Gee Whiz: First Impressions by Gee Vaucher
Winston Smith may be one of the most plagiarized artists of all time; only whoever among us has never scrawled the iconic "DK" logo he created for the Dead Kennedys onto a binder or jean jacket may cast the first stone. Every few months he opens his studio, what he calls a "picturesque old joint that used to be a speakeasy," and hosts an exhibit. Next up: "First Impressions," prints by Gee Vaucher, with additional pieces by Smith.
Vaucher was a member of seminal punk band Crass, and created much of its artwork in the '70s and '80s. "She's an underground legend in the punk rock world, but if punk had never come around, she'd still be a renowned artist," Smith says. "She has such a great understanding of how we absorb things visually, and also quite strong opinions about the world. And her opinions are made manifest in her artwork." This includes Great Scott, a riff on Sir Peter Scott's idyllic waterfowl paintings into which she has interjected; and Our Father, where hands pressed together in prayer bear what appears to be the Pope's Piscatory Ring along with assorted bling and a smoldering Perfecto cigar. And in Shoot by Numbers, a young man aims an assault rifle at two children. Vaucher is known for her hyper-realistic style, so here the paint daubs' lack of detail suggest the "color by numbers" ease of acquiring a gun in the United States. This one-night show kicks off a whirlwind tour including stops at the Anarchist Book Fair, Emerald Tablet, and City Lights Bookshop.
"First Impressions" starts at 7 p.m. at Grant's Tomb, 50-A Bannam Place, S.F. Admission is free; winstonsmith.com.