Hidden treasures discovered while digging through Frank Moore's huge archives.

Tag: oil paintings (page 1 of 1)

Frank Moore / Matrix 280: Theater of Human Melting

January 25–April 23, 2023

It was an amazing event. We are very happy that we made the trip to Berkeley for this.

Keith Wilson and Vincent Fecteau curated the exhibition. The opening featured the Curators’ Talk. It was hard to see how these two guys who had never even met Frank would be able to capture the depth and vastness that is Frank and his work. They were going to be speaking to an audience that included many people who knew, love and worked with Frank.

Their presentation brought tears to our eyes. Their talk was a duet … a tag team … getting deeper and more real with each turn. By the end you could see Frank there speaking through them as they channeled him.

Looking at the photos it looks like a night at Burnt Ramen between acts with the mix of art outlaws mingling and hanging out together in the magic that Frank always brought. It was so warming to be with everyone, enjoying …


The large outdoor video screen that displays announcements on the side of the museum
Keith Wilson and Vincent Fecteau


Click on a thumbnail for a larger image


More photos of the Berkeley trip ….


BAMPFA presents the paintings of Frank Moore … ARTICLE FROM THE Berkeleyside

BAMPFA presents the paintings of Frank Moore — a performance artist, poet and so much more

Opening Jan. 25, exhibition focuses on the lesser-known body of work by the Berkeley countercultural activist who was also a playwright and filmmaker.
Sponsored by Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
Jan. 19, 2023, 8:38 a.m.

Frank Moore’s portrait of musician Patti Smith was recently acquired by BAMPFA. Credit: BAMPFA

If you spent any time at Sproul Plaza on the UC Berkeley campus during the 1970s, you may have encountered a young man in a wheelchair with a mischievous smile and a long pointing stick strapped to his head of unruly brown hair. If you approached this man, you might have seen a colorful sign on his lap with a simple invitation: “Talk to Me.”

This was Frank Moore, one of the most distinctive and distinguished artists to emerge from Berkeley’s counterculture scene during the 1970s and ’80s. A Berkeley original, Moore (1946–2013) was known by his many friends and admirers as a prodigious poet, painter, playwright, performance artist, musician, filmmaker, shaman, presidential candidate, and public access television impresario. He was all of these things and more, all while living with a disability that limited his speech and motion but left his creative spirit unbound.

Today, Moore’s legacy lives on in his voluminous archives of art, film and written work, held at UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library. This year, Bay Area audiences will have a fresh opportunity to discover a portion of that material starting Jan. 25, when the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive unveils Frank Moore / MATRIX 280: Theater of Human Melting — the first museum exhibition dedicated to this extraordinary artist. Unlike previous exhibitions of Moore’s work, Theater of Human Melting focuses specifically on his paintings, a comparatively under-recognized aspect of his creative practice that is overdue for rediscovery. 

Frank Moore as visiting artist at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1991. Credit: Linda Mac

Born and raised in San Bernardino, Moore spent his early adulthood at the Brotherhood of the Spirit commune in western Massachusetts and among radical communities in New Mexico, where he wrote articles for progressive publications under the pen name Unicorn. After relocating to the Bay Area to attend the San Francisco Art Institute, Moore became widely known for provocative performance art presentations that incorporated nudity and eroticism as well as shamanic practices and time-based elements.

In 1978, Moore converted a vacant storefront on Bancroft Avenue into The Theater of Human Melting, a workshop where he developed performances, wrote screenplays, and mentored fellow artists. Constantly experimenting with new forms of expression, he brought his creative vision to public access television in the early 2000s, producing a weekly arts program that later transitioned into a web series. Like many Berkeleyans of his generation, Moore was also active in radical politics throughout his life — most notably as a write-in candidate for President in 2008, when he ran on a platform of “radical love.”

The latest installment in the museum’s MATRIX program for contemporary art, the exhibition of paintings at BAMPFA offers a rare glimpse at Frank Moore’s prolific output as a painter, which is less widely known than his performance art but no less central to his practice.

Working with a paintbrush strapped to his forehead, Moore used oil paint to render evocative still lifes, landscapes, and portraits, ranging from anonymous nudes to pop culture icons like Batman, Darth Vader, and Frankenstein. Twenty-nine of these remarkable works will be presented at BAMPFA, including two works that were recently acquired for the museum’s permanent collection — one of which is a portrait of musician Patti Smith, Moore’s close friend and collaborator.

Silversurfer by Frank Moore. Credit: BAMPFA

“We’re delighted to present the first museum exhibition of Frank Moore right here at his hometown museum, which will reintroduce our audiences to an artist whose singular vision was shaped by this vibrant creative community,” said BAMPFA’s Executive Director Julie Rodrigues Widholm.

 “Given Berkeley’s proud history as the birthplace of the disability rights movement, it’s especially meaningful for us to revisit the work of a Berkeley artist who was unbound by his physical limitations, and whose spirit of artistic innovation and inclusivity continues to inspire.”

