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Night Out with Richard Hell: Jayson Musson
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This project is funded by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

+ About the Performance
This program was recorded 04/03/2015 at Symphony Space.

The progenitive NYC icon Richard Hell's influence on popular culture runs so deep it is hard to quantify. With the pioneering 1970s bands Television, the Heartbreakers, and ultimately Richard Hell and the Voidoids, he helped invent punk and what came next. He retired from music in 1984, and has since established a reputation as a writer rivaling his achievement in music. He's the author of two novels, Go Now and Godlike, the collection Hot and Cold, and much journalism in magazines from Vice to the Village Voice to BlackBook (where he was film columnist) to the New York Times. His most recent book is the autobiography I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp.

For Night Out with Richard Hell, he takes up residence in the Thalia to set the stage for artists that interest him today. Each evening in the series features an interview by Richard with an artist chosen by him followed by the artist's performance - five events you will not forget.


For this installment, Hell welcomes Jayson Musson.

Musson, a premier trickster and provocateur of contemporary art, became an internet phenomenon in 2010 as Hennessy Youngman, a roughly hip-hop persona he assumed to nail the art world with hilarious precision in a series of instructive monologues he called “Art Thoughtz.” Hell will speak with Musson about his entire career, from his days in the Philly rap group Plastic Little, through his Hennesy Youngman period, on up to his recent Studio 94 Gallery shows of Coogi sweater "paintings” and the "Exhibit of Abstract Art" (derived from "Nancy" comic strip parodies of modern art), and beyond. The interview will be sprinkled with multimedia presentations of Musson's various artworks. Though his works are often rooted in humor, they’re as intellectually stimulating and good to look at as your more solemn art.

+ About the Artists

RICHARD HELL grew up in Kentucky. At 17 he dropped out of high school and came to New York to be a poet. In the early 70s he formed the band the Neon Boys with his high school friend Tom Verlaine, which evolved into Television in 1974. After a year Richard left that bunch and started the Heartbreakers with former New York Dolls Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan. Hell departed the Heartbreakers in 1976 to found Richard Hell and the Voidoids, whose 1977 album Blank Generation is one of the landmarks of “punk.” The Voidoids would make one more album, Destiny Street (1982), before Hell retired from music. Soon after, Hell became a professional writer, author of the novels Go Now (1996) and Godlike (2005), and the collection of lyrics, essays, notebooks, drawings, etc., Hot and Cold (2001), as well as a contributor of essays, reportage, and fiction to such publications as Spin, GQ, Esquire, Purple, The Village Voice, Vice, Bookforum, Art in America, The New York Times, and The New York Times Book Review. From 2004 to 2006 he was the film critic for BlackBook magazine. His most recent book is the acclaimed autobiography, I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp (2013).

JAYSON MUSSON (b. 1977) received his BFA in Photography from the University of Arts, Philadelphia and his MFA in Painting from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions including Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; the Contemporary Art Museum in Houston, Texas, The Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco and the Grimmuseum in Berlin. He is currently working on his new web series The Adventures of Jamel.

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