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Billy X. Curmano: Bio

Billy X.

Billy X. Curmano is an award winning artist/adventurer and former McKnight Foundation Interdisciplinary Art Fellow. He was trained as a painter and sculptor (If, of course, painters and sculptors can be trained). His more traditional objects have been exhibited both here and abroad since a first solo show at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in 1970. Notably, some of his paintings represented the USA in the “III Vienna Graphikbiennale” (Austria). His works have also found their way to the Museum of Modern Art in New York and other prestigious collections. Billy X. came to music through the back door using soundscapes in “live art” and is probably best known for edgy performances. His more eccentric pieces include a 3-day live burial, 2,000 plus mile Mississippi River Swim, 40-day Death Valley Desert Fast and a sojourn to the Arctic Circle on public transport. He’s won awards for performance and film as well as a solo CD. Billy X. has toured every way imaginable including 6,200 miles and 15 cities in 45 days on a Greyhound Bus and intrigued audiences from the Dalai Lama's World Festival of Sacred Music in Los Angeles to New York City's famed Franklin Furnace. He's been a "Pick of the Week" in the L.A. Weekly and on the City Pages "A List". Journalists have dubbed him the court jester of Southern Minnesota. He has been fortunate to study briefly with John Cage, Rachel Rosenthal, Babtundi Olatunji and Joseph Shabalala.

Billy X Curmano  US-Amerikaner  - Winona, Minnesota, USA
 
Billy X Curmano ist ein preisgekrönter (u.a. "McKnight Foundation Fellow") unabhängiger Künstler, welcher live art mit traditionellen Elementen ausführt.  Seine Werke wurden vielfach ausgestellt und gesammelt u.a. von New Yorks Museum of Modern Art bis zur "III. Wiener Graphikbiennale".  Seine extremen Performances waren unter anderem
- 3 Tage unter der Erde "lebendig begraben" mit Darbietungen
- Den ganzen Mississippi von der Quelle bis zum Golf von Mexiko entlang geschwommen - 3809 km - als Performance und um Aufmerksamkeit auf die Verschmutzung des Wassers zu lenken.
-  40 Tage fasten im Death Valley (Wüste)
- eine "Missionsreise" zum Arktischen Kreis,  wo er Grüße vom Mississippi zur Arktischen See brachte.
 
Journalisten gaben  ihm den Namen "Narr von Süd - Minnesota" und verglichen ihn mit den bekannten Künstlern P.T. Barnum, Andy Warhol und Marcel Duchamp.

John Pendergast

Johnny begged his parents to buy him his first guitar after hearing Booker T and the MG’s “Green Onions”. He began guitar lessons as an eleven year old with the television bandleader, Joe Shott of the Hot Shots and went on to study violin and voice. There were garage bands, high school dances, soul and swing bands in raucous frat houses and even commercials in CA. John Pendergast has toured from coast to coast with a long list of bands including Fly Agaric, the Juggernaut Jug Band, Nevard and the Barrelhouse Boys (the roots of Washboard Slim and the Bluelights”) James Velvet, The Magnetics and Tune Chic. He’s worked clubs from the Bottom Line and Lone Star in New York City to Milwaukee's Humpin' Hannah’s. Of course, there have been plenty of dives and roadhouses in between. His rockabilly and jug band roots became stage personas as Mr. Hollywood, Colonel Fingers, Johnny Burnout and Johnny Memphis. He's played with Bo Diddley, Vasar Clements and the Manhattan Transfer; drunk whiskey with Stefan Grappelli and chased women with Mose Allison.

