All posts in exhibits

Tomata du Plenty : backstage at Hinckley’s



Who remembers the shows at Hinckley’s on Polk St?
Hinckley’s was an infamous gay bar opened in 1972 by twin sisters Lorain and Roberta Hinckley at 1111 Polk Street in San Francisco. Quickly, the club became a regular weekend hotspot during the disco craze. In the late 70s, they began letting local new wave bands play weeknights and immediately these shows became popular with the punters. Many bands had their SF debuts there, including Mary Monday, Leila & the Snakes, IceCreamers, The Don’ts, Minivans, the Avengers, the Mute Ants, Snuky Tate, Eggs!, and the Mole Persons. MCs Neil Hamburger and Dirk Dirksen tested out their new material between bands. Eventually, neighborhood noise complaints, continuous plumbing problems, and underage drinking caused the landlord to stop the punk shows in 1980. By then the Fab Mab had taken over as punk Mecca in the city. And Hinckley’s faded into the shadowy meat market of lower Polk.

In April I recreated the club and backstage for one night at the SF Art Institute’s 2017 Gala. It included a whiskey bar, live bands, art-filled backstage, and cheesy “hospitality table” which the well-heeled patrons gobbled up. The five portraits of Tomata I painted over collage and were snapped up by buyers soon after the show. Here’s a closer look at the Tomata’s Orange, Blue, Cherry, Green, and PurpleRare footage of the bands playing Hinckley’s. I meant to sing four songs in each set, but a flu-from-Hell trashed my voice and Mia Frightwig came to the rescue. All walls (skulls and flyer paintings), as well as the graffiti sofa, are available for purchase. Please contact Penelope with questions.

The installation and event took place on April 29th, 2017 in Studio 8 (the filmmaking studio) at SFAI. Pics below and in the SF Chronicle.

Other alumni artists creating “art bars” installations included Bonanza: Conrad Guevara, Lindsay Tully(MFA 2013), and Lana Williams;  David Best;Katie Bush,  David Janesko and Adam DonnellyKunstCapadesTim Sullivan (MFA 2004), Joshua Pieper, and Robyn Carliss. Ian Treasure( and Cathy Lu , Kerry Laitala , Tom Loughlin  and Supermrin and The Confidential Theater, Whitney Lynn  and Tony LabatMads LynnerupLorena Perez VillersTaravat TalepasandAla Ebtekar, and Amir Esfahani.

setting up installation

Pros at work

Two skulls

Beer or whiskey

Penelope’s short-lived glory

Mia saved the day

God’s Little Princess

rainbow farts backstage

Beautiful backstage spread

Joel M. Few and the sofa

Everyone loves defacing property




Well hung in LA

LA art show Apr 2017

LA art show Apr 2017

My first solo show at a commercial gallery was worth the trip. Thanks to Billy Shire and Matt Kennedy of La Luz de Jesus Gallery.
I missed the opening due to an Avengers show the same night (600 miles away in SF) but flew down the next weekend to do a gallery talk on April 14th, 2017. Here’s a partial video of the talk shot by Joseph Lee.

The Muzzlers that didn’t sell will be offered through the gallery until October.



This guy went home with my friend Tom. A bit of reserch and I found his arrest name had been anglicized from Krsto Babajko to Chris Babeco. An unfortunate waiter from Jugoslavia, born 130 years ago this month.

The subtle mind of Steven Wolf

This year I got to know gallerist Steven Wolf of Steven Wolf Fine Arts and viewed his curated exhibit on Punk at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver. We engaged in a lively “Artist/Curator Conversation” put on by the museum. Back in SF our continuing dialog included a studio visit where he uncovered my book of hand-tinted xerography from 1977. It went up in his gallery in the Wall of Sound show in July/Aug 2012. I have to laugh remembering how this piece was handed in as a final project at SFAI and resulted in a FAIL for my painting class. This was a year before they started their Emerging Genres dept. Seen here covering a whole wall beyond the amazing musical sculptures by SRL’s Matt Heckert, and 70’s era collages of David J Haskins of Bauhaus – the band – not the school.

Library Prints exhibited at the San Francisco Main Library

Seemingly a permanent display, my prints have been up at the Main branch of the SFPL across from the Jewett Gallery for 8 months. Sooner or later they will come down, but for now you can check them out there.

The exhibit is called Put a Librarian on It and features nine silkscreens on collage done in late 2011. Here’s the artist statement for it:

Although some may be more familiar with my career as musician and punk rocker, I am also a longtime library employee and visual artist. This series of portraits presents my coworkers as the everyday heroes who make the San Francisco library an inspiring and enjoyable place to work and visit. Starting with photos, I have created line drawings, which are then silk-screened onto collages constructed from the detritus of our workplace. The artistic use of found materials was inspired by a recent exhibition of Kurt Schwitters’s collages at the Berkeley Art Museum. From thrift stores and Friends of the Library book sales, I’ve assembled old novels, books on exotic birds, Texas longhorns and Kau Cim (Chinese fortune sticks) as well as library pocket-cards, used scratch paper, date due slips, and old homework. These materials will continue to age and yellow over the years, emphasizing the individuality rather than sameness of each print in the editions. The printmaking technique referred to as “rainbow roll” also allows an almost accidental process that results in unique images. The variety of materials and the serendipitous nature of the work expose the different characters in all of us. From City Librarian to custodian, police sergeant to library technician, our team is a great collage of people working together to build the institution that San Franciscans have supported for 100 years.