April Flores: Glamazon at Large
April Flores is not your average adult film star. In an industry whose bread and butter comes from repackaging women with the same slim bodies, bleach jobs, and silicone tits, April has succeeded just by being herself—an unrepentantly voluptuous woman with big, robust curves. Actually, let’s ditch euphemism entirely for a moment: April Flores is fat. And her fans love her not in spite of that, but because of it. “Fatty D,” as she calls herself on her blog, is a living reminder that there’s more than one way to be hot. Fans have responded to that message with resounding enthusiasm. When she appeared on the cover of fetish magazine Bizarre in 2008, it was their biggest seller of the year. And as part of the Good Vibrations Independent Erotic Film Festival, April is again going to show off her trademark blend of creativity and eroticism. On September 16, Good Vibrations and Grrl Toyz will celebrate the launch of April’s new video, Glamazons, the third in a series directed by her husband Carlos Batts. But in addition to launching the video, the event features an exhibit of her Love Toy Art Show, in which sixteen artists from Los Angeles and San Francisco including Coop, Jim Mahfood, Carol Queen, Zak Smith, and Robert Lawrence designed art projects using plaster molds of a cyberskin sex toy cast from April’s vulva.
A lot of porn stars have had sex toys made from their body parts. Actually, it’s almost de rigeur if you want to be "somebody" in the adult industry. But the fact that April and Carlos saw casting her pussy into silicone as a creative opportunity says volumes about why she’s so unique as a performer and model. “The cool thing about this show is that it’s an unusual format in which to explore issues such as beauty, sexuality, pleasure toys, and art,” April says. “The art that came from this idea was truly amazing. All of the pieces were very colorful, and had a slight sense of humor. For example, Jim Mahfood turned the toy cast upside down and created a face with gold teeth. Misha painted the labia as a Virgin Mary, adding the ideas of religion and its influence on sex to her piece.”
One of the frustrations that many people have with the way that women’s sexuality is portrayed in the media—either adult or mainstream—is that it’s not uncommon to look at pictures of sixteen different women and see more or less the same image repeated sixteen times. The Love Toy Art Show turns that on its head: sixteen artists looked at one woman’s pussy and came back with sixteen uniquely colorful and whimsical visions. One of the classic criticisms of pornography has always been the claim that it portrays women as passive objects. No one could claim that about the artworks in April’s show; they bring her vulva brilliantly, vibrantly alive.
For those who want to take a little bit of April home with them, both the April Flores Voluptuous Love Toy and the DVD of Glamazons will be available for purchase. Glamazons is part of a documentary series directed by Carlos Batts which started with Alter Ego and continued with Voluptuous Life. Of the series, April says, “It’s an extension of the photography we had created during the first four years of our relationship. We shot so much, all the time, and we began to use another medium to help document the speed at which we recorded our lives. We wanted to try to document our lives for artistic reasons and the video camera became a natural extension of the art.” April’s co-star Ruby Violence is also going to be at the Polk Street Good Vibes to help kick off the movie, which April says “completes the triptych of an authentic sexual reality.” All the evidence shows that any reality, sexual or otherwise, is greatly improved by April Flores’s presence.
April Flores's Love Toy Art Exhibit at
Los Angeles's La Luz de Jesus Gallery