Steve Smith

Steve Smith, by trade is a boat captain on the Mississippi but his passion has always been free jazz. Steve taught himself to play tenor saxophone with the help of public school band directors, and was playing professionally at age 15 in Minneapolis (where he grew up). His eventual exposure to the likes of Albert Ayler, Edgard Varese and Sun Ra set him on an inexorable path to explore the fractal and "chaotic," aspects of music - culminating, by an improbable series of coincidences, in a very satisfying quarter-century collaboration with his good friend, Billy. Together, along with D.L. Hunt, they founded the experimental sound collective The New X Art Ensemble featuring the Amazing Tess Toster Tones sometimes identified as Winona, MN’s most bothersome band. His sax and dijeridu anchor the horn section. Other projects have included jazz, blues and R & B bands and a CD with the End Time Quartet.

Billy X. Curmano (Details)

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS, INSTALLATIONS & PERFORMANCES: THE HISTORY OF DISAPPEARANCE Live Art from New York, Group Exhibition with Solo Performance, Baltic Contemporary Arts Center, Gateshead, Great Britain, Organized 2005-Still touring internationally. ARRESTING ARTISTS, Group Exhibition, Franklin Furnace, Brooklyn, NY, 2006 LIVE ART: 66º 33’ NORTH, Solo Performance above the Arctic Circle, Lofoten Islands, Norway, 2005 THE GREYHOUND TOUR, Solo Performance Tour, 21 performances, 15 cities, 6,293-miles, 45 days, USA, 2004 THE FIRE BEARER, 3 day Performance with installation, Grounds For Sculpture and Johnson Atelier, Hamilton, NJ, 2002 NATURAL HISTORIES, Four-Person Exhibition, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH, 2001 DEATH VALLEY DESERT CLASSIC, Solo Performance, 40 day juice and water fast, Death Valley, CA, 1999-2000 THREE RIVERS INSTALLATION, Group Exhibition/Installation, Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, 1997-2000 MUCK MINNOW THE GILL BOY, Solo Performance, Cleveland Performance Art Festival, Cleveland, OH and Intermedia Arts, Minneapolis, MN, 1998 SWIMMIN’ THE RIVER, Solo Performance, 2,367.4-mile Mississippi River swim, Source to Gulf, Mississippi River, 1987-1997 OBJECTS COLLECTED & CREATED IN THE COURSE OF A SWIM, Solo Traveling Exhibition with Performances, Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, The Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, LA, Eastern Oregon State University, La Grande, OR, and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1995-1997 VIDEO-EXPEDITION IN THE PERFORMANCE-WORLD, Group Video Exhibition, Artpool, Budapest and Newkapolcs Gallery, Kapolcs, Hungary, 1995 ADVENTURES WITH BILLY, Performance, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, Buffalo State, Buffalo, NY and others 1992-1993 ARTISTS CONSIDER THE ENVIRONMENT, Solo Performance and Group Exhibition, Forum Gallery, Jamestown, NY, 1993 INTERNATIONAL MINIPRINT EXHIBITION, Group Exhibition, Municipal Museum, Ourense, Spain, 1992 and 1993 FAX & SOUND ART, Group Exhibition, Artpool Art Research Center, Budapest, Hungary, 1992 HOMELESS HILTON: NY, NY, Performance, Franklin Furnace off site at New York City Hilton Hotel, New York City, 1990 SWIMMIN’, PART III, Solo Performance, Ecofest, NYC Park & Recreation, New York City, 1989 SWIMMIN’, PART II: THE DROUGHT, Performance, Minneapolis Art Institute, Minneapolis, MN and Madison Civic Center, Madison, WI, 1988 PERFORMANCE POD, Performance, Cleveland Public Theatre, Cleveland, OH and Franklin Furnace, New York City, 1988 SWIMMIN’, PART I: MUTINY ON THE MISSISSIPPI, Performance/Installation, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI, 1987 MIDWESTERN INVITATIONALS, Group Exhibitions, Rourke Gallery, Moorhead, MN, all 1985-2006 FRESH FRUIT FOR