Press Release: September 2009
Brooklyn's Own “Starving Artist's Guide” to combine Safe Sex with Art
Brooklyn's own “Starving Artists Guide,” a website created by musician-writer Johnny Sanford, plans to create a bridge between free condoms and art this fall. His Condom-Catcher contest, which is open to anyone that considers themselves a starving artist, will be aimed at straphangers on the subway and buses alike. “The plan is to have artists from around New York City create cardboard cut-out condom dispensers,” Johnny said. “I like the idea of cardboard because it is so disposable, just like a condom. If police take them down, so what?” The condom-dispensers will be put up with zip ties around bus stop signs and in subway stations. The designs will be uncensored and limited only by the artists imagination. Johnny did make it clear that he would put them high enough so that children cannot get to them. One dispenser that recent transplant Laura Worrick designed is aptly titled the “Partysaurus Squid.” (see picture) The tentacles of the squid come up into a box-like holder that is perfect for placing a handful of condoms.
“I got the idea from a friend who had a bunch of condoms in a cardboard bowl on her coffee table,” Johnny recalls. “I liked the idea, and when I approached the city's AIDS prevention council, they were happy to give me 1000 condoms, no questions asked. I handed her a business card and she handed me a big bag of NYC condoms for free.”
Today marks the start of the contest, which isn't really a contest at all. “The aim is to get people who don't have condoms a free condom, and add a little bit of theater and creativity to it,” Artist and frequent collaborator with starvingartistsguide.com Sean Kenealy reported. Loyal fans and artists alike plan to put up the condom dispensers on Halloween night.
“I really hope people take to the idea. It's kinda subversive, but also pretty fun,” Johnny said, wryly adding, “If artists don't like the idea, I've got a lot of unused condoms to get rid of.”
So, get out a piece of cardboard and a box cutter, folks. Artists interested in participating in the contest can email firstname.lastname@example.org in order to get a handful of condoms and a free gift for helping the initiative. “The Starving Artists Guide To New York City,” a book written by Johnny after 2 ½ years of experience in living on the edge of poverty and aimed at helping today's starving artists, comedians and musicians get gigs and a slew of other helpful resources as well is scheduled for a release with self-publisher lulu.com on Oct. 31st, 2009. More information about the book and contest can be found at www.starvingartistsguide.com.