It’s been a while since there has been an exhibition of Don’s artwork. If you’re lucky enough you can catch this latest show called Don Van Vliet: Parapliers the Willow Dipped, Paintings 1967-1997 at Michael Werner’s Gallery in New York. Venue: Michael Werner 4 East 77th Street New York, NY 10075 Date: 31st January – 31st March Monday to Saturday 10am – 6pm There is also a pre-show reception on 30 January (6pm – 8pm) which will feature Nona Hendryx. Presumably Nona will be performing some of her Beefheart covers. Press release from Michael Werner: Michael Werner Gallery is pleased to present Parapliers the WillowRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This review of the 2017 exhibition ‘Works On Paper’ was published on The Quietus website 5 August 2017 [/alert_box] See original article Look At My Beef Art: Works On Paper By Don Van Vliet Adam Lehrer An exhibition at Michael Werner’s New York gallery looks at works on paper in watercolour, gouache, and coloured pencil, by American outsider icon Don Van Vliet aka Captain Beefheart. Objectively critiquing the visual art works of a famous musician (or actor, or novelist, etc.) is no small order. How do you not immediately view the work through the lens of the music that you already know well andRead More →

A 1993 poetry reading CD was included in the Stand Up To Be Discontinued exhibition book and later reproduced in the Pearls Before Swine book. It included readings of the following poems: Fallin’ Ditch The Tired Plain Skeleton Makes Good Safe Sex Drill Tulip Gill At the time, many found the recording shocking and upsetting. This was the first time Don Van Vliet had been widely heard in public since 1982’s Ice Cream For Crow and the intervening 11 years had clearly not been kind. He sounded far older than his 52 years and rumours of illness seemed to have confirmation. Today, I think theyRead More →

Published by Cantz Paperback £21.95 1993 ISBN 3-9801320-2-1 Hardback Limited Edition (1500) with CD £32.50 1993 ISBN 3-9801320-3-X Deluxe Slip Cased Limited Edition (120) with original etching £180.00 1994 136 pages with 70 colour plates Contents: Don van Vliet in Bielefeld: Andreas Beaugrand Animals and Black Ladies: Karsten Ohrt Don van Vliet – The Painting: Jessica Rutherford “Stand Up To Be Discontinued”. On Don van Vliet as Painter and Musician: Paolo Bianchi Pearls before Swine. Ice Cream for Crow. On the Relationship between Music and Painting in Captain Beefheart’s Work: Luca Ferrari Captain Beefheart: Diedrich Diedrichsen Don van Vliet: Roberto Ohrt Fur Don van Vliet:Read More →

One of the many myths surrounding Don’s early years involves his association with a Portuguese sculptor called Agostinho Rodrigues (sometimes written as Augustino Rodriquez). Don’s story is that he trained under this artist and appeared on a weekly television programme with him sculpting wild animals at Griffith Park Zoo. Searches for information about Rodrigues (using variations on the spelling of his name) have come to nothing. However, in 2003 a bit more about Rodrigues, Don and animal sculpting came to light. The Rhino art box Riding Some Kind Of Unusual Skull Sleigh included a book called Splinters, a collection of personal photos and other ephemeraRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This article appeared in the 21st August 1994 edition of The Independent on Sunday, prior to the Stand Up To Be Discontinued exhibition opening in England.[/alert_box] Don Van Vliet is probably the only full-time painter who used to be a mythical figure in music. Once Captain Beefheart, he is soon to exhibit in Brighton. Ben Thompson sent him a fax. DON VAN VLIET lives in the small and beautifully named town of Trinidad in Northern California, up by the Oregon border, 135 ft from the ocean. He paints there. He is a painter of note – “Stand Up to Be Discontinued”, the second BritishRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]From the Stand Up To Be Discontinued book, Cantz, 1993[/alert_box] Ice Cream for Crow. On the Relationship between Music and Painting in Captain Beefheart’s Work Those who, over the last twenty years, have loved the music of Captain Beefheart cannot forget that he decided to abandon the music scene (it would seem definitively) to devote himself full-time to painting. Specialist rock critics, who were left the sad task of a retrospective tribute to his career, each time have boldly tried to establish correlations bet-ween yesterday’s music and today’s painting, acting in a way that is markedly ‘reparative’ and which, implicitly placing diachronic continuity toRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This highly recommended interview was taken from the January 1988 edition of Spin magazine.[/alert_box] Don Van Vliet was born in Glendale, California, on January 15, 1941, the only child of Glenn and Sue Van Vliet. Don began showing artistic talent at a very young age but Glenn and Sue were none too keen on having an artist in the family. “Cause you know, all artists are faggots,” Don explains. When he was young, the family moved to the Mojave Desert, an isolated, brutal environment that they hoped would bleach the creative juice out of their son. But Van Vliet’s drive to translate the worldRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]From the 18th December 1985 New York Times[/alert_box] A painter whose first one-man show in New York runs through Saturday at the Mary Boone Gallery, 417 West Broadway, may be better known to music-lovers than to the art world. The prestigious gallery, which has represented David Salle and Julian Schnabel, has a show of eight large, boldly colored canvases by Don Van Vliet, the composer, saxophonist and harmonica player who has been making records since the 1960’s as Captain Beefheart. The style of such paintings as ”Eye Whine” and ”Gum at the Bottom of the Grocery” will be familiar to owners of the albumsRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This interview was taken from the August 1983 edition of Heavy Metal Magazine. A big thankyou to Don Trubey for scanning and sending it along.[/alert_box] Photograph copyright Anton Corbijn, used by kind permission There’s no doubt in my mind that Don Van Vliet (better known by his nom de disc, Captain Beefheart) is one of the most extraordinary humans on the face of the Earth. A few years ago, in a youthfully effusive frenzy, I called him an ubermensch (superman, for you non-Nietzscheans), something he’s never let me live down. But the man isn’t so much a superman, as… well, a separate genus andRead More →

[alert_box type=”info”]This excellent article / interview was taken from the October 1st – 7th 1980 edition of Voice.[/alert_box] He’s alive, but so is paint. Are you? Don Van Vliet is a 39-year-old man who lives with his wife Jan in a trailer in the Mojave Desert. They have very little money, so it must be pretty hard on them sometimes, but I’ve never heard them complain. Don Van Vliet is better known as Captain Beefheart, a legend worldwide whom the better part of a generation of New Wave rock ‘n’ roll bands’ have cited as one of their most important spiritual and musical forefathers: JohnRead More →