Larry Buller, “Flower Brick with Butt Plugs,” 2020, low-fire clay, decals, hand-built and slip cast.

Larry Buller, whose show Fetish opens April 1 at the Garden of the Zodiac, is not interested in subtlety. Why else would he trick out his molded ceramic forms into highly embellished decorative set pieces using floral decals, gold luster, fur and fake gemstones while flirting with kitsch? Gilding the lily is, in fact, the point. In the age of Rococo, when chinoiseries flourished, emphasis was on abundant and elaborate decoration, equating to the life pleasurable. 

Buller has stepped into this breach, exploiting decorative arts’ historical and domestic connotations by encoding them further with the cultural vocabulary of gay identity, masculinity and sexual fetish objects. A closer look at his works reveals witty and transgressive subversions: many forms are decidedly phallic, others call distinctly to gay stereotypes. Artwork titles such as “Flower Brick with Butt Plugs” confirm the choice of objects for function as well as form. 

Celebrating sexuality with these alluring objects of desire, Buller both delights the viewer and furthers his goal to “demystify sex between men and encourage dialogue around topics typically not discussed in ‘polite’ society.”

Larry Buller: Fetish opens on Thursday, April 1, 2021 and runs through Sunday, May 23 in the Garden of the Zodiac Gallery, 1042 Howard Street. There will be no opening reception. For further information, please contact 402.341.1877. email, or visit the Garden of the Zodiac page on Facebook.

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