Comments: 118 • Responses: 49  • Date: 

patina_paws15 karma

So I'm an artist (illustrator) and I went to art school and saw a bit of performance art, but I just don't get it. Why do you do it? What are you trying to accomplish? Do you feel like you actually do accomplish your goals? Do you think this is the best/ only way of doing accomplishing them? Or do you do it, mostly because you like to shock people and interact with them?

nico_dr11 karma

Part of it is to provoke a reaction, i believe thats what art is all about, and I went to art school for 4 years too. it doesnt matter in what area of the arts - live performance, drawing, dance, sculpting - in my humble opinion these things should be done to generate feelings - good or bad, disgust or excitement, happiness or sadness. the worst thing that can be levelled at any artist is 'no comment', then its irrelevent to them. Even the staunchest criticism beats 'no comment'. For me a large part of it is the peoples reactions, i have a huge interest in human psychology and part of this project is about building a study of how people react when faced with this level of control, of essentially having 2 nude puppets to play with. I am writing journals as I go and intend to produce a study on completion.

patina_paws5 karma

So you don't have a certain reaction that you're trying to provoke? Most of the time in paintings, we have a goal to make the viewer feel a particular way, to translate a message/story/point to them. Is your goal to do something shocking and out there and then try to decipher the meaning from the reaction of the audience? To me I'm mostly left a little confused, also if I was there I would feel a little uncomfortable with your nudity (not too much though cause I'm used to doing a lot of nude figure drawing classes), but I would almost feel like I'm raping you in way, if I were to have control of your body and force you into poses. I wouldn't want to do it. I don't feel like I have the right to control what you or your girlfriend do. I suppose that is a reaction that you're looking for. One that you might be interested in.

nico_dr4 karma

You make a very valid point and I would say that 70-80% of those who come, like you, are indeed reluctant to touch us. Thats absolutely fine with me. There's a prurience that comes from them though as they are happy to watch others and even view the videos. Its interesting the difference between men and women and through the various age groups what kinds of people are happy to get involved and to what extent. Faced with the same situation, i'm not sure how i'd react. Art is organic for me, any idea conceived and allowed to grow can become art. i guess we work from different ways.

patina_paws6 karma

I have to admit that I'm now seeing the psychological intrigue in this. Not in all performance art I've seen, but in this one at least. It helps to have the camera to catch the reactions. As you said you see the difference between men and women and various ages. That can tell you something about a person, it can help decipher differences in gender, generations, etc...

nico_dr4 karma

Absolutely, like i've said i'm very much a thinker and like to study human behaviour. My art is a way of unravelling the world and understanding more about people. Of course there are other reasons for art, and there are other ways to study people. The camera is good, i'm not overly keen on video art but we have offered videos and live links to performances in the past. You're right, it is a great way to document things.

dananapants9 karma

Do you speak at all? When the audience moves you do they tell you where to move or just drag you around?

nico_dr7 karma

I try not to speak, most of them do instruct as they try to move us, it just makes it all a bit easier. Some people do think nothing of just pulling on our legs and arms though, I try to be as amenable to everything as possible

plainoldasshole9 karma

When people are posing you, do you ever get the idea, "I think I know where this is headed"? If so, are you usually right?

nico_dr9 karma

Absolutely, though sometimes its completely random and leftfield. You always sense a reluctance at first to touch me and move me, but I try to make it very easy for people. There are positions that come up every time - foetal, spread angel, spooning with Anna, its amazing just how similar different crowds of people can be - thats one of the great things about watching the vids on this piece

havinalaffe2 karma

I admire your bravery in allowing yourself to be played with like this, kudos to you both. In one of the pictures from the Watershed performance it looks as though your girlfriend is laying across you with your genitals touching each other, are you ever aroused by such positions? Do you ever refuse to pose in any way. Keep up the good work, and keep updating the blog, would love to see more.

nico_dr2 karma

We've never had to refuse anything yet, I'm not sure how we'd handle it is something was completely inappropriate. As for the photo, yes there have been some points in the performances when Anna has been touching my genitals and vice versa, we've been laid side by side with her hand covering my penis and my hand covering her vagina, people have had her sit between my legs with her feet pressed into my groin. And once even in a 69 position - though not really, just made to look that way but Anna's head was nestled between my legs. As its in an art space and a public performance obviously I cannot be seen to get aroused, admittedly its not always easy with some of the poses but I try to keep concentrated and keep my mind off it. Thanks for the comments, keep in touch on the blog

josefjosefjosef8 karma

This is a wonderfully exciting piece, and your pictures and stills provide an excellent account. Can I ask what is the long term plan for this? Whereabouts are you likely to perform? would you perform outdoors?

