He's been called a sexist pig and a trash merchant. He's also been called a visionary armed with a heightened sense of irony. Either way he's Jerry Vile (aka Jerry Peterson), storied organizer and mouthpiece of The Dirty Show, now one of the biggest erotic art shows in the world. He's also the former editor and publisher of Detroit's lamented Orbit magazine.
For all the pans (and praise) Vile gets for his brash celebratory attitude toward "erotic art," and, specifically, The Dirty Show, he has, in the event's decade of existence, simultaneously taken the piss out of misogyny and misandry while at the same time honoring the spiritual, intellectual, hilarious and hideous sides of human sexuality, as seen through the eyes of artists, photographers and pornographers from around the globe. Are we attaching too much significance to the infamous Dirty Show? Nah. The event truly is a heady mix of the aberrant and the amazing in sex art; it stays hard in an era when porn is as ubiquitous and as seemingly played out as fast food. One major underlying theme is this: To keep sex interesting, it needs to stay dirty.