San Francisco can lay claim to many famous residents over time, but while we all know that Jack Kerouac slept off many a late-night bender here, and that Mark Twain spent his coldest winter ever here during summer, there is one stalwart talent who has been here for decades but that you may not be familiar with - Winston Smith.
Winston, who took his name from the ill-fated protagonist in George Orwell's 1984 began working with Jello Biafra and The Dead Kennedys in the late 1970's when his iconoclastic sculpture of Christ crucified on a cross of dollar bills was used as the cover of "In God We Trust, Inc." This collaboration begot a relationship that lasts to this day, but while always sticking to his anarchistic guns, Winston has broadened his influence to include work for Spin, Playboy, Mother Jones and can even lay claim to a New Yorker cover!
Last night in a basement gallery, down a tiny alley in North Beach, Winston decided to clean out his closet and sell dozens of original collages, many of which were turned into flyers for some of the greatest punk shows ever, and most from that sweet-spot of his Alternitave Tenticles partnerships, the early 80's; trust me when I tell you that I was like a kid in a candy store!
So, maybe you've seen Winston's stuff on a Green Day record or maybe you own some of his books, but chances are you've never seen the stuff I just added to my collection. Until now! Thanks again for the great time last night, Winston (and for the killer deals) - you do San Francisco proud!