nico_dr5 karma

long term we're not sure - we've a couple of performances lined up. would love the opportunity to perform outdoors, i know there are a couple festivals we could perhaps latch onto.

watcher_joker7 karma

Firstly I think you and your partner must be very brave to do this, it must take courage to be naked in front of so many people. How did this project come about, had you or your girlfriend done anything similar before?

nico_dr8 karma

we have both worked as life models in the past, Anna has also done various bodypainting projects and also was a dancer with amodern dance troupe so yes we had done nudity before. Nothing as interactive as this before, it did take courage to plan and do it, we did both have our reservations and fears but we both were really excited about it

morphman80s7 karma

Does it not bother you in any way seeing you girlfriend being naked and fondled by other men - even in the context of art

nico_dr7 karma

Not really, I guess I will have a limit but its not been reached thus far- the crowds understand their boundaries

peacelovetree6 karma

This is really neat. What kind of paint is used and How do you clean it all off? Have you ever had any issues from the paint getting into orifices and getting infections?

Also, is everything done in "still life," or are there some installations that involve movement?

nico_dr8 karma

The paints are all face and body paints so they're completely safe. thankfully we've had no issues with infections or anything.The installations are generally still life - mostly owing to the imagination of the crowds, though we have been asked to do certain movemnts - chase each other round the circle, bathe each other with paints or flour so there are some movement pieces within this

indeeds6 karma

So it's true, she went black, and never went back?

nico_dr6 karma

And why would she!

sojadedblond6 karma

Has anyone ever intentionally been a jerk or is everyone pretty respectful? Also, I admire you both as that's something I don't think I'd ever have the courage to do!

nico_dr8 karma

Most people are pretty respectful, I guess its the nature of the places we perform - art galleries, universities etc. we've done a couple of evening events which have had wine involved - this tends to bring out the 'inner idiot' in some people, particularly larger groups of women! but thats all part of the fun, no one has ever crossed the line as far as i'm concerned. Anna too, she's never had any bother. thanks1

fentondell5 karma

People must try to do some crazy things with you, what is the? - most uncomfortable thing - most painful thing - most sexual thing - most amusing thing

nico_dr12 karma

Thanks for the questions most uncomfortable thing? Not too sure, we've been positioned in awkward poses that we are expected to hold. A guy once had Anna literally standing on me, that wasn't especially comfortable! most painful thing? Again not sure, we've never had any problem with this, no one has ever been violent or anything- just the awkward poses I guess Most Sexual thing - Been a few erotic moments I must admit, having a girl sit between my spread legs and paint on my groin was an odd experience, some people posed Anna and me together tangled in each others bodies - that can be quite erotic too. Being tied up and blindfolded i guess is sometimes sexual also. Most Amusing thing - Dunno, I've been left with a bucket over my head,have had strange drawings done on me, i guess some people have weird senses of humour sometimes

plainoldasshole5 karma

Do you think anyone ever gets annoyed when they spend a lot of time painting something intricate on you, your partner, or the canvas, only to have the next person come along and cover it up with powder or a random splash of color? I know that's part of the art of it, but I can't help but feel like if it were me, is be like, "Awww come on dude! I just spent 10 minutes painting that!"

nico_dr8 karma

That happens a lot, and yeah i'm pretty sure some people have been annoyed by it. people will write slogans and all kinds which are generally fairly quickly covered up. There have been some real nice pieces done which deserve a larger timeframe/audience, thats why we always have a camera running

iminthehouse5 karma

Is this really art, or is it a way for you and your girlfriend to enjoy your exhibitionism and/or some other kink?

nico_dr6 karma

It's how people view it, I could easily pass this question onto those who touch us, decorate us, paint us, tie us, position us - are they in it to indulge some kind of sexual desire. For me and Anna, we enjoy our performances - i dont see myself as an exhibitionist tho that has been levied at me before, I am comfortable with being naked and with my girlfriend being naked but I dont get off on that specifically. we have a fairly normal sex life to be honest, and our work never encroaches on it or vice versa.

