Underwear art exhibit

Bradenton Herald – It’s not every day someone walks into Bonnie Bakes, in the Village of the Arts, waving underwear in the air.

The underwear in question: a pair of white briefs with a red handkerchief going through it that held what looked to be a bottle of wine or beer. It was attached to a hanger that read Hillbilly Briefcase.

Bonni Brown — owner of the eatery, not the underwear — laughed when recalling the moment. She said the women at her register eyed Carl Keeler strangely when he waved the briefs at Brown, eager to drop them off.

The occasion was “Artsy Undies 2: Boxers, Briefs and Jockstraps,” an art exhibit promoting prostate cancer awareness.

On view through April, the undies decorate the walls of Bonnie Bakes. Some may make your mom blush while others may make you laugh out loud — or both.

Leslye Louis’ “You Turn Me On” required a dose of electricity to be displayed properly. She turned a pair of holiday “Ho! Ho! Ho!” boxers into an even more festive affair by adding Christmas lights.

Then there is the “Screw Prostate Cancer” briefs done by Carol Janssens. Taking a tool theme, the briefs are cleverly donned with an assortment of screws — and two nuts. It was created in honor of Janssens’ brother, Nick, a prostate cancer survivor.

Sam Hershfield’s entry “Little Man” came with a funny story about how he was gifted the pair of black briefs, complete with a ruler drawn on front to measure — well, you know.

Brown also threw in an entry with a tool theme that took on a life of its own. The pair of 52-inch boxers hang around the waist of a beer belly she created. That beer belly, dressed in red long johns, also holds a Home Depot apron full of tools and gadgets. Brown said a friend told her the display looked like many of the guys she sees walking about Bradenton’s Home Depot.

The walls were spiced up with Olivia Karau’s jockstrap entry dubbed “Atomic Fireballz.” This piece was created with gummy hot dog bun candy and a collection of fire ball candies. Pretty creative.

Perhaps the most clever of the bunch is a pair of plaid briefs done by Geneve Mantri and Kara McDonald. The briefs took on a Scottish kilt theme of “Check Your Sporin, Clean Your Pipes.” Sewn on are bagpipes and a sporran, which is the little black bag or pouch that kilt wearers wear to protect their — well, you know.

published April 11, 2010

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