Bettie and The Ramones: Oil on Canvas
Marc H Miller, Bettie Ringma & Curt Hoppe
Our "Bettie Visits CBGB" project achieved grandiose new dimensions when Curt Hoppe, our downstairs neighbor at 98 Bowery, asked to join the Miller & Ringma collaboration. A talented photo realist painter searching for the right subject to launch his career, Curt had watched enviously as Bettie and I grabbed a piece of the CBGB spotlight and began appropriating Punk’s visual side by first exhibiting our snapshots at art galleries and then organizing the world's first "Punk Art" exhibition.
Curt’s painting of "Bettie and the Ramones" was completed just in time for the exhibition opening in Washington DC in May 1978. Our art world credentials had originally gotten us into CBGB; now Curt's large, impressive painting earned us a command "signature" performance by the scene’s signature group. While many might view the painting as the ultimate fan tribute to the trail-blazing Ramones, we saw "Bettie and the Ramones" as a work of fine art, and were pleased when a reproduction of the painting appeared in the magazine Art in America. The Miller Ringma Hoppe collaboration would continue for the next year and a half with new celebrity subjects.