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I owe Penck for Beefheart. In East Germany, there was a lively black market for LPs, and Beefheart’s records were the most expensive of all. Penck was a huge fan of Beefheart as a musician, and revealed to me one day that Beefheart was also a painter; so I got in touch with him. He had stopped playing music because he hated the music market, and although as a painter he was totally authentic, no one really took him seriously. The most unbelievable freaks -- rock fans -- came to his exhibitions; occasionally a few pictures would be sold.
However, I was not able to position him, and so far there has been only one museum exhibition of his work, in San Francisco. I visited him a few times in California. He lived in a wooden house, and I could always find him sitting on the veranda and looking out to sea. Once I asked him what he saw. He replied: “Seals. Seals. Sometimes it looks like a seal, but it’s a surfer. And then a shark gets him.”
"Slough" Performance by Steve DiBenedtto, Steven Doughton, Mr. Alexander Wilson. Portland Institute for Contemporary Art
Doomtown Curated by Kristan Kennedy and Steven Doughton
The Post on Club 57