III. Punk Years, 1976-79
By the mid-1970s the center for new art moved east, towards the East Village and the Lower East Side. As 98 Bowery was just a few blocks from CBGB at 304 Bowery, starting in 1976 Bettie and I became regulars witnessing up close the rise of Punk as an international cultural phenomenon. It was clear to us that many of the people at CBGB were visual artists so when Alice Denney asked us in 1978 to organize an exhibition at the Washington Project for the Arts we drew from that pool of talent and called it “Punk Art.”
Increasingly Bettie and I saw our own art as part of that context. Our “Paparazzi Self-Portraits,” incorporated the imagery, aggression and populist economics of Punk. Soon our downstairs neighbor Curt Hoppe joined our enterprise adding his skill as a hyper-realist painter.