Boys, it seems, just wanna have fun. Joe Ovelman has proof. The multimedia artist, whose sexy, diaristic snapshots have been popping up on Chelsea construction hoardings for years, brings his guerrilla aesthetic indoors with a show that’s as shrewd as it is witty. Channeling Cary Leibowitz, Sean Landers, Terry Richardson, and chat-room porn, Ovelman fills the gallery with words, images, and oddly poignant relics, including a grid of 96 plastic baggies containing dirt-encrusted used condoms scavenged from the Central Park Ramble. That famous gay trysting ground is rendered as an austere Garden of Eden in the back room here, where every surface has been papered with Xeroxed photos of bare branches and blue sky. In between these installations, Ovelman has arranged a group of rude Post-It drawings and notes (“Knock for blowjob,” “Raw’s good,” “Where do you want it?”) and a juicy array of color and black-and-white photos (sailor, cop, hairy asshole, soaped-up boy in shower) pinned right to the wall. In Ovelman’s queer take on sex and the city, raw is definitely good.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 20, 2004