Marc DeBauch is a pervert.
“It’s true,” admits DeBauch, a Minneapolis-based artist participating in Detroit’s The Dirty Show from Feb. 9-11 and 14 at Bert’s Warehouse Theater in Detroit.
The sex-obsessed painter takes his work seriously. So much, in fact, that he told his partner of 16 years, Eduardo, that art is his mistress and should his lover come between them, art would win.
“It’s one thing to be married to an artist,” DeBauch says. “It’s really amazing what Eduardo has to put up with being involved with an ‘erotic’ artist. It wouldn’t be the first time he came home from work and found me in our dungeon with a naked man sporting a hard-on. He just walks in the room, kisses me hello, and says ‘I’ll let you get back to work.'”
Before romancing Eduardo, DeBauch lacked the confidence to approach prospective models. Eduardo, on the other hand, has no issues with asking hot passers-by. “Now days I have no problem asking some hottie in the shower at my gym if he wants to be in one of my paintings,” the artist says.
DeBauch, who uses mostly oil on canvas, began creating erotic art when most male teens are blossoming into manhood. At 13, he drew an erotic zodiac with a buck-naked man and woman. Needless to say, his parents didn’t put it on the refrigerator. Of course, in another country, parents may have praised DeBauch’s work.
“For the most part, the rest of the world does not get freaked out by sex,” says Jerry Vile, founder of The Dirty Show. “The people who come to Dirty (Show) are a lot more like the rest of the world.”
DeBauch, while still in his teens, had a dark room and, with a friend, took shots of each other masturbating. One day, to his surprise, his dad walked into the darkroom inquiring about his son’s work.
“I was faced with either outing myself and incurring his wrath, or destroying the photos in front of him,” DeBauch recalls.
He tore them up. Explaining that they didn’t represent his true talent, he lied.
“I knew that while I lived under my parents’ roof, I was never going to get anybody to jack off for me again and put it on film,” he says. “It was a good thing my mother didn’t discover my ‘talent.’ She could always tell when I was hiding something; I could never lie to her. So it took me another 12 years before I did anything erotic again.”
DeBauch will join a slew of sexual freethinkers from Chicago, Montreal, Los Angeles and internationally. Between The Lines’ staff member Kari Helm, 31, will display her black and white photograph, titled “Smile” – her first erotic piece of photography.
Helm, who typically snaps shots of wildlife and nature, wanted to showcase her models’ beauty. “I think that’s what the Dirty Show is all about, showcasing real people and what we are really up to in our bedrooms,” Helm says.
In her piece, the female subject’s right arm flows upward while her other one rests over the male’s shoulder as he leans into her chest. “I was trying to capture the frivolity of the moment,” Helm says. “Some of the photos in the shoot were very serious. For the first half of the shoot we were trying to capture just the right look and feel. Once I realized the images needed to be a little more fun and less orchestrated it all started to come together. The photos that turned out the best were, by far, the more unguided and fanciful shots.”
Though Helm’s piece might be deemed more “circumcised” than “uncut,” according to Vile, this year’s art – with bondage becoming popular – seems to be more no holds barred.
And size does matter.
“While bigger is better,” Vile says, “environment is important. We don’t want to show this under florescent lights in some convention center.”
The September Dirty Show was a smaller one-time deal, but this month’s titillating art extravaganza is the official yearly rendezvous. If last year was any sign, Vile expects mammoth crowds from all over.
But no matter one’s origin Vile says art and sex speak universally. Though each country has its own notable artistic motif – German art seems darker while Italy and France work is more “painterly,” Vile says – there’s some foreign art that takes on a familiar feel. “I think the U.S. is really influencing the art around the world.”
T he Dirty Show 8
Feb. 9-11, 14
Bert’s Warehouse Theater
2739 Russell Street, Detroit