Fine Art

Sin City Gallery’s ‘12 Inches of Sin’ expands in its fifth year with ‘Immersive’

Kei Kusama’s “Spoiled Ram,” featured in this year’s 12 Inches of Sin exhibit at Sin City Gallery.
Kei Kusama

Sin City Gallery’s annual international juried exhibit of erotic art, 12 Inches of Sin, is back for a fifth year staring Saturday—and the Arts Factory space is celebrating that longevity by expanding the event with Immersive, an all-day affair encompassing both visual and performance art, held across two galleries and the Arts Factory’s outdoor space.

“It’s a celebration of the art and the people,” says Sin City Gallery owner Laura Henkel, sharing that this year’s submissions surpassed 300 entries from artists hailing from more than 23 countries. “Each year I’m thrilled with how the judges vote and who’s selected. Art is so universal. It really does bridge us all together … every year [the exhibit] just gets better and better.”

This year’s selection runs the medium gamut, from paintings to photography and sculpture—and Henkel noted a trend in ceramics, saying three-dimensional works dominate. “I just think it’s a very well-rounded exhibition. Every year there are new judges introduced. You never know; I don’t even pick the best in show.”

In addition to the visual works on display—from Gaspar Marquez’s “Pink Tights” photo of a woman in fuchsia stockings with a lamp between her legs to Dix Steele’s provocative take on the Chik-Fil-A logo—Immersive will also feature discussions from community artists and art activists, as well as comedic and burlesque (even boylesque) performances.

And while Immersive concludes Saturday night, 12 Inches of Sin will stay up on Sin City’s walls until May. If you can’t make it Downtown for this year’s exhibit, Henkel is already at work on the 2017 edition, and the gallery is currently looking for works to feature, with submissions accepted through August 1. Each year the annual happening adds to the excitement, and Henkel hopes to continue that tradition.

“I would love to see this be an art fair meets San Francisco’s Folsom Street Fair. … it would be nice for art and lifestyle to come together and be celebrated,” Henkel says. “It’s just a very liberating exhibition.”

12 Inches of Sin: Immersive April 9, 1 p.m., $20 general; $150 VIP.

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