Best known as the vocalist for legendary 1970s synthpunk band Suicide, Alan Vega is also a visual artist who creates light sculptures, collages, and drawings that share the wild energy, chaos, and danger of his music. He has said, “My sculpture is an example of Punk visually, a not-give-a-shit attitude about just piling up a load of garbage and proving it could look good too […]“ These works are assembled from objects Vega finds on the streets of New York–light bulbs, crucifixes, TV sets, coils of wire, and neon. Viewers often avoid getting too close to his sculptures, threatened by broken wire, smashed bulbs, chains, and broken glass. His collages, featuring the faces of bloodied boxers, similarly convey the rough side of life–as do his aggressively scribbled semi-automatic self portraits. Vega studied painting at Brooklyn College under Ad Reinhardt and Kurt Seligman. He was also a member of the Art Worker's Coalition, an activist collective who lobbied aggressively for museum reform, famously barricading the Museum of Modern Art. In 1968 the artist co-founded the Project of Living Artists, an alternative art space in SoHo, open 24 hours a day to visual arts, filmmakers, and musicians, including the New York Dolls, Television, and Blondie.
Vega has had solo exhibitions at Musée d’art Contemporain in Lyon, Barbara Gladstone Gallery in New York, Invisible Export, New York, and Galerie Laurent Godin in Paris. His works have also been included in group exhibitions at MoMA PS1, Magasin in Grenoble, and Fiac in Paris, among other venues.