Theater of Melting is guest-curated by Vincent Fecteau and Keith Wilson, both working artists with deep connections to the Bay Area, who will present a curator’s talk at the museum on Jan. 25 at 5:30 p.m.

To provide additional context on Moore’s life and work, the curators have chosen to feature the experimental video Let Me Be Frank, playing on a loop in the gallery. Although Moore is credited as the director, the segment was produced posthumously by his family as the opening sequence for a video series based on his autobiography, “Art of a Shaman.” Let Me Be Frank serves as a boisterously joyful introduction to Moore’s creative vision, driven by his passionate belief in the ability of human beings to connect.

Of related interest, selected papers from the Frank Moore Archive will be on display in the exhibit cases on the 3rd floor at The Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley, Feb. 1–April 21.

Here is the original article from the Berkeleyside

Within The Living Shadows

August 1, 2003
for Linda Smith

oh, the cool living
within the shade
of the big oak!
The girl swinging
On a high branch
Looks down
And sees my bright
Pink and yellow petals,
Jumps down
to smell me
And lies beside me
To listen to the music
Of the oak leaves
Playing with the summer breeze.

All my life
I have been sheltered
By my friend the oak,
Being protected from
Hard rain,
Gusts of cold wind,
And hot sun,
So that my gentle beauty
Can grow
strong & bright
Within the circle
Of vibrating shade…
Refreshing shadows
of living together,
Rooted together
Within just being together.
Ah, my friend,
The oak tree!

“Koala Bear”, oil on canvas, 22” x 30”, 1975 by Frank Moore

From the book Skin Passion by Frank Moore.

Too Late

For Barbara Smith’s
70th Birthday
by Frank Moore
Friday, June 29, 2001

It is too late
For THEM to defeat us.
We have made it to the gravy years!
We have lived rich lives,
Within a deep web of
Tribal community relationships,
Deep into shamanistic rituals
To the magic
Without limits
Sitting on the mat
In the universal room of hidden imagination,
Every body who comes in
A magical feast of contact connecting flesh rituals,
Growing, working the garden together
Walking together
Within small circles of evolution,
Of risks,
Deep pleasures!
Yes, my fellow playmate,
They have failed
To take the riches of living
Away from us.
They raped us
Tortured us
Pretended we were just feeble-minded silly foam
But we have transformed
All that into our web
Of change
Ain’t that what life,
Is all about anyway?

And now it’s too late for them!

They can kill us,
Put us in prison,
Take everything/everybody from us,
Erase us from memory,
But we would still have our life,
Our changes,
Our melting
Into the universal tribal body
Their only hope
Is us taking our lives back
By doubting,
By stopping playing,
But fat chance!
We are having too much fun!

Ah yes,
My dear,
We are in the GRAVY YEARS!
And the gravy
Is rich,
And spicy…
Just right
To be poured
Over winter squash!

“Jackie”, oil on canvas, 32” x 40”, 1977 by Frank Moore

From the book Skin Passion by Frank Moore.

Passions Don’t Burn Out

by Frank Moore, Friday, March 19, 1999

Passions don’t burn out
bliss don’t boil away
fuel of life
is for a lifetime

burnt out?
Kill yourself…
or stop using
glamor, hype,
romantic drug
to rush above
everyday reality

“Universal Red”, oil on canvas, 40″ x 40″, 1978 by Frank Moore

From the book Skin Passion by Frank Moore.

Family Friendly Poetry Reading

by Frank Moore, Saturday, April 06, 2002

A family friendly poetry reading?
Do you mean like READERS’ DIGEST?
I suppose some poets would go along with it…
The kind who don’t see
Don’t mind
The command
For “self” censorship
Tucked neatly in the warmly caramel apple
There ain’t no “self” censorship
You are censoring art,
The Audience
Down into nice mellow

I suppose some are willing to accept this….
The kind who don’t question
Questions like
Which family?
It definitely ain’t my family
Not any of the expanding rings
Of my family
In fact
It is down right hostile
To my human tribal family
Which teaches our kids
How to use words
To communicate with all kinds of people
In all kinds of contexts
Exploring all life
With a passionate honesty,
Sitting together
In the yummy smelling kitchen
Of Life
Sitting together
Around the tribal fires
Generations sitting together
Passing the talking stick around
Telling their stories
Revealing their desires and fears,
Wisdom and folly
Exploring myths…
Listening and telling
Into the center of respect and acceptance…
All the family listening
All tell
In their own ways…
Silly little sister
Wise grandma
Hot angry brother
Mother finding new words
Dad listening to family voices…
All beyond taboos
In this sacred ritual of telling.

I don’t really know what to make of this
I do.
This is making poetry,
All art,
Into a hallmark lapdog
Of the brainwashing “socialization”
Of little lily and billy
Using us poets
To be the shallow virus dogma carriers,
Anything but enforced shallow reality
On everyone

When I read at schools
I play by THE RULES
Not because of the kids

But to get into the brainwashing camps
To slip the kids
A subversive potion of

But shoot me
Shoot the fascist’s parents!

