Artist Profile: Denise Fike

March 28th, 2010

Erotic Plates

Posted by Denise Fike

Denise Fike is playfully sassy, naughty and energetic, incorporating the nuance of naiveté with the seduction of maturity. Girlish at times, painting striped legs with a terrier in tow, she quickly reminds us of her sophistication and love of wearing wide brim hats. It’s fun to watch Denise at work in her studio. She loves what she does; climbing into her painting like putting on a garment. No veneer here. She lets it all hang out. There is immediacy about her imagery; her bold line demanding our attention.

As if revealing three sides of her nature, Denise presents three distinct approaches to her work: floral, fashion and figure. She loves to draw form, specifically female form. “I just like the parts better. Men are too angular. Women are fleshier.” Opacity and palette play a great role in creating the backdrop to her figure work. Despite a monotone genre of sorts, she has the wonderful skill of conveying nuance with no gradation or shading of light. Denise’s transparent and special relationship with her models avails us to intimate visual conversation; we are keenly aware of their essence.

Very much about her materials, nearly twenty years in the wallpaper design and manufacturing industry, Denise incorporates wallpaper with figure in her “fashion” and floral paintings. Weaving figure with rich wallpaper design and patterning, she creates rich textural tapestries.

No fanfare here, minimalist even, Denise paints with enamel on canvas, wood and other found materials, preferring a toothless texture to enhance the opacity of her color fields.

She is fortunate that her relationship with her models allows for a comfort level that results in the most intimate of poses. A night of revelry, some martini’s, Gin of course, and a spontaneity, that has evolved into “The Dirty Dishes”. Buon Appetito!

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Paris: Behind The Scenes With TW

March 27th, 2010


Posted by Gunsmoke

The night before the event we sat on the balcony of Café Marley at the Louvre overlooking I.M. Pei’s great Pyramid. Every hour on the hour the Eiffel Tower lighted up with a gadzillion tiny white bulbs that shone brightly in the distance. This was a superb way to begin the week of the Paris Art Fair exhibition.

The next day, the mile long line snaked around the Grand Palais just off the Champs Ellyse until 10 PM opening night. Parisian’s and guest’s from afar had come to see the best of the best of the art world from March 16th to March 22nd, 2010. Gallery owners had paid upwards of $50,000 per exhibition space to introduce the world to their stable of artist’s. Paris is the city of Art as well as the city of lights. Opening day, the works of Tony Ward would be reintroduced to that world after a prolonged hiatus.

TW’s gallery owner, Pascal Vanhoecke made sure that his four monumental sized pieces had places of honor in his space. His was the first space that you saw upon walking up to the main exhibit area, and the gallery occupied a place of honor as the first exhibit space inside the main entryway to the enormous exhibit hall.

Crowds swarmed in and out of the gallery proclaiming in French, English and Italian; “shocking!” “stunning!” “incredible!” And it was. Vanhoecke’s gallery featured works from the who’s who of Erotica. Entering the space, one passed a life sized hermaphrodite Barbie doll sculpture, with both breasts and a penis. She only began the adventure into the both humorous and erotic display of fine art painting, drawing and photography. TW’s highlighted piece included a digital montage entitled “L’Aphrodisiaque”, images of black and white erotica from a most recent series and commission. The eye jumps from image to image seeking and finding titillation at every stop. The mammoth piece snarled traffic as buyers stood in amazement, while onlooker’s snapped cell phone pictures and video clips.

Also highlighted was a grainy male torso and female face entitled, “Mark and Laura”, London 2005. The woman’s hand strategically placed on the swollen anatomy of her companion. This piece would later be auctioned off for charity. All charities should have such incredible donations; it should bring thousands.

Two film crews and representatives of three newspapers came to meet and interview the “American.” Tony Ward was the foreigner who made sexy chic. A true tribute to the former and future King of Erotica.

Head Shot Of The Year: Kimberly Kane

March 26th, 2010

AVN: Adult Actress Of The Year, 2010

………More to follow about Kimberly Kane in upcoming posts!

Picture Of The Day

March 25th, 2010

Alejandra Guererro: Los Angeles, March 12th, 2010

Cuba Photographs By Eric Mencher: Part 2

March 21st, 2010

Happy Couple

………It is with great pleasure that we introduce to you part two of the photographs of Cuba by master photographer Eric Mencher. He’s covered regional, national and international assignments from 1987 to 2009 for the Philadelphia Inquirer, including the civil war in Chechnya, the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda and the post apartheid era in South Africa. He is the recipient of numerous national and international awards including World Press Photo, pictures of the year.

Beach Scene


A Stroll Through Havana

Marina Hemingway

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Cuba Photographs By Eric Mencher: Part 1

March 20th, 2010


Posted by Eric Mencher

Cuba is truly a country on the edge. It’s government, for 50 years the authoritative body over the island’s 11,000,000 people, seems forever on the verge of collapse. The people themselves live constantly in flux, with the promise of freedom one day or prison the next. In Old Havana, people lurk in and of the shadows and the sun’s constant glare seems to ask more questions than it illuminates.

