Under the cloak of night, the Corey Whitehead fine art gallery awakens, shedding its work-in-progress façade. Even though the paintings were the same as they’d always been, it appeared that the “ladies” of Ocular Orgasm had spruced up for company. They greeted me enthusiastically as soon as the door was opened…
After paying a nominal entry fee, the lovely hostess gave me a small raffle ticket for a prize drawing. The front room had been transformed from my initial visit, from a burgeoning yet sleepy workspace into a beguiling lounge. Pure Romance by Nirvana was featured in a small room to the left. With the small couches tucked into the space, the room felt very “parlor-like.” To the right, guests were treated to a refreshing wine bar, complete with hors d’eurves and fresh fruit.
Corey converted the attic into a continuation of the showing, incorporating a massage therapist who served up chair massages with all the trimmings; following the relaxing service, she provided a small tea ceremony—all against the ambient backdrop of world music. The frenzied passion of Corey’s work was completely evident in this space, stacks of his creations arranged amidst drowsy candlelight. Whitehead wants the gallery to be a place where people feel comfortable and inspired. Inspiration would be the perfect word to use—as I felt obliged to snag a seat in the cozy attic, and tinker around quietly on my acoustic guitar.
Added to the showing was Corey’s collection of photography—equally titillating, but arresting in the candidness of the models’ poses. Interestingly enough, the erotic (very female oriented) showing seemed to have attracted more women than men. Considering that most of the models were women, one might imagine that the gallery would be teeming with men, hoping to immerse themselves in female energy. I asked Corey whether he felt particularly drawn to painting women—wondering whether he finds male subjects just as fascinating. Indeed he does, he assured me. But he said that it’s more difficult to find men willing to showcase their masculinity in this way.
But no grumbles were heard from any of Ocular Orgasm’s attendees. For the subject matter reached much farther than female nudes. Undeniably, there is a frankness in Corey Whitehead’s work. Dreamlike renditions of celebrities, meandering abstracts, and coy portraits pepper his collection. The brushstrokes pool in three-dimensional pockets of color—surprising the eye. In various corners of the gallery, clusters of people indulged in conversations spawned of the images they saw. This was exactly the response that Corey hoped to encourage with the event. But the art wasn’t the only enticement at Ocular Orgasm. Guests were presented with spicy live performances by local artists Crea and Kitty Pride. Corey wanted to titillate all of the human senses. With Ocular Orgasm, that mission was accomplished.
When I inquired about future shows, he assured me that the Corey Whitehead Fine Art Gallery will house some delectable surprises. Other upcoming events with some mind-bending themes are already in the works. The next installment will take place on November 13th. At my insistence, he mentioned one theme in particular that I found really intriguing. I’d let you in on the secret. But you’ll have to see for yourself…
Corey Whitehead Fine Art Gallery
1865 Beecher Street
Atlanta, GA 30310