Since Warhol's exit, alternative music's tie to the art world has been tenuous, at best. Though paintings by Yoko Ono or Marilyn Manson may appear in the pages of Rolling Stone, the only art at concerts is on band T-shirts, flyers or a few stickers.
Two years ago, Tijuana's Nortec Collective reconnected art and music. Graphic designers, filmmakers, sculptors and painters exhibited at the all-night DJ events. It was a cultural resurgence-a traveling gallery of Tijuana's ripe, young artistic community.
In the same vein, local publicity company Holiday Matinee, with help from 91X and the Casbah, is taking San Diego culture on the road. Their “Can You Hear Me Now?” tour will bring cutting edge San Diego art and music to six west coast cities.
“San Diego has long been the birthplace of underground music and art,” says David Brown, president of the downtown company. “Behind the scenes... are a small army of photographers, graphic artists, independent record labels, musicians, collectives, writers and promoters who lend their talents to spread the gospel of San Diego's artistic underground.
“If the Visitors Bureau of San Diego were to take notice and support us, then I think it would mean a lot for the local culture,” he says. “I guess it comes down to the fact that people in our community will be in the know and hopefully we'll be able to reach out to some new faces in our own city.”
Along with art rock ensemble Ilya and Tijuana's Loopdrop, “Can You Hear Me Now?” will feature the works of collage artist Joshua Krause, jewelry designer Gabriella Fuentes, filmmaker Andrew Pates and photographer Max Stromberger.
“Anyone can put together a show of music, but to really represent what's going on in a city with art and music is really cool,” Stromberger says, though he's realistic. “Do I think people in Oregon are going to pay for pictures of my friends playing music? No.”