enculturating las vegas into the next millennium... art, dance, film, music, poetry, theater, history, nature and everything else that enriches the lives of those who live and visit southern nevada... Since 2003...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Love it or hate it John Wayne Gacy is in Las Vegas... Well at least his art is...

Before I begin I want to make it very clear to all of my readers that I am in no way endorsing the John Wayne Gacy art exhibition that will be held at the Arts Factory in September. With that said I do have a responsibility to at least attempt to report about it in some capacity.

Though I recently sat at a round table discussion about the exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) gallery, as part of my responsibilities as a member of their advisory board, I will admit I have very deep reservations about this exhibition. Not to sound too preachy but the man killed 33 living human souls and I do not believe any living being on this earth deserves to benefit financially from this evil.

What I do believe is that there should be an honest and civil discourse regarding these types of psychopaths and what goes through their minds when they do such acts. In addition, I believe that these types of "arts-works" deserve to be interpreted by experts in the field of criminology. As a curator in the museum field I strongly believe that these works should only be exhibited by a qualified institution such as a museum that can delve deep into the history of diabolical acts, so that we can better understand the criminal mind. A better understanding of the criminal mind can lead to better ways of detecting and hopefully stopping people that are on the edge of murdering others.

After personally being in the presence of Gacy's works I was very disturbed; so much so that I immediately ran to the bar for a shot of whiskey just to calm my nerves. The work is not good, its actually quite amateurish and does not deserve the attention that it is getting, considering how many great artists are out there that cannot get any recognition.

Dr. Jack Levin
So if there is anything that can be taken away from all of this, it is the fact that Dr. Laura Henkel proprietor of Sin City Gallery has worked diligently to bring some order to the chaos that is the "Gacy Exhibition." At this very moment as I am writing this blog Dr. Henkel is dining with Dr. Jack Levin, Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Northeastern University.

Dr. Levin is considered an authority on serial killers, mass murderers, and hate crimes. He is also the co-director of the Brudnick Center on Conflict and Violence at Northeastern University. Levin has authored or co-authored 28 books, including Mass Murder: America’ s Growing Menace. Levin has published more than 150 articles in various publications. He has appeared on "20/20" and "48 Hours".

As a matter of fact I was invited to meet him this evening but I declined because I needed to get this post out. In either case here we are... Love it or Hate it, Gacy is in Vegas... And if you believe that objects can hold residuals of the mental states of their creators then this exhibition is not for you. But if you are at least interested in hearing from one of the top experts in the world about serial killers well then the Arts Factory is the place to be.

Jack Levin will be Lecturing on Tuesday, May 17th at 6:30 inside the Arts Factory. Seating is limited to the first 100 guests so get there early...

The Arts Factory
Studio West - Second floor
107 East Charleston Blvd.
Las Vegas, Nevada 89101

Sin City Gallery

About Dr. Jack Levin

Nevada Public Radio
For more information on the Cultural Arts in Las Vegas please visit Nevada Public Radio. NPR has detailed listings of many cultural and civic events hosted by area non-profits click on this linkhttp://www.knpr.org/common/psa/listNEW.cfm and if you are planning an event in the next few months, be sure to get your free listing in Nevada Public Radio's Desert Companion magazine by submitting the information here at http://www.knpr.org/culture/eventaddnew.cfm
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Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

posted by Brian Paco Alvarez, Curator and Chronicler of Culture at


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