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opening I was in the basement in my man cave drinking a beer and talking to a friend of mine and he comes downstairs and says hi. It was funny.” The artist prefers to blur the lines. “I take that


as a high compliment,” says Alphachanneling about the impulse for most people to assume the artist is female. “But in another way I think, How can a woman make this? It feels male to me; maybe it’s just the colors. People think it’s a woman because it’s a rare thing for a woman’s pleasure to be focused on. They assume only a woman would want to speak about that.” When a tall, tan, soft-spoken stranger with


sandy blond curls approaches the stoop, offers a hand and leads me into a greenhouse-like apartment—where cascading plants sprout or dangle from every surface—I’m less concerned about whether I’m hearing a female or male voice than with the fact that he says, “Wow, you’re the first person I’ve ever let into this space.” “He seems really content with this little world


he’s set up," says Hanley, who became the second visitor a day later. "In the course of the discussion it was really clear that he doesn’t especially need a gallery.”


230 culturedmag.com


For the artist, who prefers the efficiency of


selling prints direct as opposed to the “old world business” of the gallery system, Looney Tunes is the best model. "You can buy Bugs Bunny with a carrot, you can buy Bugs Bunny with a hat on. I want to create themes," says Alphachanneling, while sorting through stacks of sketches that are scattered about two desks in the studio space—“the madman’s corner”—arranged in what seemed to be a dining room cluttered with guitars. “I actually take a lot of this stuff down in certain situations. It can be too much initially.” By too much, the artist is referring to the


overflowing stacks, stands and file folders brimming with sketches and drawings done in marker, colored pencil and watercolor. There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of them filling the converted dining room studio. Some in plastic sheets, others framed, they depict everything from a woman urinating what appears to be golden vines around a Roman column ("blessing the phallus") to a foursome frolicking in a blue jungle under a smiling sun god ("who is just watching everything happening and is psyched about it like in children’s books") to rows of buxom island beauties kneeling in some kind of Tantric prayer


group to a school of fetishistic yogis in various states of undress reaching for the perfect orgasmic pose. There are various iterations of pastel penises penetrating delicately flowering vaginas, all of which are vivisected like a cornucopia of exploding erotic mandalas. The simplicity and balance is eerily reminiscent of Matisse, if Matisse were a half-Turkish, Geneva-born, BDSM fan with a hankering for Islamic art, Swiss design and sexual shamanism. In other words, a bit much to reveal on a dinner/movie date. “I’m pretty involved with shamanism in different


forms and negotiating the difference between being an artist and a shaman,” says Alphachanneling. While living in New York five years ago, the artist was busy drawing images of “power animals being liberated from the body through sexual domination” and seeing a dominatrix—just one of many sexual healers (think Tantric and body workers) the artist has had influential experiences with over the years. “The exploration was personal. It wasn’t to serve


the work,” explains Alphachanneling. “Yeah, it’s a dominatrix, but really it’s a sexual shaman, a person who is legitimately able to guide you through a space that only a person with that experience can. It’s different than two people dabbling or experimenting


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