In the 1970s and ’80s, the Bags, Vaginal Davis, Nervous Gender, and Los Illegals used music and performance to express their dissent of racism and gender violence, imagining punk as a possible utopia.
In a new, in-depth biography, Paul Gorman offers a vivid portrait of the postmodernist impresario who conjured up punk’s angry pose, the Sex Pistols, and much more.
To understand what it is to be punk in the 21st century, a group of scholars who identify as punks, have gathered their research into an insightful book.
Most people don’t associate Los Angeles with a thriving punk scene.
Joe Corré — spawn of punk icons, social activist, and multimillionaire founder of British lingerie chain Agent Provocateur — has announced plans to burn his $7 million collection of punk memorabilia.
There was a week in high school when my mom begrudgingly let me stay out in New York City for almost three nights in a row.
A few years ago, in Sweden, a self-proclaimed “heavy metal addict” was awarded state disability benefits after having his obsession with the band Slayer classified as a handicap. It’s one of the weirder examples of the stigma attached to metal and other “extreme” music genres.
Between May 1979 and January 1987, the East Village Eye breathlessly covered the East Village art scene. Indiscriminate in its interests, the magazine charted the rise of hip hop, graffiti, and punk, and is widely credited with contributing to the intermingling of several New York scenes.
PARIS — Unlike the widely ridiculed Costume Institute show PUNK: Chaos to Couture, a show that examined punk’s impact on high fashion from the movement’s birth in the 1970s through its enduring influence today, Europunk: An artistic revolution, recently closed at Cité de la Musique, was rigorously periodic (ending in 1980) and broader in range.
The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has forgotten that clothes and fashion are not art. When you go to see the PUNK: Chaos to Couture exhibit, which opened on May 9 and runs until August 14, you may think you stumbled instead into a luxury couturier’s boutique. The outré fashions are fabulous and gorgeously displayed and there’s some badass soundtrack music by Jayne County, Suicide, and the Sex Pistols, but you can’t try on any of the clothing and in the end, you are only permitted to buy over-priced T-shirts in the gift shop. Dude, I see the couture, but where the hell is the CHAOS?
If there is but one cornerstone of “Punk” as fashion, it is what Dame Vivienne Westwood dubbed “confrontation dressing.” Swastikas, tampons, spray-painted swears, safety pins — these were the tools with which this particular postmodern machine of resistance, youth, and style were forged. The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s spring costume exhibition, Punk: From Chaos to Couture, hovered over the essence of this defensive dress, but skirted the issues of subculture to champion superficial style.
Sitting in the New Museum theater last Thursday night with an audience full of old-school punk and avant-garde musicians and artists such as Alan W. Moore, Coleen Fitzgibbon and Becky Howland, who were all a part of Collaborative Projects, the artist collective that founded ABC No Rio and organized the Times Square Show, I witnessed a generation of New York art and culture defining their own historical importance.