anal retentive

London Artist John Bingham Says “Art School Virgin” Clayton Pettet Is Not A Virgin: “We Slept Together Weeks Ago”

clayton-pettet-john-binghamDue to popular demand and the global media hype that surrounded his performance art piece Art School Stole My Virginity, London-based artist Clayton Pettet will be hosting a public exhibition to display paintings, film and sculpture from the original performance, which happened today at The Orange Dot Gallery in London.

Back in October, Pettet announced that as part of the piece, he would be anally penetrated for the first time in front of an audience to “stimulate interesting debate and questions regarding the subject.”

Last month, another London artist named John Bingham claimed to have inspired Pettet’s idea, revealing that the two had met years before and discussed the idea that would eventually spawn into an artist’s duel of sorts.

A week later, Bingham, who identifies as bisexual, announced that he would hold a similar performance on the same day as Pettet, titled Art School Stole My Sexuality, in which he would be penetrated by both a male and female in front of a live audience that included his parents. He told Queerty that he sought to “unravel the foreskin of our psychosexual limitations.”

Today, Bingham announced in a statement that his performance had been cancelled, because the “outrageous, pornographic and self-abusive performance” would not benefit his career as an artist.

Furthermore, he reveals that the basis of Pettet’s performance is flawed, as the two artists slept together ahead of their dueling performances two weeks ago. “I wan’t nothing to do with him,” Bingham tells Queerty.

“It’s porn, it’s not art, he’s abusing himself and making a fool of himself at the same time,” Bingham says. “I won’t be attending or buying any of his paintings.”

Bingham’s statement in full:

unnamed (2)After consideration, I will no longer be going ahead with my Performance Art School Stole My Sexuality on Wednesday the 2nd of April. After meeting with tutors at UAL to discuss plans, I have been well supported and advised that it would benefit my career as an artist, not to go through with such an outrageous, pornographic and self-abusive performance. Sex and ‘losing virginity’ in public is not art. As a conceptual artist I feel that the anticipation of the performance has become more interesting than the performance itself. I will now focus on realising stronger conceptual ideas and look forward to sharing these with you in the near future. I will be showing an installation of the documents relating to the unrealised performance in May 2014.


John Bingham

John Bingham photos by Benjamin Whitley

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  • Billy Budd

    These guys are insane in their thirst for publicity.

  • redcarpet

    Oh my god I would be so much happier if this whole thing/fiasco wasn’t in my brain.

    Gah, go away both of you.

  • drivendervish

    I commented last week that it wasn’t art and I was able to figure that out without the help of my tutors! It seems totally disingenuous that not only is he not going ahead with the project but he trashes it so strongly as pornographic, outrageous and self-abusive. Sounds more like he’s throwing shade on Clayton who apparently came through on his commitment. Then he tells the world he penetrated Clayton and now wants nothing to do with him less than two weeks later!! Clayton knew that John was mad that he stole his idea/concept so it seems very unlikely that he would give it up to the guy. There is something going on here that we don’t know the full story.

  • NG22

    I like art, but I find artists insufferable. I much prefer them after they’ve died and we’re able to evaluate their work without having to deal with their eccentricities, lunacies, or addictions.

  • ingyaom

    Maybe it’s all part of the performance. Art school didn’t steal his virginity, but maybe an artist did.

  • Kieran

    Party pooper.

  • Ridpathos

    “Sex and ‘losing virginity’ in public is not art.”

    THANK YOU. Someone finally said it!

  • asby

    This is coming off like two queens who dated and had a bad break up….where is Johnny Weir involved in this?

  • Tookietookie123

    Next time I get caught watching porn, I’ll just say I was watching an art video.

  • Ben Dover

    @Ridpathos: Maybe we can get Lady Gaga to vomit on them.

    Or we could get Damian Hirst to cut them in half and pickle them in formaldehyde.

    I’m told that both of those things are considered art.

  • DonW

    I would like to announce that I have never in my life defecated and will be taking a public dump on the steps of the Tate Modern on May 1. The resulting art will be auctioned to the highest bidder.

  • inbama

    Art school sure ain’t what it used to be.

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