|Joe Louis, painted by Tomata du Plenty. This work can be seen in the Boxers and Backbeats exhibition at the Georgia Museum of Art in Athens, Ga.|
"Boxers and Backbeats: Tomata du Plenty and the West Coast Punk Scene" is on display at the Georgia Museum of Art from Oct. 4-Jan. 4. The exhibition includes portraits of boxers and musicians created by Tomata du Plenty, as well as a number of prints and zines from various other artists influential to the West Coast punk scene, such as Mark Vallen and Ray Pettibon.
Tomata du Plenty (known as David Xavier Harrigan before he adopted his new identity) helped define the "punk rocker" that became popular in the West Coast in the 1970s. He was a founder of the drag theatre group Ze Whiz Kidz and the singer of the synth-punk band the Screamers. He began to delve into painting in the 80s. He welcomed his "outsider" status due to his lack of training, claiming that he would prefer to sell 100 paintings priced at $25 each than a single painting for $2500.
This exhibition intimates one of the most unique characteristics of Athens -- its prominence in the music world and its interdisciplinary involvement with the arts. In tandem with the concurrent exhibition, "The … of E6," Boxers and Backbeats demonstrates the trans-American nature of cultural arts and helps contrast two very different but equally vivacious examples of the intersection between music and visual art. The works of art were donated by collector Gordon W. Bailey in honor of R.E.M. members and Athens musicians Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Bill Berry.
A number of Georgia Museum of Art events will feature this exhibition:
- Oct. 8- Curator Lynn Boland will lead a public tour at 2 p.m.
- Oct. 10- 90 Carlton: Autumn (event is $5, free for members)
- Oct. 11- Music-themed Family Day where children can make their own band poster
- Nov. 6- Teen Studio, where teenagers can work with a local artist to create their own original art
- Nov. 20- screening of punk rock musical "Population: 1" starring du Plenty at 7 p.m.