Fishing Along The Malecon

Havana is a street photographer’s paradise. The alleys and streets are a constant swarm of human activity, and moments surreal or all too real unfold in an unending stream of live theater. In the five times I’ve visited the island since 1997, there remains one constant in Cuba: the love of life, whether it’s a couple in embrace on the Malecon or kids who seem to dance in the streets to the beat of the ubiquitous music.

Cuban Music

We can learn a lot from the Cubanos–in the face of a harsh living standard, they always seem to maintain their joy, dignity and spirit.

Young Boy Plaza Of The Cathedral In Havana

Streets Of Havanna

Baseball Field In Pinar del Rio

Cuba's Light And Shadow

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TW: Report From Paris Part Two

March 19th, 2010

TW met with his long term publisher Claude Bard and his assistant Anne Hautecoeur yesterday in Paris to review printers proofs from his forthcoming book entitled, “WASTELAND”. Mr. Bard is the owner and publisher of La Musardine, one of the most highly respected imprints of erotica in the world. TW and his publisher first teamed up in the year 2000, when his renowned book of erotica was published entitled, ORGASM, under Mr. Bard’s oversight. It was to be followed two years later by the sequel ORGASM XL.In the year 2000, TW embarked on a new project, to photograph over a period of time the largest fetish party in the world, held twice yearly in Amsterdam, thus the title of the new book and and also the name of the famous fetish extravaganza. The WASTELAND project has been the most prolonged project of the artist’s career.

The Faces Of Wasteland

Mr. Bard assured Wasteland producer Rene Meuessen during a telephone conference, that the first printing of the monograph will be made available to the public at a book signing to take place at the next Wasteland event on April 17th, 2010 in Amsterdam. TW is looking forward to attending the event.

Claude Bard

The book is dedicated to TW’s best friend and assistant Frans Verlinden. Mr. Verlinden was the former art patron, Winston Hotel owner and founder based in Amsterdam, who was at TW’s side over the many years of documentation of the event. Mr. Verlinden passed away in 2006. He is sorely missed.

Frans Verlinden: Former Owner And Founder, Winston Hotel, Amsterdam

TW: Report From Paris

March 18th, 2010

……….Throngs of people descended upon the Grand Palais in Paris yesterday to attend the opening reception of Art Paris, the largest exposition of Art held yearly in France. TW’s most recent large new work, measuring 125cm X 225cm, entitled “L’Aphrodisiaque”, a commissioned piece by sponsor Marc Dorcel was introduced to the public for the first time by art dealer and gallery owner, Pascal Vanhoecke. Capa Presse TV and several other media outlets interviewed TW about his latest creation’s and new series that he refers to as “digital montage”.The exposition dates are March 18th to the 22nd, 2010. If you are in or near Paris, the Studio highly recommends that you attend this remarkable exposition.

TW: Art Paris 3-18-10

Melissa Norbeck: The Fag Hag

March 15th, 2010

Melissa Photographed at Tony Ward Studio on March 3, 2010

Posted by Melissa Norbeck

The Fag Hag

Why has the term “fag hag” become the label for straight women who have gay male friendships in our culture? And why does the name “fag hag” have such a negative undertone?

The word fag came from the word faggot which was used as a derogatory term to degrade gay men. During the Middle Ages when witches were burned to the stake, it was thought that gay men were thrown into the fire like a bundle of sticks. It derives from Old French, possibly going back to the Greeks, and the Italian diminutive faggotte from the Latin facus “bundle”. The first known published use of the word “faggot” or “fag” referring to a male homosexual appeared in 1914 in the United States. The word hag is used to describe an ugly, older woman. The two words used together were thought to be very derogatory. Many years ago, to be an ugly woman who hung out with faggots was not thought to be a good thing. As time progressed, the term “fag hag” grew and became more popular. “Fag hag” is a slang term for a woman who enjoys the companionship of gay men. Gay men and fag hags often a share very close friendships. It is this friendship that is the staple of the fag hag relationship.

I think such strong bonds have been created between women and gay men because of the commonalities they share. And women tend to be less judgmental of gay men’s lives. Interestingly enough, some new terms have been created to describe women who have gay male friends: “fruit fly,” “queer dear,” and “fairy godmother”. Society has the habit of putting labels on almost everything and everyone. As far as living the gay lifestyle goes, I would have to guess that so far this must be the best time to be a gay man in America with all the openness and freedom they now have. Unfortunately, there is still a part of society who’s not comfortable with homosexuals and the women who call those men friends. People who don’t understand something tend to judge and call it wrong instead of opening their minds and hearts.

Michael Furman: Car Of The Day

March 14th, 2010

1947 Delahaye 135MS, By Figoni & Falashci

……….To learn more about Michael Furman’s car photography, log on to