“Don’t Talk about it, DO IT!” A tribute exhibit to David Brockie aka Oderus Urungus (R.I.P.) and the artists who created GWAR, the extreme performance thrash metal band, opened on Saturday, October 25 at Keystone Art Space Gallery. The exhibit will continue until November 6. Mark Harvey, Danielle Stampe (of GWAR!), Chuck Varga, Bob Gorman, Matt Maguire, Colette Miller, Mike Bonner, Katherine Leatherwood and Melanie Mandl are among artists included in the exhibition.
When most people refer to GWAR they tend to think of blood, gore, elaborate costuming, audacious sexuality and the bizarre that goes along with the presentation of their loud, aggressive brand of metal. But I think of my then-little daughter who, at seven years-old, attended her first show in 1990. The line-up of bands included The Fluid, a grouchy Henry Rollins, Green Jello and GWAR…and we had VIP passes. She was overjoyed at seeing Fred and Barney slamming in the pit during Green Jello and was a bit weary by the time GWAR came on, partially because she accidentally got a rum and coke before I noticed. She was a good little trooper, trying to stay awake, dozing off and jumping up to see what was going on. The fire dancing had her enthralled and her delight at the Gor Gor was a wonderful experience. Having been around Haunted Garage, the band I performed in, she was not frightened by the other antics on stage and wanted to go backstage to meet everyone. That wasn’t possible at the time but it is a cute memory.
At last Saturday night’s opening, Hunter Jackson aka Techno-Destructo, one of GWAR’s founding members, showed up to both torment and entertain us before his wrestling match at Zombiefest in Long Beach the next day. Also, in attendance was Danielle Stampe aka GWAR’s Slymenstra Hymen chatting with fans and basking in GWAR stories and Liz Fairbairn, GWAR’s ex-manager and current producer of LA’s Mexican wrestling+burlesque Lucha VaVOOM shows.
This is a must see exhibit, curated by Keystone’s Melanie Mandl and Mark Harvey, and I highly recommend attending closing night on November 6 because there will indeed be very special guests in attendance! And I mean very, very special surprise guests! Wink,wink…got it? It’s certain to be entertaining!
“Don’t Talk About It, DO IT!” October 25 to November 6 at Keystone Art Space Gallery, 2558 North San Fernando Road, Los Angeles, CA 90065
All images by Judy Ornelas Sisneros. All rights reserved.