Phranc, or as she calls herself, “the All-American Jewish Lesbian Folksinger,” began her musical career in L.A. with punk groups like Nervous Gender in the early 80s. She quickly went solo, with an amazing career telling story-songs about women heroes like “Martina” (as in Navratilova), and “I Don’t Like Female Mudwrestling.”
In her other career is as a visual artist, she calls herself “The Cardboard Cobbler”, making everyday objects with paper and cardboard, thread and paint. Previous exhibitions at Craig Krull Gallery have focused on beachwear, winter/ski apparel, and vintage toys. At the museum shop of The Autry Museum of the American West, she created an entire store within a store, based on old western trading posts. This project coincided with the Autry’s Out West program of LGBTQ histories of the West, organized by Gregory Hinton.
Phranc’s new exhibition at our gallery, entitled Swagger, will include colorful hand-made paper dresses that recall her youth when she was taken to her uncle’s dress shop downtown to try them on (which made her very uncomfortable). She says, “Butch fashion is my armor. The dresses I was forced to wear when I was young only made me more determined to dress the way I do today.” Also included are paper life jackets that refer to her Lesbian-Feminist heroes who are fiercely surviving and thriving. As Phranc says, these jackets are “strong enough to float me in a world that wants me to drown." At the opening reception on Sat., July 14, Phranc is orchestrating a “Butch Parade”, a fashion show in which these heroes sail down the runway, head above water in her paper life jackets.