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Handmade History.
In celebration of San Francisco beat Michael McClure's 80th year on earth, Witchita Vortex beat, Robert Branaman handmade a handful of seriographs.

Some naughty, some nice. 
October 18, 2011
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SAN FRANCISCO RENAISSANCE POET MICHAEL MCCLURE CELEBRATES HIS 80TH BIRTHDAY AT BEYOND BAROQUE LITERARTY/ARTS CENTER OCTOBER 20, 2011

 

McClurePrague RESIZED

On October 20th, poet, playwright, and novelist Michael McClure, will celebrate his 80th birthday at Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center in Venice California. Fictionalized in Jack Keoruac novels Big Sur, Desolation Angels and The Dharma Bums, McClure is the acknowledged promoter and role model for Doors front-man Jim Morrison and the co-author, with Janis Joplin and Bob Neuwirth, of the song Mercedes Benz, popularized by Joplin. He is easily the most under-recognized influence on the hippie and post-hippie happenings of the 1960s and 1970s. McClure’s influence on art and performance has continued to grow, as has his body of work, over the past four decades.

 

McClure gave his first poetry reading in 1955 at the age of 22 with Allen Ginsberg at the legendary Six Gallery event where Allen Ginsberg first read HOWL. McClure and Ginsberg would become forever bound by the litigious nature of their work and its place in challenging the laws that attempted to put boundaries on artistic expression.  No stranger to controversy, The Beard, McClure’s venture into theater tells the story of an encounter between Jean Harlow and Billy the Kid in heaven and ends with the Kid performing cunnilingus on Harlow. It was closed down by the police in San Francisco, for “lewd conduct in a public place,” a fate the show met in Berkeley and Los Angeles.  The play moved to New York where it ran from 1967-68 and received an Obie award for its director and leading lady. The Beard has been being performed successfully since then. Michael Grieg, reviewing the 1965 production, wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle that it was the "most effectively upsetting and creatively stimulating work by a local writer that the (Actor’s) Workshop has ever presented."

 

McClure has continued to be a creative force in the music and literary worlds for over six decades producing novels, music and poetry as well as touring the world to perform his works. In a recent interview in the Huffington Post, McClure said, “My poetry at its truest is an extension of my physical self.”

 

He is currently working with Ray Manzarek, former keyboardist for the Doors, mixing their new CD Live from San Francisco. A dedicated Buddhist, McClure is the subject of the recently completed Dutch Buddhist Television Channel documentary Touching the Edge. Additionally, this year Optic Nerve Films released a documentary about McClure entitled Abstract Alchemist of Flesh, which features cameos by Dennis Hopper, Peter Cayote, and Allen Ginsberg. McClure has also continued to publish and his new selected poems, Of Indigo and Saffron, was just released by UC Press.

 

McClure’s 80th birthday celebration will take place October 20, 2011 at Beyond Baroque Literary/ Arts Center in Venice Beach, California. Founded in 1968 by George Drury Smith, Beyond Baroque is the acknowledged home of the Venice Beat movement and the stomping ground for the early years of the Los Angeles punk scene. Its stage has hosted performances by Patti Smith, Wanda Coleman, Allen Ginsberg, Michael Ondjaate, Amy Gerstler, Diane Wakoski, Viggo Mortensen, and countless other cutting edge artists and musicians.

 

McClure will be joined by Los Angeles poet Michael C. Ford and McClure’s old friend from his Wichita days, Beyond Baroque Artist-in-Residence Robert Branaman. Branaman will unveil a special edition serigraph that he has created especially for the occasion.

 

Beyond Baroque’s director Richard Modiano said, “That a poet of Michael McClure’s stature would choose to celebrate his landmark 80th birthday at Beyond Baroque is an honor. This also presents a rare opportunity for the public to hear this modern renaissance artist in an intimate theater setting.”


The event begins at 7:30 P.M.


Tickets are available at the door. Admission is $7 General, $5 for Students & Seniors, and Free for Members.

 

About Beyond Baroque:

 

Beyond Baroque is one of the United States' leading independent literary arts centers providing a public space dedicated to literary and cultural production, contact, interaction, and community building. Founded in 1968, it is based in the Old Town Hall in Venice, California, near the Pacific Ocean and offers a program of readings, new music, free workshops, publishing, bookstore, archiving and education.

 

CONTACT:  

bbpublicity@beyondbaroque.org

(310) 822-3006

 

ABOUT 
ROBERT BRANAMAN

robert_branaman




Beat Generation poet, painter, and film producer Bob Branaman continues to make avant garde art today. Branaman joined the Beatniks in San Francisco in the 1950s, part of the Witchita Vortex, which included Charles Plymell and Michael McClure, and soon made his name as a hep cat. He outlived many of his bohemian contemporaries, despite his bad habits. In Spring 2010 he had a show of his paintings at Beyond Baroque in Los Angeles where he is currently artist-in-residence.
ABOUT 
THE POSTER

Each poster was handmade by artist Robert Branaman. He used over 40 colors to bring the original serigraphs to fruition. 

Each print measures 15x22 inches.

There are two sets. A set of 9 "x-rated" versions we call Version-X, shown here, and a set of 13 standard versions we call Version-A.

Each print will be signed by Michael McClure, Robert Branaman, Michael C. Ford and S.A. Griffin.

Prices:
Version-X       $100
Version-A       $ 75
ABOUT 
BEYOND BAROQUE

Beyond Baroque is one of the United States' leading independent Literary/Arts Centers and public spaces dedicated to literary and cultural production, contact, interaction, and community building. Founded in 1968, it is based in the Old Town Hall in Venice, California, near the Pacific Ocean. It offers a program of readings, new music, free workshops, publishing, bookstore, archiving, and education.





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For a full listing of events:
681 Venice Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
Tel: 310.822.3006
Email:  bbpublicity@beyondbaroque.org



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