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"Alan Vega is one of the most powerful artists going. He has been for years. His unrelenting passion and intensity have been a source of inspiration to me for well over a decade ... This guy is one of my heroes, flat out." - Henry Rollins 10.27.93 Los Angeles, CA [in Cripple Nation]

The cross itself is now the body, blood is electricity, halos are lights bulbs, wounds and sweat are wires, anarchic mantras chant as long as electricity wills, if permitting until the end of time. Blind accordions moan. Golgotha is a subterranean bar in the basement of a teenager I used to know in Brooklyn. "Alan Suicide alias Alan Vega has been meditating on the cricifixion, death and ecstasy with every sensory pore in his body, wheter singing, making music or building crosses, since I can remember and even before that", wrote the cook of the Lower Manhattan Ocean Club. - Julian Schnabel, july 13, 1997, San Sebastien, Espagne [in 100 000 Watts of Fat City © Anna Polerica]

In 2002, Alan "Suicide" Vega's first art show in 20 years of his neon/light/junk sculptures entitled "Collision Drive" at the prestigious Jeffrey Deitch Gallery (Deitch is best known for championing the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat) in Soho, New York City is open until March 1st. [another link with the painter : the track Cheeree has been used in the film Downtown 81 - starring Jean-Michel Basquiat]

Art Rite #12 - 1st issueArt-Rite #13 Special Project

Art Rite by Alan Suicide

"Several issues were turned over to artists to do with what they chose; the standouts, for me, are Alan Suicide's harsh and punky no. 13 (January 1977), mostly a group of found photographs invoking speed, violence, and rock 'n' roll"
> read more about Edit DeAk & Walter Robinson, directors of Art-Rite : The rite stuff - On Art-Rite - Critical Essay, Jan 2003 by David Frankel

Art Rite #12 - 2nd issue
New York, NY: Art-Rite Publishing Co., January 1977
Two different editions (different back cover, title colors + misc.differencies), 20 pp, 27x20,5cm

cover - Jose Velasquez, jockey

extremely rare : about 10 to 15 ex. known

facsimile reproduced as intro for "Infinite Mercy" book edited by MAC Lyon for Alan Vega 2009 exhibit in Lyon, France. see books

Ghost Rider


"We decicate this issue to the average American in search of exitement. These images distilled from the mabient culture, are the touchstones of a new sensibility, icons of the dissipations and strengths of the modern spirit. Let the way of life idealized in these pages bring into your home the romance of the underculture - horse racing, white-trash smut, greasy rock'n'roll, muscles, motorcycles and the end of the civilization." - the editors (red title version)

"We dedicate this issue to the average American searching for exitement. The images, punked out from the ambient culture, are the touchstones of a new sensibilitity, icons of the dissipations and strenghts of the modern spirit. Let the way of life idealized in these pages bring into your home the romance of the underculture - horse racing, white-trash smut, geasy rock'n'roll, muscles, motorcycles and the end of civilization. - the editors (black title version)

Willie de Ville and Suziein the carIggy Stooges

GETCHERTIKITZ

1996 - A project by Alan Vega, Ric Ocasek, and poetess Gillian McCain , with more specifically 8 tracks and 5 graphical works by Alan Vega.

St Michael

Train

Go right there
Park behind the policestation
What can I say
Brooklyn days and nights
Dream come true
Dream come true
What can I say
Once upon a day
A guy and his lady
Said some nasty things
Got a big time life
For a few lousy nickels
Smash, Smash
Crash, Crash
Death row's lookin real fine
Stayed in a halfway house
Running, Running
In the train
Want's my ass
Hey, Hey no way
Get the fuck out of here
Out of this life
This place ain't for me
No more, no more, no more
No brain, no brain
No brain, insane
Yeah, norn on the death row
Born on the death row
It's enough to make you cry
Gotta get out of here
You gotta crawl, you gotta crawl
You gotta crawl, you gotta crawl
They say hey
Beleive in Jesus
What a crock of shit
Beleive in something
It's enough to make you cry
It's enough to make you cry
So long mom
So long dad
You ain't no good
Put me in this fucking home
True death row

Ti Stadt

Smell War

For genius
Shake ya, Scam ya
Ready ya, Feed ya
Smell War, baby
Smell war, baby
Say's he dazzles
Swears he don't puke
Inside face
Hey, You won your medals
Smell War, baby
Smell war, baby
For the big time bag boy's
Yeah your worse
Than bad luck
No more favors
No more favors
For the walking killers
Mutilate Mutilate Mutilate
It's too late
For the shadows