FrizzelM5 karma


nico_dr2 karma

Certainly never caught anyone doing this, I'm not naive enough to think there's not been the odd person who doesn't get off on what they're doing with us, or even just watching- but that could be said across society, people have some strange kinks about a lot of things

mindmountain4 karma

There is an Italian film called 'The Great Beauty' , I recommend it for you.

nico_dr3 karma

I will look it up, thank you

seyinfu4 karma

How long do you two hold a pose for these pieces?

nico_dr6 karma

The first one we did was 90 minutes, since then its mostly been just 1 hour except for one performance we did 3 hours - wouldn't do that again, its too long.

allymaxc-7 karma


nico_dr8 karma

3 hours was a challenge as we had no breaks in between, itching seems to be such a psychological thing - i never really think about it or worry so it never seems to happen, guaranteed it will next time after this. A rest break would have been apropriate I guess, thankfully we were careful about drinking before as we were a bit concerned about perhaps need to use the restroom. As for arousal, I'm a normal guy with normal urges and I'm very much in love with and attracted to Anna so this can be difficult to overcome. As its a public place its obviously inappropriate for me to have an erection, you just have to keep concentrated. And yes 3 hours can be a long time for this!

cross-eye-bear4 karma

Does it bother you that a porn star could post the exact same title and be just as relevant?

nico_dr3 karma

Not really, I have nothing against porn stars, not my bag but each to their own

Willcutyou4 karma

My inner immature teenager wants to put you guys in to a two person human centipede with Anna being behind you. Does this happen often?

nico_dr2 karma

not exactly, though that would be a challenging one! we actually sat through that movie together a couple of years ago - not really my kind of thing! Thankfully we've never been positioned like that, tho there have been a few naughtyish ones, faux 69ing for example!

ShamelessHipster3 karma

How much money do you make?

nico_dr3 karma


amaruri3 karma

Are you ever positioned suggestively with Anna, if so are you ever turned on by this?

nico_dr2 karma

There have been a few times, we have had our legs entwined with each other several times and been put into spooning and cuddling positions. 2 times stick out though, once a 'joking' 69 position, though there wasn't any real touching, and once with my legs spread and Anna pulled in toward me with her feet resting on my chest. My penis was pretty much in contact with her in this pose, definitely sexually suggestive. It was a little arousing I must admit but I did not get erect if thats what you're asking - wouldn't be appropriate in the context of the performance.

amaruri3 karma

Thanks for the answer, you must have great self control. Was your penis actually touching against her vagina? I don't know how you are able to control an erection in this case. Does Anna find this erotic - do you ask her if she is ever getting aroused?

nico_dr1 karma

You learn to concentrate and keep control, for the record Anna has told me in the past some parts of it are erotic for her - and often she can feel quite turned on. For a girl I guess its easier to let yourself go a little bit, obviously as a guy everyone would tell straight away if I was aroused.

idratherbehigh3 karma

I'll ask the Howard Stern type question - Are you able to make enough money from performance art to sustain you? If so, how much per year?

nico_dr6 karma

At the moment, we both live off art so yes i guess we make enough to get by. We are not wealthy, far from it, and i do not strive for wealth through my work. as for specifics, it varies greatly. I can be paid up to $70 per hour to stand naked for artists, I have sold pieces at auction for anywhere between $20 - $3000, its part of the life i chose. 'd hate to have to take a regular job again- i've had to before, but thankfully not for a few years.

carbonbasedlover3 karma

This is really cool. Please come to memphis! Also, a lot of people seem to be concerned with the erotic nature if the work but I can't help but think how much it must tickle or the silly situations/positions that occur. How often have you or Anna laughed because of this because I know I'd be giggling a lot. I am very ticklish.

nico_dr2 karma

I always find it funny that eroticism is the first thing people fixate on when nudity is involved, it says so much about peoples mentalitly- thats not a criticism just an observation. It can be ticklish at times, more so with some of the props we've used - feathers etc. Anna has ticklish feet, she often flinches when people work on her feet - she's not too reactive tho, just giggles like you say.

carbonbasedlover3 karma

I would kick people involuntarily. You both have amazing control!

nico_dr3 karma

thank you, we try to stay true to the piece, we both have respect for each other and what we're doing, would be funny though!

IamSeth3 karma

Your art is nifty! Thanks for making it happen.

