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Sean O'Meallie sculpts brightly colored wooden butts to show diversity and universal similarities

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Nobody's perfect — everyone's got a crack in their ass. Local artist Sean O'Meallie has one too. But it's not his — or anyone's in particular — that he's putting on display at his upcoming Modbo show, a selection of whimsical, brightly painted wooden sculptures. One series of sculptures depicts realistic human buttholes, painted in vivid colors and patterns, with a glossy finish.

"I'm not too familiar with buttholes, and not as familiar with my own as I should be," he says. He did extensive research — more than he'd like to remember, he says — into the similarities and differences in that part of human anatomy before designing and hand-carving a series of original anuses, each presented in the center of a flat, square piece, sans any other anatomical features.

COURTESY SEAN O'MEALLIE
  • Courtesy Sean O'Meallie

"The idea for the anus [piece] follows a logical course for me," he explains. "I've long sculpted things that people don't think of as sculptable, like balloons."

COURTESY SEAN O'MEALLIE
  • Courtesy Sean O'Meallie

He's not just sculpting butts for the show. One of his pieces is a take on the sun that swaps its radial rays for whimsical forms that make obvious his past as an inventor of toys.

"I'm trying to suggest that everyone has something at stake in the state of things and there is value in including differences," he says. "By making pleasingly photogenic artworks and adding a level of playful kindness of wit, I would like to suggest we can pursue better outcomes than those facing us... We are all in the same boat."

There is one anus sculpture that stands apart, though, his sole piece of directly expressionistic art: "Grand Poobah, a.k.a. Golden Dichotomy." This puffy pucker gets a golden finish, presented in an exorbitant gold and silver frame much larger than the carving. But for its pretension, it's still just a butthole.

COURTESY SEAN O'MEALLIE
  • Courtesy Sean O'Meallie

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