Purple Diary

purple fashion magazine
— S/S 2017 issue 27

Alan Vega

ghost rider New York

interview by JÉRÔME SANS
portraits by ARI MARCOPOULOS

 

An artist, musician, and pioneer of electronic music during the heyday of Cage and Stockhausen, Alan Vega was both the first punk and an alluring rock-a-billy crooner. The cult-like following of his band Suicide — the first to use a drum machine — ultimately defined him as an underground New York icon. Never playing for commerce, he devoted his life to art, music, drawing portraits, and the elaborate wire-infested light sculptures he made from junk and found materials. First represented by the legendary OK Harris Gallery, in the 1980s he showed at the powerful Barbara Gladstone Gallery, and later worked with Jeffrey Deitch. He died in his sleep on July 16, 2016.

JÉRÔME SANS — Before making music in the ’60s, you first started painting. Why?
ALAN VEGA — When I was a young man, I attended art school, at the City University of New York, or CUNY, Brooklyn. In school, you tend to explore all mediums, but mainly I focused on painting at first. I was into abstract art, but I also loved doing portraits of homeless people — called “bums” in those days. After art school, in order to make some money, I started doing painted portraits of people, on commission. But I never stopped drawing the portraits of unknown men — desperate, homeless people. For some reason, I identify with them, being that I am the “king of the bums.”

JÉRÔME SANS — Do your early works still exist?
ALAN VEGA — I’m not sure. Over the years, I have seen a few of the things that I sold. I would imagine that some commissioned painted portraits I did are still in some people’s homes. This was so long ago, and I have moved to so many different places, and I never really kept very much from move to move. But along the way, I gave drawings, paintings, and light sculptures to some of my friends — so those
still exist.

JÉRÔME SANS — Was art school important for you?
ALAN VEGA — I was fortunate to have some truly great teachers in art school. They were great artists in their own right, and because of that, they were truly inspiring. At the same time, this became a difficulty. I was influenced by their work to the point where,...

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[March 24 2017] : Art

Slavoj Žižek and Janine Antoni “In Situ” Presented by Creative Time and New York Public Library at Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York
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Slavoj Žižek and Janine Antoni “In Situ” Presented by Creative Time and New York Public Library at Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York

In Situ is a new lecture series presented by Creative Time and New York Public Library which puts an artist and philosopher in dialogue around life’s big questions. This inaugural conversation asked “How to reasonably believe in God”.

The Stop Shopping Choir opened the evening in procession. They reverently echoed the names of black lives lost to police violence in the hollow mountain of Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Once upon the stage they sang a rendition of William Butler Yeat’s poem “The Second Coming”. Then Reverend Billy took the stage. He spoke about ecology and celebrating women, using The Women’s March on Washington as an analogy for a... Read More

Text and Photo Elise Gallant

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[March 23 2017] : #tbt genius David Lynch in Paris, 2008 captured by #PatrickSarfati featured in Purple Fashion magazine F/W 2013 issue 20. We can't wait to see the upcoming Twin Peaks season 3! ‼️ #purplearchive #davidlynch #purplediary

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[March 23 2017] : The sweet @leaissarni wearing @chloe @kenzo @prada and @lemaire_official in our Sex Fashion story shot by @camille_vivier and styled by @camillebwaddington for Purple issue 27. #leaissarni #camillebidaultwaddington #camillevivier #chloe #lemaire #kenzo #prada #purplediary

[March 23 2017] : Art

An interview with Jen Monroe on her “White Meal” dinner at Baby’s All Right, New York
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An interview with Jen Monroe on her “White Meal” dinner at Baby’s All Right, New York

Jen Monroe‘s “Color Meals” weave art and food into unforgettable events, fully immersing participants into a culinary and symbolic atmosphere. Here Jen Monroe discusses the fourth installment of the series “White Meal” as she prepares for the final dinner “Red Meal” this April 22nd and 23rd.

ELISE GALLANT — Your color meals are culinary artistry, can you talk about ways that you want to celebrate or challenge our cultural relationship to food?

JEN MONROE — I love that food is a really confrontational medium with which to make observations about things that are broken. For example, suggesting a dietary plan to anyone comes with a whole host of assumptions about lifestyle, economic status, ability, time,... Read More

Interview Elise Gallant and Photo Elise Gallant, Rachel Fick, Steven Acres and Walter Wlodarczyk

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