*warning - this post contains photos of sex toys (not being used, just displayed) which may offend
those with delicate sensibilities*
We've had an entire winter's worth of snow over the last few days, and the temperature dropped to minus 20 which made staying inside with books, blankets, and netflix the activity of choice this weekend. However, an artist I chat to regularly at Roller Derby games was having an art exhibit at a "high end" sex shop on Friday night, and I decided to bundle up and check it out.
The shop, called Spot of Delight, is located on Richmond Street, and owned by a London couple. London has has not had a non-cheesy place to purchase high quality sex toys since the much missed Libido on Talbot Street closed several years ago, so Spot of Delight, which opened in September, is a welcome addition to the downtown community.
Artist Nic DeGroot paints in acrylics, and the work on display that evening, which had been painted during the last 5 years, celebrated the female form. The event also included a live painting demonstration by DeGroot, and offered an opportunity for people who had not visited the shop before to browse some of the merchandise in a non-threatening atmosphere (most of the stock had been put away to make room for the exhibit).
The shop put some of their glass and stainless steel toys, many of them objets d'art themselves, on display beneath DeGroot's paintings. I thought the painted glass and feathered butt plug, in the top right photo, was almost too pretty to hide, so to speak.
Left - "Hot Winter Night" Right: "Cool Summer Night"
Although the paintings are advertised as "erotic" art, the artist doesn't see them that way. DeGroot says he sees the subjects of his paintings as strong, powerful women.
I liked the impressionistic rendering of the figures in DeGroot's work, which tricks the eye into believing it sees more detail than in actually there. In most of the paintings, the eyes of subjects do not engage with the viewer - there is a feeling of introspection created by their gaze.
"The Bashful" by Nic DeGroot
DeGroot's paintings have interesting contrasts in texture - in some, the subject is raised with a smooth, shiny surface against a rough background, and in others the reverse.
This painting was displayed on the wall to your left as you entered the store, and was the largest piece in the show.
This detail of the above painting shows the texture and different colours used in the background
DeGroot's model for the evening was one of the women behind Catstache, and their vulva jewellery is available at Spot of Delight for the month of February (they will do custom colours if you ask)
DeGroot does live art performances, and does commissions (for which he charges per square inch) and can be contacted via his website. Spot of Delight offers an excellent variety of body-safe, high quality sex toys, as well as lingerie, leather accessories, and educational workshops, and is located at 426 Richmond Street. For shop hours and more information visit their website.