It is Saturday night, roughly 9:00 pm in Hollywood on a Sultry Sunset Blvd. and I suddenly find myself at the Grand Opening of LA Punk Museum’s “The Love Is For $uckers Arty” at MODA Hollywood (Museum Of Digital Art) New art gallery. As I enter the reluctantly fluorescently lit, heretofore storefront within the nondescript, one-level, stucco building, I am greeted by Hollywood locals; “Charlie Chaplin” and Pulp Fiction’s “Jules Winnfield”. They sell us $1.00 raffle tickets at the door. I buy one whilst exchanging pleasantries with the friendly costumed characters, simultaneously stifling a most folksy, county-fairish urge to go buy an imaginary pie at the non-existent church bake sale table once inside. Having officially entered, I soon and predictably realize the atmosphere is anything but folksy, churchy or bake-saleish. (Some baked citizens are in attendance, more likely than not, but there are no baked goods to be seen or had).
The first thing I observe upon entry, suspended below pink and purple fluorescent lights, is a glowing portrait of a short-haired, sunglass-clad Marilyn Manson, and nearly immediately to his right, a completely naked woman looking very much like Nancy Spungen, each limb tattooed in locks and chains with a decided Sid Viciousesque head between her thighs and a knife to her belly. Behind this image resides plastic sculptures and mannequins bound, gagged, on their knees, balls in some of their mouths, wearing nothing but multi-colored tubing, chains or straps as though symbolically shackled to the artist’s vision. Alarming, sexist and misogynist to be sure, the exhibit evokes, completely, all things punk. Despite its rough and arresting edges, it is fascinating. A jarringly real/raw music movement to be reckoned with, it must be respected and appreciated for what it is.
Around the corner however, the jagged edges are softened a bit as gloriously colored portraits of artists from Blondie to Danny Excess smile and pout vibrantly down upon us above a most inviting “Ohm Chair” (a chair shaped like a meditating hand). I try it. It is most soothingly comfy, worthy of a Spanish Inquisition in the midst of this British Invasion.
A DJ plays as a band sets up and if I can just find some wine, I know I will be in Hooligan Heaven.
Mounted by Paul Picasso Hollywood, the exhibit is a vision of both he and Hollywood Punk Icon Tequila Mockingbird, both in attendance. Also present are Atila Skora, noted Hollywood punk hairstylist, Former Model, film star, and Warhol protégé Joe Dallesandro, The Enigma (and former Jim Rose Circus founder and performer); immediately recognizable by the all encompassing blue and green jigsaw puzzle tattoo adoring his body, “Disco Bloodbath” author, TV Personality and celebutante James St. James and Rick Wilder; front man for the Mau Maus.
I find my wine in the back of the establishment where, for a modest, donation, you are offered a generous cup along with free pretzels, chips and guacamole. Exceedingly explicit to cartoony tantric sex paintings adorn the walls along with a very large black and white painting of the Lord Jesus himself executing a decided Corey Hart impression (in sunglasses all in the dark of the night). Shirts and clothes are available for sale and photos of anybody who’s anybody and not anybody but looks like somebody are rampantly snapped by paparazzi and mockarazzi alike. The band attempts some practice riffs. They sound first-rate and I know I am in very good and entertaining hands for the remainder of the evening.
“The Love is For $uckers Arty” can be experienced at MODA Hollywood Museum of Digital Art at 7190 Sunset Blvd. until the first week of November. Museum hours are Tuesday-Saturday Noon to 6 pm. The museum is open on Tuesday nights for readings by local authors and on Wednesday nights for underground/off the wall movie screenings. For more information please call (310) 210-2176 or visit:
Information on Tequila/Taquila Mockingbird and her artistic Punk preservation vision can be seen in the below video: Taquila Mockingbird Introduces The Punk Rock Museum