CHEVEUX DU SUD, LOUISIANA — For the last several days, the gallery in artist Terry Murkin’s small Louisiana hometown has been fielding calls about his latest exhibition “non-stop” according to the people who work there. The interest in Terry’s latest exhibition has been so strong that gallery employees say they’ve answered fifteen times more calls, emails, and faxes about it than they usually do for any other display of another artist’s work the rest of the year. In fact, Murkin says that his own shows at the gallery usually don’t generate this kind of buzz, but his new exhibit, which opens to the public this Friday night, is “generating an awful lot of heat.”
“I’m super-duper proud of this new show. You could say it’s the closest my art has ever come to really being a part of me,” Murkin told his local newspaper this past weekend. “I just had no idea when I started that other people would want to see pictures of my pubes shaved into various topiaries. But here we are, a few days away from my opening, and I’ve already gotten serious attention from the New York art scene. There’s a major art dealer coming down from Manhattan next week to check out the exhibition.”
It took him several months to grow his pubic hairs out to a good length, then shave them down into shapes like ostriches, trees, and yes, even shrubs, or bushes. Then, once he’d shaped his pubes into something that pleased him, he’d shave them all off to “start with a blank canvas” and then begin the whole process over again. All told, Terry spent most of the years between 2011 and 2019 cultivating his pubic masterpieces, and when My Pubes, Myself opens this weekend, he’s hoping patrons see the hard work and dedication in every frame he snapped of his mons pubis.
“I got the idea for this exhibition a few years ago, when I took a trip to Disney World,” Murkin said. “I was waiting in line for the Small World ride, and I noticed all these fun topiaries in the queue. It was really neat seeing a shrub or tree shaped into a hippo, for example. I wanted to do topiaries, but I do not have a green thumb. What I have had since puberty though is a freakish and uncanny ability to grow my pubes super long, super fast. One thing led to another, and the next thing you know, I’m designing shapes for my pubes to be shaved into.”
Gallery patrons will get a sneak preview on My Pubes, Myself ahead of the official opening. Murkin thinks people will enjoy the “whimsy and fantasy” that he tried to evoke and imbue each pube design with. Murkin said he wanted people viewing the topiaries to “feel transported in some form or another” and to “even forget they’re looking at some dude’s crotch.” Murkin also plans to give the opening night crowd something to go home talking about.
“The night my exhibition opens, I’m going to do a live pube shave,” Merkin said. “I’m going to make a pube topiary right there, in the gallery, for everyone to see. I’m even considering taking a couple of volunteers and giving them their own pube topiaries. I really want to impress people; give them that wow factor I know they’ve come to expect from my work.”
My Pubes, Myself will run at the Downtown Gallery and Sports Bar for six weeks, starting this weekend. Prints of the topiaries will range in price from $50-2,000 a piece, depending on the size and subject matter. For more information, see the gallery’s website, or follow Merkin on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, or Friendster.
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Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.