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LAist Interview: Jim Wirt, aka, Gay Bigfoot

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Jim Wirt is a St. Louis native living in LA, but most people know him as Gay Bigfoot. The 42-year-old North Hollywood resident moved out to Los Angeles in 1996 and is a local artist who recently found himself in the middle of some online censorship when he tried to get one of his pieces printed on a t-shirt. Here's his story...

You're an artist, you had some art you wanted to put on a t-shirt, you went to Cafe Press and then what happened?

I did a painting for a recent show at World of Wonder called Dead at 21, celebrating the life of Andy Warhol.

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Thairin Smothers (one of the co-curators of the show) called me a few days after the show opening saying folks were wondering if I was going to make the image into shirts, so I figured the easiest thing to do would be to put the image up on Cafepress.com. Well, a few hours after putting the image up it was removed because they said it was 'sexual in nature'. [Editor's Note: The painting in questions is below the jump. It is slightly NSFW]

Then you went to another Cafe Press like site, what happened there? Same thing?

Yes, after Cafepress.com rejected my image I put the image up on Zazzle.com (another print on demand shop), and they removed the image as well because they thought it was a real Andy Warhol print! When I proved to them that it wasn't by showing the elements I used to create it they changed their tune and said it was removed because it was 'offensive and sexually explicit'.

So the t-shirts finally came in, how did that finally happen?

In the past I've had shirts printed through my friend Michelle's company Angrygirl.org in Tarzana. They are available through World of Wonder Storefront Gallery (located at 6650 Hollywood Blvd.), and I plan to try and get them in various stores on Melrose and in West Hollywood.