Think fast!
A loving couple lovingly f…

In your head,
What did you hear for F?

Did I just cross the line?

Hope so!

“Innocent”, oil on canvas, 36” x 36”, 1981 by Frank Moore
“Trixie”, oil on canvas, 36” x 36”, 1979 by Frank Moore
“Superman”, oil on canvas, 35” x 68”, 1976

From the book, Skin Passion: Poems and Paintings by Frank Moore.


by Frank Moore, Thursday, April 11, 2002

i get worried if my words and images fit through veins clogged with fatty taboos of polite appropriate of comfortability.

i get worried…is the art that small that it fits through that pinhole of a hole…so small that nudes on the walls, words on telephone poles, any shift in the social power structure threatens the very reality fabric.

i’m too proud to admit the art poetry is that small. so my art becomes a 
roto-rooting balloon covered in razors tipped in draino acid, pushing pressuring uncomfortable unsocial grinding against the grain until the killer fatty clots of taboos burst out the other end and go down the drain like trouble.

i don’t really go after the hitlers, the mccarthys, the helms, or their 
brown shirts.

they are just limp-dicked power-junkies with swiss-cheese egos, each hole filled with inferiority. they are just moons with no power light of themselves, just reflecting fear.

no, i go after the nice people who never asked where the trains were going, boxcars filled with people. didn’t have to. only suspected, only heard rumors…after all, the general is a friend. never said, excuse me, i am a jew too, arab too, a jap too, a gay too, i’ve negro blood running in my body, aids too. i’m a commie who took home movies of our nude kids. so better put me on that train too. better put us all on that train. there ain’t no train big enough!

i go after the nice people who keep going to work after seeing their friends missing, after hearing rumors of blacklist and blackball. must write something about that subject to THE TIMES. he used to be such a pleasant fellow…but now he is a whining paranoid…not a sort to have to tea. he is like a wet messy fart. not in my backyard!

yes, i go after nice people. but my time in the belljar is about over. so i’ll leave you with this. what is happening in your backyard is what really matters. so be sure to weed!

“Seated Nude”, oil on canvas, 36” x 36”, 1981 by Frank Moore

Early Paintings

Here is a collection of Frank’s early oil paintings. We only know the dates they were painted for a couple of them. (Frank said he started painting in high school.) Frank painted with a brush attached to a hard hat.

Untitled (Frank’s First Painting), watercolor on paper, 14” x 11’, 1960s
Untitled, watercolor on paper, 14” x 11”, 1960s
Untitled, oil on cardboard, 14″ x 10.25″, 1960s
“Still Life”, oil on cardboard, 14″ x 10.25″, 1960s
Untitled, oil on cardboard, 14″ x 10.5″, 1960s
Untitled, oil on cardboard, 14″ x 10.5″, 1960s
Untitled, oil on cardboard, 9″ x 11.5″, 1960s
Untitled, oil on paper, 8.75″ x 11.5″, 1960s
“Seascape”, oil on cardboard, 10″ x 13.5″, 1965.
Untitled, oil on cardboard, 8.5″ x 13″, 1965
Untitled, oil on canvas board, 10″ x 8″, 196os
“Abstract Body Parts”, oil on canvas board, 9″ x 12″, 1970s
Untitled, oil on canvas board, 12″ x 16″, 1960s
Untitled, oil on canvas board, 16″ x 12″, 1960s
“Ball”, oil on canvas, 12″ x 14″, 1960s
“Abstract Face”, oil on canvas board, 12″ x 16″, 1970s
“The First Rebel”, oil on canvas board, 12″ x 15″, 1966

More of Frank’s oil and digital paintings can be viewed here: https://eroplay.com/Cave/paintings/index.html

Frank painting his self-portrait in New York City, circa 1974.

Hell To War

After 9/11/01 and the move to war, Frank looked at his oil painting, HELL TO WAR, hanging on our wall, that he had painted in high school in the 1960s, and decided to do a digital version so we could put it up in our yard!

HELL TO WAR, by Frank Moore, oil on cardboard, 1960s

He ended up doing four digital paintings over the course of six days:
HELL TO WAR – September 17, 2001
HELL TO ALL TERRORISM – September 19, 2001
WAR IS TERRORISM – September 20, 2001
PEACE FLAG – September 22, 2001

Our front yard at Curtis Street, Berkeley, California
Gilman Street protest, 2003

Way Bay 2

Mikee and I were in Berkeley yesterday and finally got to go to the Way Bay 2 show, which we loved, and saw Frank’s “Patti Smith” painting on display!

It was a very moving, kind of surreal experience for us … it is great!

The photo was taken by Frank, one of the museum staff people, who we ended up talking with for 1/2 hour!!

Linda & Mikee