I'd be really interested to hear you guys break down what, to you, is the general meaning and truth behind the performance. What does it mean to you?

nico_dr2 karma

The meaning is an observation of how people react when faced with control, to me it is a beautiful study of people from all walks of life, all ages and lifestyles.

mcrae443 karma

How do you make money?

Who pays for performance art?

What sort of income do you make per year?

Do you supplement your art income with anything else?

nico_dr4 karma

I make enough from art, we are paid by galleries for installations and pieces, I sell work at auctions, I model for drawing classes- it all adds up

minute_made_man3 karma

Is your girlfriend single?

nico_dr3 karma

She used to be

amazongeezer3 karma

Why did you choose to be naked for this, could it not perhaps have worked just as well if you both wore leotards, or at least underwear?

nico_dr12 karma

I think it makes more of a statement if we are both nude, it makes us seem more vulnerable and that control is with the audience. I'm not sure it would be as powerful if we wore leotard or tights or anything like that

g16zz2 karma

Seems to be a lot of pricks in this thread. My buddy does a lot of bodypaint in the Philly/NYC region, and the type of work you bodypainters do is pretty awesome. Ever do zombie paint and gore vfx?

nico_dr6 karma

Does seem to be, part of what I do is designed to provoke as much as stimulate though so I regard a negative response as better than no response at all- its an artist thing! Anyway- I've not done much in the way of professional bodypainting but Anna has done loads - for maketing and poster campaigns and such. She did do a gore type shoot last halloween for a make up company beleive it or not. thanks

turtles_and_frogs2 karma

No questions. I just came here to see the proof. :|

nico_dr2 karma

No probs hope you got what you came for!

amithefirst2 karma

This is some crazy shit, and some of your pictures are wild. I have to admit I find it sexy seeing your girlfriend laying naked and being distroted in various ways by strangers- the pictures where her feet are tied up are great. The sexual element is challenged by you though, and the fact you stay completely soft - not erect. How are you able to distance yourself from this, I would have thought seeing your girlfriend in those circumstances would be enough to turn a man on, never mind being fondled by other women at the same time. I'm not being funny but do you have ED?

nico_dr2 karma

Firstly, no I dont have ED, but thank you for your concern! Anna and I have been together for a few years and have a fairly normal and health sex life. Sorry if it challenges you but we are able to seperate our private lives from our pofessional ones - even this performance. Most artists or actors will tell you the same thing. If I watch back the videos, I guess I can see what you mean, and obviously I do find Anna very attractive, of course some of the moments are sexy but in the context of the whole show thats not what its about. I appreciate what you are saying though about a naked man, clearly not aroused, does provide a visual to people that the performance is not about sex. If I did perform with an erection that would be the main focal and discussion point which neither of us would want- it would completely distract from the piece.

lzrdalgtr2 karma

I wish I found you when I was writing my senior thesis for my BA degree. If you're still answering questions I'd love to chat with you.

nico_dr0 karma


lzrdalgtr3 karma

Well basically I argues two outlets for conveying a message through art: shock and academic approaches. Caroline Schneeman vs Miriam Schapiro (among other examples). Are you familiar with Schneeman's Interior Scroll?

nico_dr1 karma

I am, Scheemann was groundbreaking with some of her work in the 60's Anna , my partner is a big fan - obviously she capture a lot of the spirit of womens liberation. I'm not as familiar with Miriam Schapiro I must admit

lzrdalgtr3 karma

When Schneeman performed that piece she did so in a very controlled environment. If my memory serves me, I believe there were only ab 100/120 people in attendance that were hand selected to be there. Her pieces are generally about breaking down stereotypes and sexual barriers. I felt that by limiting her audience with specific people she was hindering her message. What's your audience demographic? I'm sure it varies and such but from your post I'm thinking maybe it's more so fellow artists and the like minded. If you're tying to change views or open minds I'd think you'd seek out the closed minded...? I do understand that you're coming from a psychological standpoint which I very much appreciate bc at my alma mater there were a number of performance artists that I felt were there to shock you plain and simple, with no intention to make a point or simulate new thought.

nico_dr5 karma

Sorry for the delay, just noticed your post. I must admit I dint realise she was so selective in that way. I guess it does skew the results of her art a bit. Our demographic is pretty varied, I'd say the majority are 18-35 tho a significant number are older. Possibly the more arty/bohemian crowd. I accept there is a shock element to performance art, and sometimes it can overpower or diminish the message or point

Fearlessleader851 karma

One thing i've always wondered about performance art in general: How does it make any money? Who's paying for it?

nico_dr1 karma

Studios and galleries pay to have installations - we've also sold dvd's of preformances and still photos, beleive it or not we also auctioned one of the floor coverings from a show.

