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Jason Rhoades (left) during his Black Pussy Soiree Cabaret Macramé in Los Angeles, 2006
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CHARISMA CATCHER
by Heimir Björgúlfsson


The late artist Jason Rhoades, who died suddenly at age 41 on Aug. 1, 2006, will be remembered as a Rabelaisian figure whose over-the-top installations are colorful in more ways than one. During the last year or so, Rhoades had been focused on his "Black Pussy" project, a series of cabaret performances, exhibitions and more, ranging from a show last fall at Galerie Hauser & Wirth in London (which critic Adrian Searle called "an assault on the senses, as well as an affront to sensibility") to the "Pacific Northwest Pussy Harvest and Lube Drive," a planned one-night event (involving "homeless teens" wrestling in a 50 x 50 ft. inflatable liver-shaped "Liverpool" sculpture) on Aug. 9 in Portland, Ore., that was cut short by Rhoades death. He was scheduled to have a show at David Zwirner in New York this fall.

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