1999. Acrylic paint on plywood board. 18 x 24 in. Near fine condition, holes drilled around edges. Rope for hanging stapled to verso. Signed, titled, and dated "Tomata du Plenty, Franz Kafka, 7-99" on recto and verso. Item #5346
Rare original artwork by the artist and musician Tomata du Plenty. This work depicts Franz Kafka with a nighttime cityscape in the background. Du Plenty, born David Xavier Harrigan (1948-2000) fronted the groundbreaking Los Angeles synth-punk band The Screamers in the 1970s and was a member of the counterculture theatre troupes Ze Whiz Kids in Seattle and the Cockettes in San Francisco. A multi-talented performer, actor, and artist, Du Plenty greatly influenced arts and music scenes wherever he lived - in Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, New Orleans, or Miami.
In 1982, Du Plenty found an old set of paints and brushes in an alley off Hollywood Boulevard, and dedicated the rest of his career to painting. His work was classified as folk or outsider art, and he did not mind the distinction, often selling his paintings for only ten to twenty-five dollars each at local bars. He worked with watercolors on found sheets of paper, and later moved almost exclusively to paintings on wood boards, often wood cut outs. The subjects of his works were often pop culture heroes, artists he admired, local characters, and friends. A cult hero throughout his life and since his death, his paintings still resonate as documentation of the vibrant queer punk counterculture he moved within throughout America, and the cultural references that inspired them.