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in 1978 he curates the first punk no wave art exhibition in New York, with Joey Ramone, Debbie Harry, as the lead artists. A mixed media event he showcased artists of various mediums from Fashion, Music, Painting, Sculpture, Video, and Installation. Art critics consider the show just one more rock party. Intransigent and fiery, he can hardly stand the stuffy art world, still and serene. a year later confronting  an art critic  on the state of the art world he was snubbed. He then severs two of his fingers from his left hand at the reception desk at the art critics newspaper office. And while his accomplices achieve their famous careers, Banger continues his instinctive vehemence that borders to orgies of expressionist lack of restraint.

Too much in advance, he tries in 1980 to liven up the conceptually quiet world of Soho galleries. He co-curates a  group show that breaks the cherry of Jean Michel Basquiat, showing his work for the first time in a gallery.

WhatsApp Image 2023-08-29 at 3.03.21 PM

by Charles Dreyfus, Paris, 1998

On a knife edge, Banger affirms the indefeasible and indomitable intransigence of individuality. He remains one of the rare people who follow the new kind of aristocracy depicted by Baudelaire, “…all the more difficult to be broken because it is based on the most precious and indestructible abilities and on celestial gifts which neither money nor labor can award”.
Here we are in front of one extemely refined taste that has no hold on moral or utilitarian aims. Banger conceives his commitments to painting as the action of a person who takes part in life itself : a baker whose subtle alchemy cooks a quality bread as his life long desire. He is like the painter Whistler who claimed a value not for the finish of his paintings but for what he had himself become, for the refinement of perception and sensibility he had achieved to embody.
When in 1977 he arrives from Pittsburgh to New York City (as a student at the Art Students League), he immediately imerses himself in the punk scene of the Lower East Side – as means of subsistence, he is a seller in a $3 punk clothing shop. He then tries rather unsuccessfully, to instill some intrest for the arts to his musician friends. He deluges with his paintings every club of the punk trend, Max’s Kansas City Chick Peas, CBGB’s, Mudd Club etc.

The Artist’s Angry Message

There’s a guy here called Buzzy,” Marzonati said. “He was great. He picked up the fingers right away — they were the fourth and fifth fingers of his left hand — and wrapped them in ice and put them in the icebox. Then he called the cops. We hoped the doctors could sew them back.

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