In a small back room, the most noted artist here is possibly the least interesting—oh, except for Boob Job Barbie. Arthur Tress has been showing for years; he's all important and shit. But his photos of young and old gay men, usually nude, are mostly kind of silly. There are exceptions: Dinner Party, which is a young naked guy laid out as the feast on a table, reminded me of Eating Raoul, so I have to give it points for that, and of Judy Chicago's much-maligned happy clams, so I have to give it points for that, too. And Wounded Soldier (his wee-wee is bandaged) and University Tutorial (a creepy, ugly, pervy professor is about to get down with his hot, bespectacled student) are funny, too. As for the rest of Tress' renown, though, I can only shrug: in terms of creativity, his poses and fantasies rank somewhat below the sailors and buff cops (nightsticks at the ready) of Tom of Finland, and in terms of sensuality, they're way less sexy than the smoothly lit boys of Queer As Folk when they boogie in the butt. But they're nicely lensed. Perv!
"Beefcake/Cheesecake: Sex, Flesh, Money and Dreams" at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, 117 N. Sycamore, Santa Ana, (714) 667-1517. Open Wed.-Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; and by appt. Through Sept. 30. Free.