“Double Poke Black” by Nicola Kuperus. Image courtesy of the artist and Simone DeSousa Gallery
DETROIT — Intimacy is often falsely billed as romantic. While romance has a tendency to smooth the rough edges of reality, leaving everything with a mystic sheen of beauty, intimacy, by contrast, brings you so close to another being that you start to see past their pretenses, their best efforts, their shiny exterior. Intimacy is bodily, in ways that are sexy and ways that are definitely not sexy.
Conceptual artists Nicola Kuperus and Adam Lee Miller know a thing or two about intimacy. They have been married for 17 years, and working together for nearly 20, via their band ADULT. and as visual artists who are forced to collaborate by sheer proximity, though their interests are mutual. Discreet Vulgarities, at the Simone DeSousa Gallery, might be seen as a two-person show — or it might be seen as two variations on a common theme that has been developing within this unified pair. Like a true married couple, Kuperus and Miller work by finishing each other’s thoughts — both conversationally and artistically — resulting in two bodies of work that are quite individuated in some ways, and overlapping in others.