Skid FaceAlan VegaRic Ocasek

The portraits are another side of my work. I guess they reflect the anguished, tormented Alan Vega, man. It does, it's both, it's me, it's people. I draw just people. To me a face is everything anyway. Most of the drawings I throw out away. It just has to come out without thinking, if you know what I mean... When I write lyrics, or poetry, it comes from my mind. It's just trying to get deep into yourself. To be honest with you, I hate writing, and ironically the only way I can sit down and write is if I draw a portrait; once it's out it makes me think. But that's not the only reason for it. Alan Vega, 1994 [in 100 000 Watts of Fat City © Anna Polerica]

"I draw just people. To me a face is everything anyway. Most of the drawings I throw out away. It just has to come out without thinking, if you know what I mean... When I write lyrics, or poetry, it comes from my mind. It’s just trying to get deep into yourself. To be honest with you, I hate writing, and ironically the only way I can sit down and write is if I draw a portrait; once it’s out it makes me think. But that’s not the only reason for it." Alan Vega [quoted in Infinite Mercy, MAC Lyon / Les Presses du Réel]

Alan Vega, from Cripple NationAlan Vega, from Cripple NationAlan Vega, from Cripple Nation

Alien V.2023, Alan Vega, 1993

Alien V. 2023
© Alan Vega, 1993, lights, wires, wood, plastic, cassettes 28x52 (71x132) - coll. the artist - photo Anna Polerica

I started as a painter. The first time I did a light piece was when I was working on a very big purple painting. There was one light bulb in the room and as I walked around I noticed how the painting acquired different aspects. I wanted it to be one color so I said, "Fuck this, man!" I took the light out of the ceiling and really stuck it on the painting. That started me with the whole idea of light because I wanted to control the color but then I suddenly began to realize just how much light affects a painting - all painting is about light. Whitout light in the room you wouldn't see the painting. Painting is actually reflective light. Suddenly, I wanted to control the light, I wanted to control the color and as I started working with light, I started getting more and more into different colors of light instead of using paint. I started using light bulbs of color that became my paint, you know, and then also because you have to attach a bulb to a socket, it suddenly became a sculpture.
Alan Vega, 1993 [in 100 000 Watts of Fat City © Anna Polerica]

The Iron Man, Alan Vega, 1983

The Iron Man
© Alan Vega, 1983, lights, paint, wires, wood, 72x72 (183x183) - coll. Ric Ocasek

Pleasure Police, Alan Vega, 1994

Alien V. 2023
© Alan Vega, 1994, lights, wires, wood, metal 16x26 (40.5x66)
coll. the artist - photo
Anna Polerica


2002 - Collision Drive exhibition at the Deitch Gallery
started Sat.12th January 2002 / ended 1st March 2002

David Candler's review on Max's Kansas City.com

The Village Voice Features Suicide Watch by Simon Reynolds

Collision Drive 2002 exhibition

2006 - Soundtrack for an exhibition

soundtrack for an Exhibition - 8th March until 11th June 2006 - Musée Art Contemporain Lyon

Soundtrack for an Exhibition comprises three main elements: a specially commissioned sound score, an exhibition of paintings and a feature film. The soundtrack is broadcast both inside and outside of the museum for 96 days, whilst the paintings and feature film are presented in the gallery space for 69 days.
Soundtrack composed by Susan Stenger [Band of Susans] with contributions by Robert Poss [Band of Susans] , Alan Vega [Suicide], Alexander Hacke [Einstürzende Neubaten], F.M. Einheit [ex Einsturzende Neubaten], Will Oldham [Palace Music, Bonny Prince Billy], Kim Gordon [Sonic Youth], Mika Vainio [Pan Sonic], Bruce Gilbert [Wire], Ulrich Krieger, Warren Ellis [The Dirty Three, The Bad Seeds], Jim White [The Dirty Three], Jennifer Hoyston [Erase Errata], Andria Degens (Pantaleimon), Spider Stacy [Pogues]

Paintings by John Armleder, Steven Parrino // Feature film by Kristian Levring

An exhibition by Mathieu Copeland // see Media release on mathieucopeland.net

 

 

2009 - Infinite Mercy exhibition at the Musée d'Art Contemporain de Lyon, France

May.15 / August 2 2009
curator: Mathieu Copeland

The macLYON offers Alan Vega his first retrospective. Composed of luminous sculptures and a set of unseen drawings, it introduces more than 30 years of production and a monumental luminous installation created for the occasion.- see booklet

virtual visit here

with Infinite Mercy book, generously illustrated catalogue, including various interviews with Alan Vega and close artists, published on the occasion - see books (available in English or French through the MAC Lyon boutique)

 

 

Alan Vega at MAC Lyon 2009

Alan Vega at MAC Lyon 2009

Alan Vega at MAC Lyon 2009Alan Vega at MAC Lyon 2009



DiscographyAlan Vega - solo discography

Alan Vega, videos, booksVideos
books

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