Wednesday, March 21, 2007

R. Crumb

I see that YBCA just opened a show of R. Crumb. Fecal Face has some great photos of the opening and an account by Joy on the show.

While not someone who has read every ZAP comic, I am more than familiar with his work. My mom worked right next to what would be the west coasts’ longest-running head shop and by the age of 16, I was working there. You might say that for a short time, I was surrounded by Crumb. Everywhere I looked – posters, books, comics. The only X rated film I have ever even seen in its entirety is Fritz the Cat. I swear I even knew guys who looked just like Keep On Truckin’ guy.

So when I moved into an illegal sublet in NYC in the 80s and found this (hand painted and signed) R.Crumb in the closet, I knew just what I had. Still, it was almost 20 years before I would frame it and proudly display it, because I was always afraid someone would come back for it! But since I wrote about it on my old diary and no one came running after me, I figure by now it’s really mine.

And it is in so many ways the perfect Crumb for me – for I was a makeup artist for over a decade, giving people all kinds of makeovers. And what’s more, I was also part of the initial “New Wave’, so this piece really covers a lot of bases. - One thing that really strikes me about this work is just how prophetic it is, for not a lot of folks were looking like this in 1983, but the look definitely spread.

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