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Punk: Convulsive Beauty Recommended

When: July 11-Aug. 1 2014
Opening Friday, July 11, is an art exhibit titled "Punk: Convulsive Beauty," which doubles as the launch for a new book from local publishers PM Press, called Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables, The Early Years, by Alex Ogg. The exhibit, held at the gallery iHeartNorthBeach, presents photographs by Ruby Ray and visual work by Winston Smith, both of whose work appears in Ogg's book.

A staff photographer for V. Vale's seminal Search & Destroy fanzine, Ray captured bands like Crime, the Avengers, and the Sleepers — as well as punk's early adopters — at home and in the streets. True to Search & Destroy's broader countercultural focus, her best-known image is perhaps a portrait of William Burroughs. Smith, who is named after the protagonist in George Orwell's 1984, rose to notoriety for handling the Dead Kennedys' graphic presentation, along with the emblem of Jello Biafra's Alternative Tentacles records. Working in collage and illustration, his incisive political satire has graced the cover of The New Yorker and other major publications since. As local artists exit San Francisco in droves, the commitment of longtime residents like Smith and Ray, both to the city and to their political convictions, is invigorating.


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