Ron Athey is an American performance artist associated with body art and with extreme performance art. He has a talent for finding the borderline between horror and desire and for harnessing the fear/curiosity paradox and our innate morbidity. It is an ability borne out of the contrast in his own life: a polarisation of strict fundamentalist childhood and reckless abandon in adulthood. Athey’s work explores challenging subjects like the relationships between desire, sexuality, and traumatic experience. Many of his works include aspects of S&M in order to confront preconceived ideas about the body in relation to masculinity and religious iconography.