By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
There are many pictures of Asco floating around the info-sphere. But one in particular burns in my brain. It is titled Asco, 1975, by Harry Gamboa Jr., and shows Gamboa with Patssi Valdez, Willie Herrón III, Gronk and Humberto Sandoval, staring out intently, under-lit by a warm white light, before a microphone. Valdez is fair, her lips shiny, almost electric. Herrón is in a tank top, looking out over a mug held to his lips. Gronk sits in front, glaring in a formfitting suit and tie. Sandoval is shirtless, in Elton John–like sunglasses. Gamboa stands, wearing a massive mustache, holding a Super-8 video camera.
Basically, they look really weird, dangerous and hot. You can’t help but imagine what could have been if the creative energy of Asco could have been somehow sustained. If Spraypaint LACMA weren’t a creative climax but a prologue of things to come.
Then again, why relive the past?
“I think when it comes to art and artists, I’m not sure the evolutionary process is a sequential thing. I think people are misplaced, displaced, erased and invented, and then given a number to generate an artificial sequence,” Gamboa says. “One can only maintain a façade for so long before it comes crashing down on you, allowing other people to attack.”
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