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Alan Vega

Alan Vega, Stars, 2016, graphite and acrylic on canvas, 36 × 24".

AS THE 1960S DISSOLVED into the ’70s, the late Alan Vega made two transitions: from painter to light sculptor, and from visual artist to rock vocalist. After an epiphanic experience witnessing Iggy Pop in concert in 1969, he teamed up with Martin Rev to form Suicide. The notorious New York duo was equally provocative and prescient, setting the pace not only for punk but for the electropop and EDM movements by stripping rock instrumentation down to a keyboard, drum machine, and vocals. One of Suicide’s first gigs took place at Lower Manhattan’s OK Harris gallery in 1970, alongside an exhibition of Vega’s light sculptures; he also showed at Barbara Gladstone gallery in 1983 and Deitch Projects in 2002. But despite the interest from high-profile gallerists, Vega’s art career has remained obscure, while his music, particularly Suicide’s eponymous 1977 debut LP, achieved legendary

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