Story by Jack Foley
THE Playboy bunny logo is one of the enduring images of the modern world - a popular fashion accessory usually worn by girls who ought to know better. It is also something of a fascination for New York-based artist Randy Moore, who has photographed and logged countless young women wearing it on T-shirts, necklaces and handbags.
The results of his endeavours can currently be viewed at the London-based gallery of Sprovieri, in Heddon Street, at a new exhibition called Very Randy.
The exhibition comprises photographs, as well as some more unusual devices. One wall, for example, is said to be lined with 12 otherwise blank canvases on which Playmates' signatures have been counterfeited by Moore in his own semen, complete with the month of the playmate's ascendancy, from Miss January to Miss December.
Sound strange? Maybe, but Moore is something of an acquired taste even in his native New York. Surfing the web for further information on the artist is like entering a labyrinth of clues.
One critic refers to Moore's work as plumbing 'the slippery terrain of Playboys soft-core pornography and its relation to both the expression and formation of individual sexuality'.
The artist also is known to use thousands of pieces of chewed gum collected from the mouths of willing collaborators, to create works such as Head (1998), a rendition of the famous Playboy bunny logo and Cunninglinguist (2001), a chewing-gum listing mimicking Playboys sleekly designed headlines such as 'slinky pink', or 'go topless'.
Referring to Moores use of his own semen as a signature, the same Internet critic opines that it 'again raises questions about the ambiguous relationship between inscriptions of sexual identity/authenticity and those of mass culture'. (See the artists series of white, vertically-oriented centerfold-sized paintings such as the one entitled, Miss March-Alexandria Karlsen, 1998, above, which is blank except for the penciled caption).
While his view on Moores sociology of the bunny logo the basis
for the exhibition - is that it 'reveals the pervasive presence of Playboy
in the fabric and dye of everyday modern life'.
Like him or loathe him, however (and feminists are sure to have strong feelings), Moore's work and his exhibition in the capital is sure to trigger some furious debate among London's trendy arts scene.
Intrigued? Voyeuristic? Or merely perverted? Whichever takes your fancy, why not go along and judge for yourself.
Randy Moore: Very Randy is on until June 1 at Sprovieri, 27 Heddon Street,
W1, Tue to Sat 10am to 6pm, free.
Tel: 020 7734 2066
Tube: Oxford Circus