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Sympathy for the Devil

Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967

MCA Chicago with Yale University Press



The dynamic relationship between rock music and visual art crosses continents, generations, and cultures. Beginning with Andy Warhol’s involvement with The Velvet Underground in 1967, artists have maintained a strong connection to rock. Artists such as Slater Bradley, Mike Kelley, and Raymond Pettibon have created album covers and music videos for rock bands, while rock musicians such as Bryan Ferry, John Lennon, and Peter Townsend have emerged from art schools, and punk and new wave bands such as Talking Heads and Sonic Youth have shared the same social and artistic milieu as artists including Robert Longo and Richard Prince.

Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967 looks at the intimate and inspired relationship between the visual arts and rock-and-roll culture, charting their intersection through works of art, album covers, music videos, and other materials. Organized regionally by cultural centers including London, New York, Los Angeles, and Cologne, the essays examine rock-and-roll's style, celebrity, and identity politics in art; the experience, energy, and sense of devotion rock music inspires; and the dual role that many individuals play in both the sonic and visual realms.

Presenting work that defies a more literal interpretation of the theme and instead suggests the style, energy, and attitude that has come to be associated with rock and roll, this fascinating volume is essential for admirers of contemporary art and culture.

Table of Contents

6 Lenders to the Exhibition
7 Foreword
8 Introduction
10 New York
12 Experimental Jet Set: The New York Scene by Dominic Molon
20 No New York: A Personal Account of the Downtown Scene, Late ‘70s/Early ‘80s (To the Best of My Recollection) by Bob Nickas
26 CBGB as a Physical Space by Richard Hell
30 New York: Plates
70 The UK
72 Made with the Highest British Attention to the Wrong Detail: The UK by Dominic Molon
80 Ono, Eno, Arto: Nonmusicians and the Emergence of Concept Rock by Simon Reynolds
92 The UK: Plates
122 Punk as Propaganda by Dan Graham
134 Europe
136 Europe Endless: Art and Rock on the Continent by Dominic Molon
142 Intensity, Negation, Plain Language: Wilde Maler, Punk, and Theory in Germany in the ‘80s by Diedrich Diederichsen
154 Europe: Plates
168 Los Angeles/The West Coast
170 This Ain’t No Picnic: Los Angeles and the West Coast by Dominic Molon
176 Playing the Strip by Jan Tumlir
190 Los Angeles/The West Coast: Plates
208 Strange Früt: Rock Apocrypha, by the Destroy All Monsters Collective by Mike Kelley
212 The Broader United States
214 Home of the Brave: The Broader United States by Dominic Molon
218 The Broader United States: Plates
232 Sentences on AC/DC by Anthony Elms
234 The World
236 Everything is Possible: Art, Rock and Roll, and the Global Perspective by Dominic Molon
239 The World: Plates
251 A Timeline by Joe Madura and Dominic Molon
266 Selected Bibliographies, Discographies, and Exhibitions
281 Acknowledgments
285 Index to Artists and Bands