Jonah Samson

Jonah Samson was surprised when the folks at G. Gibson Gallery considered a visitor warning about the sexual imagery in his work. “I never thought of it as being offensive in any way,” he tells me over the phone from Vancouver, BC. “But there are so many layers to the way society reacts to sex.” Samson assembles and paints miniature sets that he then photographs. His playful new series “Pleasantville” depicts tiny figurines having raunchier sex than Gene Simmons in his heyday. In Porn Set, for example, a well-manicured lawn is taken over by a man directing a couple to have sex atop a car. Samson—a family doctor by day—wouldn’t necessarily decorate his office with these dioramas, but he thinks they’re easier for viewers to accept because they don’t involve actual people. “Most of these figures are only an inch tall, so it looks funny if they’re having sex,” he says. “But we draw strange lines between what’s entertaining and what’s controversial. I’m not sure people would laugh if this were done on a larger scale.” Also included in the group show “View Master” are photographs by Lori Nix and Grace Weston. Oh, and there’s no advisory about the small sexual content. ERIKA HOBART

Thu., June 4, 6-8 p.m.; Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Starts: June 4. Continues through July 11, 2009

 
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