Jayne County, seminal proto-punk singer-songwriter and visual artist, will present Paranoia Paradise, her first retrospective exhibition curated by photographer Michael Fox. The art show, which opens Sunday, February 4 with a reception between 7:00pm and 9:00pm, will enjoy a short stint at PARTICIPANT INC before closing on March 11, 2018.
A musical performer that has influenced the likes of David Bowie, the Ramones, Patti Smith, Pete Burns, and Lou Reed, County is of unique significance and has found success in a multitude of artistic endeavors. From singing and songwriting, to performance art, painting, and even acting, County has been – and remains – a driving cultural force, appearing in Andy Warhol’s Pork, working with Theater of the Ridiculous in the late 1960s, and being an active gender-pioneer and participant in the Stonewall Riots (before going on to become rock’s first openly transgender singer).
Now returning to her visual roots, Paranoia Paradise – taking its title from the song of the same name, famously performed by County as “Lounge Lizard” in Derek Jarman’s film Jubilee – features selections of her earliest known paintings, as well as her most recent, inspired by County’s fantasies, rage, notions of beauty, and thoughts and feelings on culture and political figures.
“I think that my art serves as a way of putting out the fuse before it becomes a ballistic bomb of some sort,” muses County. “Some people are at odds with the world and they become serial killers, and others become artists.”
Approximately eighty pieces will be on view from County’s studio, as well as several private collections, much of which express a whirlwind of volatile emotion and offer a glimpse into her fantasies, often inspired by creatures from other worlds and times. Photographs by Bob Gruen, Leee Black Childers, and Michael Fox will also accompany the exhibition to further illuminate her legendary artistic contributions.