Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Punk In A Funk

Back in the original punk rock era, late 1970's to early 1980's was the first time my art work received serious attention. I was in my early twenties and attending the San Francisco Art Institute. There was a lot of bad boy art in those days and I was a part of it.

At the time my work was mostly sculpture.The materials I used were wood, plaster, paint, glass, and found objects. The majority of these pieces were assemblages presented as bas-reliefs, but sometimes they were room installations with recorded sounds.

My influences were Dada, (which historically can be looked at as the "punk movement" that occurred right after World War One), Max Ernst, Jim Nutt, and H.C. Westermann. Although my craftsmanship (inability) was far less refined than theirs.

I listened to the advice of Sam Tchakalian, a great bay area painter, and made my liabilities my strengths. The work became more and more savage and rough, and it got attention.

I worked like a whirlwind and and cranked out a large body of this stuff. I showed various pieces of this work in group shows and in one man shows at ArtSpace, The Compound, Diego Rivera Gallery, and Project Artaud.

Henry T. Hopkins, director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art gave me an award for one of these pieces that was in an exhibition at Emmanuel Walter Gallery.
The piece was stolen from the show the next day. I never photographed it, I didn't try to find it, and I have no idea where it wound up.

Some of this work was sold to collectors. In the spirit of the times I destroyed all unsold work.

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