Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Art Opening - The World of Naked John

Haphazard Gallery

On Saturday night Larry and I attended the art opening Dennis O. Callwood's "The World of Naked John" at the Haphazard Gallery on Sawtelle Blvd., WLA. Dennis is a well-known photographer and artist. He met the performance artist, "Naked John" in 1994 and started photographing John during his appearances at various art spots and underground punk events all over Los Angeles. 
Naked John and Friend, 1994, Photo and artwork by Dennis O. Callwood

Here is an explanation of Naked John's work by Dennis: 
"John's performances were rather simple. Showing up at events naked, he embedded himself in the festivities with the clothed party goers, pretending not to be aware of his nakedness.  A successful performance depended on the audience either accepting or forgetting he was unclothed.
My interest was sparked by the apparent normalcy of the entire events--not only John's behavior but also the seemingly normal reactions of the audience. They, too, seemed oblivious to his nakedness, or perhaps pretended to be. For me, the juxtapostion of form, visual and emotional tnesion, clothed and unclothed bodies combine for an interesting stew, not to overlook the obliviousness of the audience. My task was to find and capture some small essence of Naked John's world." - Dennis O. Callwood
Naked John with an admirer

Yup! Naked John was in attendance on Saturday, in the flesh! He has aged a bit, but haven't we all. Really, he's tall and nice looking and from this Westsider's point of view, he'd look really great IN CLOTHES!
Dennis O. Callwood

Dennis' collages were large and colorful. I even managed to spot Gus and Tina in one of the pieces!
Rush, Gus and Tina. Photo and Collage by Dennis O. Callwood
Artwork by Dennis O. Callwood

The gallery was packed! People were mingling, drinking wine and generally friendly. I guess having Naked John in the room put everyone at ease. I do love the way Dennis paints clothes!
Vest by Dennis O. Callwood
I cannot guarantee that Naked John will be in attendance, but if you have a chance, check out this show! While you're on Sawtelle you could grab a bowl of ramen too!

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