Thanks also to Larry Flynt, for showing us the clitoris. Who would ever have guessed where it was without him?
Well, wait. Some people don't see anything wrong with using embroidery to create textured, two-dimensional images, and others suspect that your scarf-knitting grandma had located the pea in her pod's latitude and longitude long before your grandpa began exploring with his handy Hustler map.
Jennifer Boe might not say all of that, but the handkerchiefs she embroiders inspire interesting connections among grannies, clit-ticklin' and salami-spankin'. Of the thirty pieces Boe submitted to the Late Show, fifteen depict either lesbian sex scenes or girls pleasuring themselves, and the other fifteen depict either boys beating off or gay sex scenes. They're pretty graphic. OK, really graphic. Pornographic.
Boe learned to embroider from her own grandmothers. "The first cross-stitch I did was a pattern of a house," she recalls. She didn't tell her grandmothers about her most recent project. Her mother, who asked what her daughter had been embroidering, got an earful. "I was like, 'Um, uh, gay porn.'"
The inspiration? "Homosexuality is becoming a household kind of thing," she says. "Domesticated, I guess. You see it on TV and stuff now." Boe took it the next step, from your parents' house to your grandparents' house.
As for Boe's own fantasies, the part of this work that addresses those is not the sex but the needlepoint. She started out as a painter and switched mediums out of boredom. "When I get dissatisfied, I always start fantasizing and daydreaming, so I started fantasizing about being a different kind of artist. That other person was always embroidering. I started getting really jealous, and finally it dawned on me that this other artist was me."