Semina 8

Wallace Berman American

Not on view

The cover image of Semina 8, Wallace Berman’s handmade poetry and photography journal, was created by Dean Stockwell, an actor-friend of Berman’s who later played Dennis Hopper’s creepy sidekick Ben in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet (1986). Stockwell altered a famous press photograph of William Heirens, the so-called Lipstick Killer of 1946 Chicago, by replacing the confession in the original image with a fascistic Iron Cross of the kind that appeared frequently in Berman’s collage work of the same moment, and which the suspect seems to be drawing under duress. In making the young criminal into a persecuted artist, Stockwell summarized the Beat Generation’s valorization of living outside the law in the service of mystic truths.

Semina 8, Wallace Berman (American, Staten Island, New York 1926–1976 Topanga Canyon, California), Mixed media artist’s publication

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