The art issue of West, the Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine featured a piece on performance artist, Ron Athey by Kateri Butler.
Athey's art, which many find repulsive, is a combination of theater and self-abuse. Most notably, a performance in 1994 at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, which in part was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, led to a Republican Inquisition and a nearly complete meltdown of funding for arts in America.
An excerpt from the article:
"Ron is fearless in his work. The only true darkness is that which comes out of the hidden and misunderstood. He doesn't flinch. Oh, but I do. Especially when I see him the day after a performance, blotches of yellow and purple where hooks had pulled his face into a garish mask, or barely formed scabs where he had cut himself. I admit I'm one of those people who shivers and turns away during such scenes—yet one of the most powerful parts of a Ron Athey performance is the collective physical reaction that sizzles through the audience when he impales himself on a Judas cradle, say, or teases a rope of pearls out of his ass. Which is critically acclaimed, by the way. "Ron Athey's asshole," Amelia Jones declares in the spring issue of TDR: The Drama Review, "has its own place in the history of contemporary performance art."