Entertainment » Fine Arts

Brit Art Student’s ’Virginity Losing’ Art Show an April Fool’s Hoax

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Friday Apr 4, 2014

Last October, a gay art student from London made headlines when he announced he going to lose his virginity in an upcoming art show. But it was revealed this week his performance was just an elaborate April Fool's joke.

Clayton Pette, 19, who attends the prestigious Central Saint Martin's College of Arts in Design in London, said he planed to have sex in front of a crowd of 500 to 100 people in January, for an art project called "Art School Stole My Virginity." He claimed that he had planed the event for years and that he and his partner will have sex before holding a Q&A session with the audience.

"The key thing about performance art is that it should only be performed once, and this is the ultimate once-in-a-lifetime performance," Pette told Britain newspaper the Daily Star last year. "I've held on to my virginity for 19 years, and I'm not throwing it away lightly. Basically, it's like I am losing the stigma around virginity.

"I want the audience to see if anything has changed between me and my partner," he continued. "Since culturally we do hold quite a lot of value to the idea of virginity I have decided to use mine and the loss of it to create a piece that I think will stimulate interesting debate and questions regarding the subject."

According to Gay Star News, however, the entire performance was just a hoax for April Fool's.

Though the show was originally scheduled for Jan. 25, the performance apparently took place on April 1 and many guests were surprised to learn that the student was pulling a fast one on them.

The performance started with a topless woman and three topless men marching while holding a sign that read "ANAL VIRGIN." Pettet appeared in black pants and had the words "NSFW" and "TEEN WHORE" on written on his body and he scrubbed them off until his skin went red. One of the men then grabbed him and cut his hair and a woman smeared black paint on his mouth.

Zing Tzjen, a writer for Dazed Digital who attended the event, said the show was "weird." Tzjen added she was taken to a "penetration booth" where she could see Pettet in his pants next to two piles of bananas.

"I am your anal virgin. "You are my partner. Pick up a banana," the teen reportedly said.

Tzjen said she freaked out and that "penetrating a 19-year-old was not on my to-do list tonight, even if it’s a piece of fruit."

The student took the banana out of the writer’s hand, snapped it in half and told her to leave.

Tzjen asked the teen if he was ever going to have sex on stage.

"No. I’ve always said I didn’t believe in virginity, so it kind of defeats the point if I’d actually lost my virginity for my art show! It was always about me stealing the word ’virginity’, rather than having it stolen from me," Pettet told Tzjen. "That’s why I pushed the date back about 75 times. Because of the press the piece got, galleries assumed I was going to trick them and do what everyone thought I was going to do. But I’m not going to give what everyone wants, it’s not the point."

Pettet said he is still a virgin and that he "will never have sex. My art is my sexuality."

GSN reports that another audience member said the show was the "finest showcase of media and PR hype as art, a comment on modern day humanity."

"It was a ploy which is in essence a huge commentary on society on their obsession with sex and virginity," the audience member added. "It was an exhibition within an exhibition, played out within the exhibition. It would have been so anticlimactic had Clayton just been fucked on stage, the void of this was so much more."

The said it was the biggest "’fuck you’ and rebellion against the world’s expectations."

You can read Tzjen’s report, which includes (NSFW) photos of the event, here.


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