Related to Punk
Emerging in the 1970s as a subcultural phenomenon spanning music, fashion, and art, punk promulgated an ethos and a way of life that were anti-authoritarian, exuberantly deskilled, and staunchly DIY. In London and New York, vibrant, collaborative scenes emerged: Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s shop, Seditionaries, outfitted the Sex Pistols for their first gig in 1975. The East Village’s alternative space Colab, founded in 1977, featured punk and new wave performances and hosted artists such as Jenny Holzer and Kiki Smith, while street artists Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat were involved with the scene at the Mudd Club. Punk quickly became a benchmark for authenticity and the ultimate in cool, making it a target for appropriation by precisely those forces—high culture, consumerism, authority—it sought to resist. Some have traced its attitude and focus on destruction to the Dada movement of the early 20th century, understanding it as a type of anti-art disdaining visual and cultural norms as gatekeepers to participation. Many of punk’s founders came from working class backgrounds, and some explicitly aligned punk with this group’s political interests, an alliance that posed a particular challenge to punk’s relationship to fine art, traditionally the realm of high culture.