O. Henrietta and Hunter Yoder at the Hex Factory
Working within the Folk Art context of Hexology one is struck by the myriad of 'pretenders',' outlanders' and 'scallywags' who populate cyberspace.
However, it is unusual to find those from the 'kultur' using the craft to expand the possibilities, extend the idiom, in other words innovate, backed by legitimate geographical and ancestral ties to bring the form out of the mire of cheap Pa Dutch Hex Sign dot com fixes that stink like the Philadelphia Streets.
IN BETWEEN THE SHEETS, is a breakout show! It leaves all other practioners behind! In fact it leaves contemporary art in the dust as well. Yoder may have found his match this time. O Henrietta has led Yoder to still 'green pastures'
Sex Magic is a volatile practice, a life long pursuit, focusing on getting it just right. O Henrietta's rapid evolution from large chalks and paint on distressed plywood panels of sex coupling have given way to Gandee-esque Hexes filled with phallic rosettes and menstrual blood. How and why this happened is a very interesting story. I'm not going to kiss and tell however....just listen.
Yoder's end of it is of interest. The show features several of his 'sex paintings' from the early Nineties. From his own admission, he replaced nude models with porno magazine pinups for what he refers to as 'configurations'. One is entitled, 'From Behind' another 'Amor Selvage' or Savage Love. The psychedelic patterns, colors and geometrically shaped panel composites Yoder used to simulate the altered states experienced while engaging in coitus. Not your usual folk art imagery.
Enter the wonderful world of magically charged objects. Both artists/practioners, to use a graduate school term, 'reference' Lee R. Gandee, a Hexenmeister or master German witch. His Hex work influence both Yoder and Fisher. This ain't Kansas anymore, folks.
The other major component in the work is the Elder Futhark, the Runes. Magical Germanic signs and symbols which Yoder has incorporated into his Hexology since 2007. Yoder published his essay,' Runic Symbology in Contemporary Deitsch Hexology' in HEX MAGAZINE, Issue Four in Fall 2008. The resulting avalanche of Heathens participating in the practice of Hexology has been significant, most recently documented in, Yoder's piece in HEX MAGAZINE, Issue Nine, entitled, 'Six Six Six' or 'Six Questions to Six Heathen Hexologists and their Six Hexes'.
O' Henrietta's work operates in a very direct way, no symbols or abstracted patterns and shapes simulating sex. Her powerful images tend to kick the inhibited viewer in the teeth, but they really are just an unfiltered expression of endless sweetness, love, don't you know? Totally heterosexual, her 'work' confronts the vulnerability of the viewer who is challenged into the role of participant. Will he or she, 'measure up'?
In particular, the last piece in the show which is a joint effort, a painting which exemplifies an intention done by this sex magic pair, entitled, Hex Magic' features O Henrietta's iconic cock rosette in a background of a twelve pointed rosette, the border features the Elder Futhark, done by Yoder and a central bind rune, a powerful combination of runes in this case Fehu and Algiz with Gebo within the central red 'dot'. Cum issues forth from the six cocks as familiar 'raindrops' reminiscent in the Barnstars of northern Berks County. Numerologically, the Hex expands outward from the six-pointed cock to the twelve-pointed rosette to the twenty-four Runes of the Elder Futhark.
Take these seemingly disparate elements, Folk Art, American Abstract Art, Germanic Magic, Sex Magic, Feminism and genuine Pa German ancestry and combine them in the white ghetto setting of Philadelphia's East Kensington section and now you're starting to sense how dangerous this show really is.
These 'practioners' aren't fucking around, they are angry, armed, and extremely dangerous to the currently accepted standards of 'emerging art,' so called culture in Amerika and the world which they seek to conquer by any means necessary.
Hunter Yoder, Heiden Hexologist