Inspired by Yukio Mishima, Derek Jarman, the paintings of St. Irene tending the body of Sebastian, and the resurrection myth. The attributes: he is prayed to in times of plague. Always depicted as an object of desire, it is likely that the myth of the arrows were added for composition. According to Dr. Sarah Wilson, the paintings would have been seen as “saucy, if not salacious” in the context of their time.
I began publicly staging myself as the martyrdom of St. Sebastian in the early ’90s, at club Fuck in Silver Lake, at an ACTUP benefit in Hollywood, then in 1992’s Martyrs & Saints at LACE. Then onto other bodies: Pigpen in 4 Scenes in a Harsh Life (1994-6); 1999 Sebastian Suspended with Darrly Carlton (AKA divinity fudge); St/Sebastian/50 with Jon John in Lyon, France, 2013; and Sebastiane, performed at the HammerMuseum 2014 and Coronet Theatre London 2015.