Underneath the Skin is a dance-theater work by renowned performance artist John Kelly. This work for four performers is based on the fantastical life of Samuel Steward (1909-1993), a gay novelist, tattoo artist, author of erotic fiction, and unabashed sexual adventurer, who lived a bold life pursuing his physical and erotic desires through his art.
This performance contains nudity, graphic images and mature themes; it is appropriate for ages 18+ only.
Photo (top) by Josef Astor
Photos (below) by Albie Mitchell
John Kelly is a performance and visual artist. His character-driven performance works stem from autobiographical, cultural, and political issues, the challenges faced by social outsiders, and the nature of creative genius. Kelly’s works have received 2 Bessie Awards, 2 Obie Awards, 2 NEA American Masterpiece Awards, a CalArts/Alpert Award, a Visual AIDS Vanguard Award, the Ethyl Eichelberger Award, and a Mabou Mines ‘Ruthie’ Award.
This piece was originally commissioned by and performed at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in 2019, with support from New York State Council on the Arts. The production expenses at La MaMa are supported by the Marta Heflin Foundation.