Kirahazen1 karma

It looks like you are wearing full body paint. Please tell me you don't use the same container of makeup on your taint as on your face, and if you do that you at least use separate applicators.

nico_dr1 karma

There are a number of different paints, brushes and applicators so little chance of any contamination- not that it would be such a big deal to us in any case. Its not like they are used in any orifices, and we both shower extensively before a performance

theeleventhcommandme-1 karma

What got you into the porno business?

nico_dr4 karma

Not really into to be honest, don't mind a bit of softcore from time to time

allymaxc-1 karma


nico_dr3 karma

At first yes, it is a bit. Its the same in every session - there will always be a time I am laid on my back with something going on around my legs or chest. In that particular performance you are quite right, I think she must have spent 10 minutes or so painting me there, i'm not sure if she found it erotic or not. As its a live art installation and in a public place I am obviously not able to act on this though, and I must try and restrain myself from becoming erect. This is not always easy!

morzowy3 karma

Did you ever have to stop the show cause of your erection? Or did the audience ever picked on that?

nico_dr7 karma

We've never stopped a show no, thankfully i've always managed to control myself even though there have been very erotic or intimate moments. I think the audience have picked up a couple of times that something was perhaps sexually stimulating, and indeed i'm sure a couple of people have tried to provoke me like this.

amazongeezer3 karma

In what ways have people tried to provoke you?

nico_dr4 karma

There have been a few instances of touching at my penis with paintbrushes, sometimes this is relevant to the art people are creating but i'm sure once or twice just to see if they could "fluff" me. Also with tope and ribbons, I had a girl tie a ribbon around my penis at one of the shows - thankfully not too tight! It was all very light touching though.

amithefirst2 karma

Call me crazy, but if girls are clearly focusing attention on your package and hoping for a reaction - surely it would be rude not to oblige? Surely that would be "part of the art". Also, as a man, i don't see how you are able to control yourself to that extent, i can maybe understand being a model but when girls are actually physically touching you surely your body reacts involuntarily?

nico_dr2 karma

Maybe one or two have expected in the past but like i've said in other responses it cant be about sex for the Anna and myself. If either of us show we are aroused - and obviously for myself this means getting an erection, it completely detracts from the piece. the focus and memory for people becomes -"remember that guy who had an erection", to be true to the piece I have to stay flaccid, it takes concentration at times but it is possible

iia-1 karma

Would you rather your girlfriend be artfully ravaged by a single horse-sized duck or a hundred duck-sized horses? Serious reply only, please.

nico_dr7 karma

i've heard this question before - was it in family guy?!? Cant speak for Anna but for me I'd rather the duck sized horses - that would be funnier, the big duck would be too scary and potentially lethal with its bill!

MrQuestionz-3 karma

How do you convince yourself your little more than strippers selling sex, and do you honestly believe people view your performances for anything other than a cheap thrill.

I have a simple theory "if your selling sex, your a prostitute"

nico_dr2 karma

Fairly simple really, we are not selling sex, people make a leap from nudity to sex which isn't necessarily there. In any case I have no issue with those who choose to be prostitutes, who am I to judge

TJBAM-14 karma

I'm sorry I just can't help but think to myself HOW IS THIS ART and what the fuck kind of people would be entertained or stimulated to engage in deep thought or introspection by kicking around a couple of naked bodies?? This is so funny.

nico_dr10 karma

Hey art is subjective - some people may find your response artistic. I see it as an art study, and a window into the psychology of people.

TJBAM-17 karma

I appreciate your calm response. I'd like to fuck your girlfriend and spell out SLUT on her stomach with the huge amount of cum that my thick olive cock squirts out. Everyone's idea of art is different I guess, that's mine.

nico_dr15 karma

i bet you would, sadly you'll never get the chance. ah well, guess you'll just have to die a virgin!

Super_Ozz7 karma

You are awesome! As a fellow artist i know how hard it is to stay zen when dicks like this try to get in your face. Your concept and courage are inspiring! Stick with it my friend.

nico_dr3 karma

thank you!