You don’t know Head? Ahh, but you should. He’s the main man behind the great Apocabilly band that’s been blistering local dance floors for the past 15 years in the area, Pitchfork Militia. But also a great artist of drawings, graphic works, Bonsai Tree stands, sculpture, and his deeply original instruments, of which this will be their second public showing.
“Salad bowls and coffee cans and cookie tins and garbage cans, light fixtures, rocket fins, oil pans and cotter pins…There was a turning point in my musical direction when, in 1995, I saw a picture of some African kid holding a homemade 3 string gas can guitar and the thought ‘Hey…I can do that’ entered my head,” said the Palenville born, bred, and still resident, of his latest body of work. “The first few guitars I made were awkward and hard to play, but as I refined my skills I made a couple that I could actually play the mighty bejeezus out of. And with a cheap contact mic, any piece of junk will make some kind of sound, and so they became electric guitars…The resulting sounds are as varied and beautiful as life itself.”
Head, of course, regaled everybody with a wild PM concert last weekend. But he’s also made some of his poetry available for this solo show at Varga and hopefully, with a bit of encouragement (including his reading of this), he’ll be back on hand during the show’s run to play on some of what he’s made. Solo, he’s one of the more intense, but also purely lovable presences anywhere these days. Long live Peter Head!
As for what else is up at Varga’s this month, the best bet is to head on down and check it all out. Sure, all the regulars will be there, including Scott Ackerman (fresh from a successful show up in Albany last month), Richard Treitner (never one to calm his own soul), and Varga herself. Plus the crème de la crème of all those local artists rising through the juried shows at The Artists association, Arts Society of Kingston, and Phoenicia’s Arts Upstairs looking for a place to continue hanging their work.
Or better, given Varga’s inimitable curating style, stacking work up, salon-style.++
The VARGA Gallery is located at 130 Tinker Street in Woodstock. Gallery hours are Thursday through Sunday noon-5 p.m., by appointment and for special events.
For more information call 679-4005 or visit www.vargagallery.com.
For more on Head, and everything that man’s up to, visit www.peterheadhimself.com.