ROTTEN VEGETABLES, Group Exhibition, A & P Gallery, New York City, 1986 OPPRESSION/EXPRESSION, Group Exhibition, The Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, LA, 1986 10TH ANNUAL SMALL WORKS EXHIBITION, Group Exhibition, New York University, New York City, 1986 IN SYMPATHY, Performance/Installation, Film in the Cities, St. Paul, MN, 1984 PUBLIC WORKS, Solo Performance and Group Exhibition, 10 on 8 and Cat Club, New York City, 1984 ORANGE COUNTY 16TH ANNUAL NATIONAL, Group Exhibition, Brea Civic Cultural Center, Brea, CA, 1982 IRRETRIEVABLE STATEMENTS, 7th Solo Exhibition with Performance, Krasl Art Center, St. Joseph, MI, 1981 ARTISTS’ BOOKS and MAIL ART EXHIBITION, Group Exhibitions, Metronom, Barcelona, Spain, 1980 and 1981 23RD CHAUTAUQUA NATIONAL, Group Exhibition, Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, NY, 1980 K’UN, Solo Performance/Installation, Musee d’Art Vivant Vehicule, Montreal, Canada, 1980 III VIENNA GRAPHIKBIENNALE, Group Exhibition, Vienna Secession/Albertina Museum, Vienna, Austria, 1977 ART IN THE MAIL, Group Touring Exhibition organized by Manwatu Gallery, New Zealand, 1976 - 1977 18TH NATIONAL SUN CARNIVAL, Group Exhibition, El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, TX, 1975 TRIANGULATION, 3rd Solo Exhibition with Performance, Dean Gallery, Minneapolis, MN, 1975 8TH TYLER NATIONAL, Group Exhibition, Tyler Museum of Art, Tyler, TX, 1972 57TH WI PAINTERS/SCULPTORS EXHIBITION, Group Exhibition, UWM and Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI, 1972 #18; #19, 3 Person Exhibition with Performance, Kottler Galleries, New York City, 1972 PAULA INSEL ANNUAL GROUP EXHIBITION, Group Exhibition, Paula Insel Galleries, New York City, 1972 ARTISTS’ PROPOSALS FOR HUMAN ENVIRONMENT, Group Exhibition, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI, 1971 GRAPHICS USA, Group Exhibition, Robert Paul Gallery, Chicago, IL, 1971 PROGRESSION, 1st Solo Exhibition with Performance, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, 1970 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY Art Journal, Spring 2006, College Art Association, New York City, 2006 Abstracts 2000 and Abstracts 2003, College Art Association, New York City, 2000 and 2003 New Art Examiner, Oct. 1994, New Art Examiner, Chicago, 1994 Artforms, (College Text) 5th Edition, Harper Collins, New York City, 1994 New Observations, #95, New Observations, New York City, 1993 Art Journal, Vol. 51 #2, College Art Association, New York City, 1992 High Performance, Numbers 15, 17/18, 20, 21, 22, 38, 54 and 60, Astro Artz, Los Angeles, 1981-92 Breakthrough, Vol. 11 #2-4, Global Education Associates, New York City, 1990 The New York Art Review, 4th Edition, American References, Chicago, 1988 Artists’ Books, 1st Edition, University at Oldenburg, Oldenburg, Germany, 1986 International Artists’ Stamps, 1st Edition, Museum for Modern Art, Weddel, Germany, 1985 How to Survive & Prosper as an Artist, 1st Edition, Holt, Rinehart, Winston, New York City, 1983 Mail Art Book 1, 1st Edition, Japan Artists’ Union, Hyoga, Japan, 1982 International Catalog of Contemporary Art, 82-83, Rimeco Edizioni, Chiasso, Switzerland, 1980 Mail Art Exhibition, 1st Edition, Metronom C.D.A.A., Barcelona, Spain, 1980 3. Wiener Graphikbiennale, Number 3, Wiener Secession, Vienna, Austria, 1977 Artists’ Signatures/Symbols/Monograms, 1st Edition, George Prior Publishers, London, England, 1976 Art News, Summer Edition, Art News, New York City, 1972 PLUS: Who’s Who in Art; New York, Minnesota, Canadian and German Public Television; National Public Radio; CNN; Real TV; AP; UPI: Words by Wire; USA Today; San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post and others. SELECTED HONORS AND AWARDS 1997 McKnight Foundation Interdisciplinary Art Fellow. 