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A million little

A million little


After lending his distinctive photosculptures to Six Feet Under, artist David Meanix shows a whole new side of himself.

A gallery of David Meanix's work

David Meanix will tear you to pieces. The out artist gained widespread recognition and acclaim three years ago when his photosculptures served as Claire's artwork on the HBO series Six Feet Under. To make them, Meanix first photographs every plane of his subject. Then he laboriously reassembles the actual-size prints onto his subject--a face can take four hours--often tearing the edges to reveal the person beneath the image. Finally, he photographs the result.

It's trippy 3-D photography that explores human growth and the cycle of creation and destruction. And it's on view until September 1 as part of the solo show "David Meanix: Wonder" at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.

In addition to photosculptures Meanix made of the cast of Six Feet Under, "Wonder" includes a photo installation titled Diary of an Exhibitionist that explores his relationship with sexuality and denial.

How did you begin making photosculptures? I was taking some dance classes at San Francisco State and I was doing photography. It captured the dance in such a flattened way, and loving the human form in its three-dimensionality, I wanted so bad to bring photography into that realm, out of 2-D.

So you're a dancer too? I consider myself a dancer, although I was trained by MTV. I used to watch Madonna videos. Flashdance videos like "Maniac" were big. I won my school talent show in ninth grade dancing to "Maniac." I "flashdanced." [Laughs] The next year I won dancing to Madonna.

You're known for creating these photosculptures of other people. But Diary of an Exhibitionist is all self-portraits. What's the benefit of being the art? It's a way of expressing myself, seeing where I'm at, and being unafraid to document what's beautiful or not beautiful about me and sort of accepting it.

So it's therapy? I heard this term the other day and I was like, Wow, that so perfectly fits: confessional. Part of Diary of an Exhibitionist was getting over the fear of exposing all of the different parts of me that I want to express. It has to do mostly with examining my sexuality, but I don't want to all of a sudden be known as the artist showing his boner. I believe every part of me is reflected in all of the art that I do.

You've said that for years porn was your form of sexual liberation and a source of denial. How important is it that you are a gay artist revealing this secret side of yourself? It brings up a lot of challenging issues. That's why I did it in the first place and that's why I need to show it. Those are still burning issues for anyone coming out of the closet--to get over ignoring your sexuality and get over the shame of it and at the same time not abuse it. I'm still dealing with it. We all deal with it.

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Steve Gaughan