Detroit’s naughtiest art show has finally come of age. The Dirty Show, now 18, can finally buy a ticket to an X-rated film if it wants.
“The Dirty Show Grows Up,” as this year’s iteration is called, opens Friday for the weekend, and then reopens Feb. 17-18.
Leading a visitor around the cavernous spaces that will house the show at the Russell Industrial Center’s Exhibition Complex, Dirty Show founder and impresario Jerry Vile shook his head, saying, “It’s all gotten too big for me.”
Indeed, this year’s show boasts 300 pieces of art, many of them festooned with body parts that can’t appear in a family newspaper, three cash bars, dancer cages, an erotic film festival, and a retro, 1970s leather bar with go-go boys, among many other salacious delights.
Among the standouts this year is a glossy, life-sized sculpture from China’s Gao Brothers of three men in suits — The secret police? — dragging a woman off to who-knows-where.
And there will be a piece, “Eve,” by Czech artistic bad boy David Černy, whose works include a Prague statue of two naked men urinating. Cerny will be in Detroit for part of the exhibition, probably the second weekend, according to organizers.
Among other artists will be Detroit’s own Niagara, Derek Hess, Molly Harvey, Olivia and Kevin Kelly.
On top of original art, there will be a collection of classic posters advertising erotic films from the U.S. and overseas.
There’s more, of course, than just static art. The Main Stage will feature burlesque and naughty performance art. Among the acts will be porn star Chris Harder, Jeez Loueez, the Benson Twins, Ray Gun and the Schlep Sisters.
Bear in mind that, given the material on display, the Dirty Show is restricted to those over 21. The only exception is Sunday, when anyone older than 18 can buy a ticket.
‘The Dirty Show Grows Up’
Russell Industrial Center Exhibition Complex, 1600 Clay, Detroit
7 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and Feb. 17-18; 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Sunday
Age 21 and over (except Sunday, when it’s 18+)
Tickets: $30 in advance ($20 Sunday)