12 April till 25 May 2019: Alive on the Cutting Edge by Bob de Groof (lino cuts)
In a series of large-size lino prints, Belgian painter, graphic artist
12 April – 25 May 2019, HOK Gallery, Mauritskade 77 in The Hague, The Netherlands
In a series of large-size lino prints, Belgian punk painter, graphic artist and ex-junky Bob de Groof brings a homage to Johnny Thunders and other heroes living and dying on the cutting edge. Blown away by the Sex Pistols’ records in 1977, Bob began drawing a lot of work inspired on punk, reggae and politics. And the punk inspiration never let him down ever since. In fact, he loved the punk and rock’n’roll way of life so much, it almost killed him.
Through the years, Bob de Groof himself has seen more than his share of the cutting edge. “Paradoxically I think that without the drugs, I would have killed myself before I was 20 years old. Later then came the years I couldn’t shoot up anymore, because my veins were so fucked up. I took up methadone (besides all the other medications, alcohol and drugs) and made probably hundreds of drawings of myself and others shooting up, humanized syringes etc., to alleviate my gigantic obsession. This was a time I survived thanks to my art. It allowed me to express stuff that no sane human being would have wanted to hear. The culminative point of my heroin-based art was probably the massive Ham-Burroughs sketch from ’91, based on the person and the work of William Burroughs. Of which, 27 years later, especially for the HOK exhibition, I made a linocut version.
A nice anecdote about my encounter with HOK galerist Angela, in November last year, when she came to visit me, was that we hit it off straight away because of our common love for Johnny Thunders’ So Alone record. And when I showed her the Funeral Dirge for Johnny T. linocut on his OD, which I made after a mourning drawing from April ’91, I knew we could and would work together. Just before he died, I had seen an acoustic gig by him and some saxophone player, an immense gig, where he talked about the fact that children and dogs were the only creatures who still came over to see him. I really related to him on the day of that concert and we even toked from the same joint. Less than 2 weeks later, he took a lethal shot laced with battery acid powder in New Orleans.”
The 28th anniversary of Johnny Thunders’ death and sad vacation happens to coincide with Bob de Groof’s expo in HOK. By way of commemoration on the 23rd of April HOK will bring out a devotional card, featuring a beautiful little poem by Subway Sect’s Vic Godard, composed for the occasion.
This is Bob de Groof’s first solo exhibition in the Netherlands, and HOK Gallery is proud to stage it. Along with the expo HOK also publishes a limited edition booklet Alive on the Cutting Edge, which has an extensive, in-depht interview with Bob de Groof, risographed reproductions of his works, and a poem by Dutch first and foremost punk poet Diana Ozon.
Link to artist page: click here