. Parts sourced by the CHRISHABANA team, including sex toys and mannequins provided by Babeland and Rootstein respectively, were stripped apart and reattached to create a FranXXXenstein-esque tableau. Mobile phones attached to selfie sticks jutted out from these bodies, displaying galleries of the 1000+ nude selfies submitted by friends and followers worldwide. The multimedia sculpture sat on top a lit table, contrasting the subterranean NSFW space bathed in red lighting. The sculpture also served as a shop where guests could not only purchase CHRISHABANA jewelry, but collaborative product as well, with CAM4, Mistress Aleta Cai, Walter Van Beirendonck. CHRISHABANA also curated other pieces from his friends in the design and art world, including CREEPYYEHA, Latex Lucifer, Bryson Rand, Vasta Eros, Andrew Clarkington, Scumbag Fagmag, Barragan, Yaltch, Little Sailor, Nuala Studio and Vex Clothing.
CAM4 and CHRISHABANA had joined forces to not only create original content that would include instagram takeovers from the Clermont Twins but to also have adult content ads that celebrated the jewelry line and SEND NUDES event, all hosted on the CAM4 site. Click on the link to see every aspect of the collaboration, including CAM4’s own live streamed room.
CHRISHABANA’s work with dating app HUD came early in the planning process, as the cheeky app helped in collecting content from their viewership to aid with the exhibition submission process. The above link will take you to the ads posted on Instagram (some were removed) as well as the HUD room which hosted body painted model, Jacopo Olmo.
Featured Visual Artists
Dark Dazzler, 2019
In this 3hr performance, artist Vincent Tiley wears a restrictive reflective bodysuit that obscures his identity and transforms him into a living yet bound disco ball. Instead of spinning this disco ball breathes and slightly adjusts his pose which causes the reflected lights to dance around the room.
Tiley is a New York based artist whose work has been influenced by fashion, fetish, craft and protest. With the use of models and Vincent himself, he channels his manipulated fabrics into living, breathing performance art. His garment-based durational performances utilize queer clothing’s myriad uses--often combining multiple performers into one sculptural and painted form.
Latex Lucifer is currently based in Los Angeles and explores a multitude of disciplines when conveying his work and vision. He is a photographer, model and artist whose provocative photographs are a wicked combination of arresting, sexual and powerful imagery.
In this performance surrounding visibility and vulnerability Lucy reclines on a medical gynecological table in a room designed to mimic a doctor’s office. Hanging chains connect to the table and stirrups - and Lucy’s harness, designed by CREEPYYEHA.
Odalisque is a durational performance that functions as a sculpture, presenting Peter as a gender-fluid sex object. He sits gagged and chained to a bed as digital projections of his eyes and mouth line up with his face creating a caricature, while projections of his hands appear to touch him as they run over his body.
“Odalisque is a way for me to think through the seeming contradictions in the submissive experience: experiencing restraint as comforting; experiencing humiliation as affirming; experiencing exposure as a kind of armor; experiencing bondage as freedom. These contradictions are the cornerstone of my sexuality and the drive behind my life's work as an artist.”
Sarah Nicole Francois is a Haitian-American multi disciplinary artist whose current chosen medium is 3D animation. Her work has been commissioned by clients within the fashion and music world, most recently with Solange Knowles. CHRISHABANA collaborated with Sarah to create an animated video to promote the space and it’s supporters. Sarah used her own avatar outfitted in the Spring/Summer 2019 collection.