When I was a kid in high school, my art teacher Mrs. Barker used to tell me my drawings were a bit juvenile. She was 100% right. But I was 15 or 16; I was juvenile. I’d sit up the back of class ignoring her when she talked of Egon Schiele, Brett Whiteley or Russell Drysdale. Being content that I was pissing her off by drawing Gandalf, Kaneda or the cover of Metal Gear Solid. I’ve never been good with authority and if you command me to do something I’ll usually do the opposite, often to my detriment. Alas I’ve never grown out of that.
But, despite the lowbrow nature of all that nerdy stuff, it taught me draughtsmanship, anatomy, composition, lighting and texture. Without learning those basics I would never tried more abstract forms of art. I needed to feel comfortable and build my confidence before journeying into the unknown. Plus, because I have those skills it’s meant I can actually make money from different forms of art like illustration, tattooing and art direction. Fields where the clientele are more comfortable paying for things they know rather than brain explosions “that look like a five year old did it”.
My college teachers were a little more tactful in their approach and guidance and that helped my tastes evolve. (Thanks Mister Edwards!) They tried to understand my antagonistic nature and introduced me to the violent explosions of Basquiat and the terrifying visions of Francis Bacon. Not to mention graphic designers and typographers like Neville Brody and David Carson. Oh man, when I saw a magazine spread designed by Carson where he purposely made the entire body copy of the article unreadable I freaked the fuck out. What an awesome punk rock ‘fuck you’. I loved that. Although I’m sure the poor writer didn’t. All that stuff opened the flood gates for me to enjoy all the types of art I’d once ridiculed. I discovered Picasso could actually draw, he was just a fucking badass rebel.
I imagine Mrs. Barker and I probably enjoy similar sorts of art now and her heart was in the right place back then. Although it’s only now, 20 years later that I feel comfortable even attempting the sort of art that I would have sneered at in my youth.
Anywhoo, I’m not sure what the moral of this spiel is (empathy? you can’t teach rebellious little shits about art?), but I found a bunch of drawings from that high school era and they made me think. Plus it’s the internet, and having a goddamn rant on the internet is what its there for right?
As you were.
Also, I’ll be having an exhibition in a couple weeks, and if you’re in Sydney and not there pretending you like what you see, you’re unfriended. #art #rant
Aaron Cometbus/Cometbus zine. Against Me!. Al Burian/Burn Collector zine. Alkaline Trio. The Alley. American Skin. The Ama-Dots. Anarchopunk. Anna Joy Springer.
Ballistic Biscuit. bandanas. Beastie Boys. being a punk in the small-town midwest. being a punk parent. bike punks (The Rat Patrol). Bikini Kill. Blatz (the band). Blue Meanies. body modification (tattoos/stick&poke tattoos/Germs burns/piercings). Boris the Sprinkler. The Broadways. The Bridgehouse. Bruce Springsteen.
cassette tapes. The Casualties/The Devotchkas. Chicago zinesters (circa the early ‘00s). circus punk. The Clash. cheap beer. Christian punk. cigarettes. Cindy Crabb/Doris zine. Club ?. coffee. The Concert Cafe. “Cool caveman music with a fuck you attitude” (Urban Dictionary). Crack Rock Steady (Leftover Crack/Chocking Victim/Morning Glory/Star Fucking Hipsters/Stza). The Cramps. Crimethinc. Cristy Road. Crosses. crust punk. cultural appropriation (dreadlocks, mohawks, etc.).
The Damned. dance punk/electropunk. Daphne Gottlieb. Daycare Swindlers. The Dead Milkmen. Death (the band). the death of punk. Delilah’s. “Depression is just rage turned inward.” Dillinger Four. Dischord Records. The Distillers. DIY. The Dolts. drinking underage at shows. dumpster diving.
The Effigies. elitism. Elvis Costello. emo. Erick Lyle/Scam zine.
The Fireside Bowl. flipping off cops. Flowers in the Dustbin. flyers and other ephemera. folk punk. Food Not Bombs. Francesca Lia block. fuck you punk rock. Fuel Cafe.
