The Reverend Steven Johnson Leyba | 11th January | Long Beach, California

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New memoir by the celebrated infamous artist Reverend Steven Johnson Leyba.

Half Native American and full TERROR in this politically correct authoritarian time. Leyba is a ‘Sexpressionist’ painter, performance artist, author and the most original and unconventional book maker. Internationally known for being masterful yet controversial, Leyba is extreme, and makes no apologies for it. His mixed media canvases, containing everything from oil paint, and traditional tribal beadwork, to his own blood and body fluids, are as different an art to behold (and with his hand made books- art you can touch and hold), as they are thick in texture, color, and the statements of who he is. Very graphic in their depiction of body parts, as in his portrait series, ‘SexGoblins’, and often politically charged, this ‘Tribal Trickster’ may be an acquired taste, but one who’ll you will never see imitated.

Leyba’s new memoir WE ARE ALL INDIANS NOW (Also same title of his 15th hand made book) explores his cultural critiques as well as his personal struggles in public and private, all aspects of his creative process, as well the pursuit of his and our personal liberties with his corporate battles and curses.

Memoir is hardback $50 release as well as a limited edition of 66 signed and numbered at $250 each with a unique self portrait.

Also his 3rd Project #9 spoken word release with composer Marly Preston “Prisons of The Disinformation Age” Human Future Records.

Opening
7-10p

-New art exhibition fire
-Fire ritual performance

18+ to attend

FIRE book 17 page 19 Valeria Mixed media, hair, penis blood, leather, glass beads over acrylic over canvas burnt and came on

We need Leyba! He of the unwavering penetrating eye of truth. The man is truly heroic in his fearless exposure of corporate mind control and his absolute refusal to be hoodwinked into the all pervasive societal sugar coma trance state induced by the wielders of the great consumer spell. His writing (like his ‘PAINting’) is incisive, cutting through all the BS with laser beam intensity and shining a fierce and blazing light into the dark covert corners to expose all that the corrupt hypocrites endeavor to keep from being seen. Coyote rising!  HOWL! – David J , of Bahuas & Love and Rockets

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TOUGHER THAN LEATHER: THE TOM OF FINLAND FOUNDATION’S FIGHT AGAINST CENSORSHIP CONTINUES INTO THE SOCIAL MEDIA AGE

Cover story in this week’s print edition. TOM OF FINLAND (Touko Laaksonen, Finnish, 1920 – 1991), Portrait of Durk, 1980, Graphite on paper
© 1980-2019 Tom of Finland Foundation

Tom of Finland Foundation presented a panel in October at their Art Festival, “How Do We Communicate On/With Social Media.” They invited reps from Facebook and Instagram to join the artists, activists, educators and lawyers on the panel.

In April of this year, Rick Castro had one of his first solo shows at TOM House, a retrospective called Fetish King: Seminal Photographs 1986 – 2019. LGBTQ outlet The Advocate advanced the exhibit and posted the article with several images from the show. The more risqué photos required users to press a button confirming they were old enough to view the content; however, when The Advocate posted the story on Castro’s Facebook page, they suspended his account for 30 days. The image Facebook objected to featured two lucha libre wrestlers on top of each other, fully clothed.

“To censor is to kill off the voice of a person,” echoes Danny Fuentes, who co-presents an art show with ToFF from trans icon Genesis P-Orridge. “Art as a whole should never be censored, I still think art is our society’s last sacred thing and I stand with Tom of Finland Foundation in trying to keep art dangerous, provocative and even disturbing, but above all keep the conversation open and ongoing.”

As for the Foundation’s banishment from Instagram, the image that was apparently the final straw was from an art catalogue for a Denmark art show Tom was included in — one celebrating the end of a ban on visual pornography in that country. Yes, it’s ironic.

“An unwritten mission of ours is to make art and beauty a part of your life,” says S. R. Sharp, ToFF V.P. Despite its recent struggles, the group has continued to do just that. Though the internet didn’t exist when Tom of Finland created his original images, the fight for them to be seen then versus now isn’t that different.

And as long as the Foundation continues to fulfill its official mission statement, freedom wins. It reads, “Tom of Finland Foundation shall continue to encourage the work of erotic visual artists regardless of race, creed, religion, gender, sexual identity, medium of expression or any other censoring criteria.”

TOM OF FINLAND (Touko Laaksonen, Finnish, 1920 – 1991), Untitled, 1980, Pencil on paper
© 1980-2019 Tom of Finland Foundation

Tom of Finland and Lethal Amounts present Sex Cells X Daddywood fundraiser at Precinct DTLA, Fri., Nov. 17, 9 p.m. (A portion of the proceeds will go to the Tom of Finland Foundation for the preservation of erotic art).

Opening reception for Bas Koster, the Foundation’s artist-in-residence, takes place Sun., Nov. 24. 

READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE IN L.A. WEEKLY BY MICHAEL COOPER

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