Photo: Sky Martinez
In the beginning there was hunger…
Christy Ramirez doesn’t exactly know where it comes from—her hunger for exploring the issues of sexuality and eroticism through the arts. There is the fact that she, like so many other Chicanas/Latinas, grew up in a household where sexuality, masturbation, and desire were taboo. “I could never talk about sex with my mom because I came from a family that was very Catholic,” says Christy. That hush-hush culture created confusion and personal turmoil, hindering sexual growth, but it also planted a seed of curiosity in Christy. Why the hell can’t we talk about sex? What is there to fear? Later in college, her curiosity swelled, stimulating her to delve into books, movies, and visual art that embodied the essence of eros. The more she read and learned, the more she dismantled myths. “Fantasies, desires, fetishes—we all have these. And ultimately, we all want to be satisfied. There’s nothing wrong with this. Society and cultural taboos attempt to make us feel bad about these things, but sex and desire are natural.”
She who probes, attracts the erotic…
“One time,” Christy states, “an artist I had just met gave me a book. It’s not everyday someone you don’t know gives you a book, so I took it home and read it.” It was an erotic, historical, lesbian novel, Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters. “It’s a great love story about this woman who falls for another woman who dresses up as a man. It’s set in England in the 1800’s so you can imagine the response from family and society at that time.”
Ironically, more than a century later, same-sex relationships continue to arouse social fear and hate. This is one of the reasons why Christy feels making sexuality a public issue is important. “I had a friend in high school who was gay and who committed suicide last year. It’s really important that we talk about sexuality and be open, not be afraid. We need to learn to be accepting of other people’s sexualities and one way we can begin to do this is through art and literature.”
To need is to want…
With the help of the owners of The Dose of Art Gallery and a few devoted artists/volunteers, Christy Ramirez has organized a month-long, artistic erotic extravaganza for FREE!
16 artists from a variety of backgrounds will be featured in Vanguardia Erotika, Series 2 on July 30, 2011 at 7:00 PM. The event will showcase paintings, poetry, sculptures, bondage furniture, and live bands.
There's no monetary profit in organizing and curating Vanguardia ErotiKa for Christy Ramirez, who works fulltime at an ink company. In fact, for the past two years, Christy has invested time, labor, and even some of her own money into Vanguardia ErotiKa. When asked why she invests so much, she said, “I love doing it. This is my 2nd year putting something like this together and I look forward to doing it again next year. It’s a lot of work, but I have to do this, for me, for the community. We need it.”
ErotiKa Vanguardia, Series 2
July 30th, 2011 (Opening Reception)
The Dose of Art Gallery
4205 Maycrest Ave, LA 90032
and many more wonderful artists!
For more information on ErotiKa Vanguardia, Series 2, contact Christy Ramirez at email@example.com
She is also on FB.