Jesse Helms

Has former NEA target Ron Athey bled enough for his art? He's back with a new happening at the Broad

Has former NEA target Ron Athey bled enough for his art? He's back with a new happening at the Broad

I arrive at Ron Athey’s Silver Lake apartment on Monday morning bearing two cereal boxes craftily transformed into eclipse viewing devices. The artist, after all, is known to have an interest in the sun. He is the creator of numerous gritty works of performance, including “Solar Anus,” which incorporates an elaborate sun pattern tattooed on his rear.

If you’re going to do an interview with Athey in the middle of a solar eclipse, it’s good to show up prepared to watch the sun.

“I’m definitely seeing flashes,” Athey says as we peer into our boxes — the projected light revealing a sun partly obscured by the moon. “Or flashbacks!”

It would be easy to reduce Athey and his...

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