Although better known as the highly influential, experimental musician and co-founder of Sonic Youth, Thurston Moore has created a suite of photomontages which are razor-sharp visual equivalents of New York`s underground music and poetry scene around the late 1970s—primarily joyful noisemakers circulating around CBGBs, Max’s Kansas City and St. Marks Church.
Deploying collage techniques mashed up through a process described by the artist as “a kind of punk photoshop,” these brand new works re-purpose vintage press clippings, press photos, and correspondence culled from Moore`s own archive. The results are a compelling series of personal, urban daydreams, cast from a fan’s perspective. Familiar downtown faces include Iggy Pop, the Ramones, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Allan Ginsberg, and Kathy Acker. Screaming fields of disjointed imagery and deeply saturated colors collide and overlap, yielding tales from the pulp crypt of a not-to-be-forgotten New York underground. Only rarely do musicians translate their sonic talents so fittingly and so refreshingly into the domain of visual art.
I am basing the work on exercises I did as a teenager cutting out pictures from Rock Scene, Creem and Circus magazines and collaging them as an obsessive diarist. Doing this work now utilizing some kind of punk Photoshop method where I can actually drop myself and other referentials into the pieces has allowed me (starting) at age 47 to create an ongoing open-heart bio-historagophy. -Thurston Moore