What's so punk about Zak Smith? Let's start with his illustrations of every single page (760!) of Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow. Who would even think to do that? Then how about Pictures of Girls, in which the mohawked artist found critical fame by inking and coloring the female form in intricate, intimate detail? Not punk enough? OK, so he became a porn star. Re-branding himself as Zak Sabbath, Smith made his penetrating premiere with Veronica Jett in VCA's Barbed Wire Kiss, tagged Pixie Pearl in Eon McKai's alt-porn debut Girls Lie, and gave an intimate injection to Mandy Morbid in Vivid Alt's Hospital. To explain it all, Smith reads from We Did Porn: Memoir and Drawings. Surely, the career turn wasn't for the money — girls' pay rates in the XXX biz far outstrip the guys'. So why porn? From a 2006 interview with M. DiMattia: “I'm living off my paintings and have been for years. I'm involved in porn mostly because the social life of the art world is like living death.”

Fri., July 31, 7:30 p.m., 2009

LA Weekly