The GC5. gender (should I even mention it was a girl band?). The Germs. goofpunx (The Taxpayers). goth. graffiti/wheat paste. Green Day. grunge. The Gun Club.
hedgecore. Henry Rollins. homophobia. “house punx.”
“I don’t need no booze or drugs” vs. “The world is so much better when you’re drunk.” “I Turned Out A Punk.” “I wear eyeliner to make myself more sympathetic to my fans” (Mike Ness/Social Distortion). Iggy Pop/Iggy and the Stooges. Irish punk.
Jawbreaker. Jim Jarmusch (Permanent Vacation). Joey Alone. “just another chick bass player” (Kira Roessler, Toni Young, et. al.).
Kat Case. Kathy Acker. Kenocore. Kick A Trendy Girl’s Ass. The Kokomo Caffe.
Ladyfest. Lester Bangs. “Let’s party” vs. “Let’s try to change the world.” Lifter Puller (and the Hold Steady). living in a punk house. Lookout Records. Lou Reed. Luc Sante (“a youth spent dancing around fire”). Lydia Lunch.
Maximum Rocknroll. The MC5. Michelle Tea. Midnight Creeps. Mike Brodie. misogyny. mix tapes. The Modern Lovers. The Monorchid. The Mr. T Experience. mythpunk.
Naked Raygun. Nation of Ulysses. Nick Cave. no wave. noise. nostalgia.
One Punk, Two Punk, Red Punk, Blue Punk. Operation Ivy. orgcore.
Patti Smith. Philly Shreds. Pinhead Gunpowder. The Pogues. pop punk vs. nihilism. The Port. posers & hipsters & sellouts. Profane Existence. psychobilly/country punk. punk as identity. “Punk Broke (My Heart).” punk cabaret. punk comix. punk dancing. punk fashion. punk fests. punk films (punxploitation films). punk jackets and vests. punk lit. Punk Planet. punk rock names. Punkin’ Donuts. punks turn country/folk (Tim Barry, et. al.).
queercore. The Queers.
racism. radio. Ramones. Ramones = haiku or short story, New York Dolls = pulp novel, Television = epic novel. Ramonescore. Razorcake. reggae. The Replacements. Riot Grrrl. Rites of Spring. romanticizing analog things. romanticizing obscurity. The Rotten Fruits.
safety pins. Sarah McCarry. scabies. Screeching Weasel. self-destruction. self-mythologizing. Sister Safety Pin. Sid and Nancy. silly haircuts/styles. Situationism. ska. skinheads. Sleater-Kinney. The Slits. Sonic Youth. starting a band. street punk. Swampy. sXe.
Tales of a Punk Rock Nothing. Tank Girl. Tattooed Moms. Thick Records. Times Square. Tom Waits. The Tossers. train hopping. typewriters.
various aesthetics. veganism vs. leather jackets. Violent Femmes.
Wally Hairstyle. West Chester Rock City (“Two Days Ago I Turned Punk Rock”). what is punk?. whimsycore/cheesecore/Hughescore. Wisconsin and Chicago-area bands. Woody Guthrie. The World/Inferno Friendship Society.
X (“The Unheard Music”). Xerox art.
The Year Punk Broke. The Young Ones. yummy yummy punk rock girls.
After I read Nicholas Rombes’ A Cultural Dictionary of Punk, I made this list of everything I would write about if I were writing my own version of that book - either stuff that he didn’t write about, or stuff that he did but that I would have a different perspective on. Many of these things are mentioned, at least in passing, in some story or other that’s appearing in What We Talk About When We Talk About Punk, though not all.
make up + awesome punk artists as inspiration + camera = TONS OF FUN.
my pictures are inspired by badass punk lady brody dalle and eli chose the amazing siouxsie sioux (whose name i still have to google). eli came up with the idea of portraying women in punk in the first place and we might even make a series out of this (covering different time periods e.g. old hollywood, 70′s hippies and more).