2006 Just Plain Folks Experimental Album Award. 2002 Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Film & Digital Media. Mayoral proclamations: Billy X. Curmano Day in St. Louis; Cape Girardeau and New Orleans. Honorary citizen: Greenville and Natchez, MS. SELECTED COLLECTIONS Museum of Modern Art and Franklin Furnace, NYC; Center for the Study of Political Graphics, Los Angeles; Temple University, Philadelphia; Milwaukee Art Museum; Plains Art Museum, ND; Long Beach Art Museum, CA; Stanley Marsh 3, Amarillo, TX; Ourense Municipal Museum, Spain; Artpool, Budapest, Hungary; Count Panza, Varese, Italy and S.T Eriks, Stockholm, Sweden. SELECTED RESIDENCIES Universities: Hawaii, Minnesota, North Carolina, California, Wisconsin, Illinois State, Eastern Oregon State and De Pauw. Panelist for Mid America and College Art Association Conferences; Minnesota State Arts Board’s Artists in Education Program (1983-84); Chichester Institute, England and S.T Eriks Gymnasium Stockholm. EDUCATION University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Sculpture, MS 1977; BFA 1973; Art Students League of New York, Sculpture, 1982; Hollywood Film Institute, Producer/Director Certificate 2001. C.E.U.’s: University of Minnesota, Health Hazards in the Arts Conference and Inver Hills Community College, Arts/Cable Exchange. ADDITIONAL TEACHING NOTES Graduate Seminar and Experimental Art Research: University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Expanded Arts: Illinois State University, Normal. Drawing: Winona State University, Winona, MN. Interdisciplinary Art, Sculpture or Painting Workshops: University of Hawaii-Manoa; Minneapolis Community College; DePauw, Greencastle, IN; Augsburg College, Minneapolis. Painting and Silk Screen Workshops: Milwaukee World Festival and Wisconsin Art Guild. RELATED INFORMATION Founder XART (eXperimental Art Research Terminal) and Director Art Works USA Production and publication of printed matter, video and audio works, exhibitions and performances. Collaborative projects with the Center for Arts Criticism, Intermedia Arts and Minneapolis Art Institute in Minnesota. Franklin Furnace, NYC, Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans and others. Coordinated Day Without Art activities for museums, universities, galleries and performance centers in four state region. Exhibitions include international postal shows Deface Billy Project and In Sympathy (15 countries represented; includes Mark di Suvero, Ray Johnson and John Krushenick) Art Against Apartheid and Art Not Arms for Central America regional traveling exhibitions and Art as Politics and Propaganda for the Winona Arts Center. Ongoing since 1977. MAEP Panelist elected curatorial position, Minnesota Artist Exhibition Program, Minneapolis Institute of Arts. President Board of Directors, Winona Art Center 2000-2005 Founding Steering Committee Wisconsin Art Guild and Bizarro Art Festivals, Studio Coordinator and Editor Wisconsin Art Guild News Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1972-1975 Midwest Correspondent Art Workers News Foundation for the Community of Artists, NYC, 1980-1982 SELCO Art Coordinator initiated professional art program recognizing libraries as rural cultural centers with exhibits and performances in collaboration with the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Rochester Art Center, Guthrie Theater, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Minnesota State Arts Board in 10 Minnesota counties, 1979-1981. Director, Broadway Galleries, Milwaukee, WI regional and international exhibitions including the Broadway International Post Card & Mail Art Extravaganza (150 artists; 24 countries includes Klaus Groh, Keigo Yamamoto and Dick Higgins) 1976 and 1977.