Ratio 3: Safe Word


Currently on view at San Francisco’s Ratio 3 gallery is a new exhibition titled Safe Word. The collection of works explores the operation of Kink.com, the gallery’s neighbors located on the corner of 14th and Mission Street. Housed within the 200,000 square-foot San Francisco National Guard Armory and Arsenal space, Kink.com produces and publishes a massive collection of online BDSM (Bondage and Discipline, Sadism and Masochism) videos. Ratio 3’s Chris Perez invited 5 artists to create new work utilizing the content of Kink.com as an “image source and a site for personal investigation.” The resulting work from artists Danny Keith, Amanda Kirkhuff, Takeshi Murata, Francine Spiegel, and Anthony Viti span many media including painting, video and wall drawings. Each artist reflectively explores the intensely erotic and disturbing content of Kink.com, creating a surprisingly sincere collection of works.

Safe Word.jpg

Artist Danny Keith, whose work is pictured above, has created a series of four oil paintings which explore one of Kink.com’s video categories, Naked Kombat. Utilizing video stills as source material, Keith creates anthropomorphic figure paintings that marry two fighters into a singular form.

Artist Amanda Kirkhuff created two graphite drawings featuring full frontal female nudity that has been broken down through pixelation. This method of pixel-based rendering slightly masks the graphic quality of her subject while subtly referencing the image’s digital make-up.

Safe Word will be on view through August 8th, 2009.