Alan Vega was an American singer/songwriter, and visual artist, primarily known for his work with his electronic proto-punk duo Suicide. Vega claimed to be half-Catholic, due to his mother's Puerto Rican ancestry. Themes of Catholicism were abundant in his lyrics and visual art over the years.
Alan studied physics and fine arts in collage, and later joined the Art Workers’ Coalition. This group pressured politicians to fund the co-op MUSEUM: A Project of Living Artists. It was an artist-run, 24-hour multimedia gallery in Manhattan, open to all artists and musicians for free. This was where Alan and Martin met, also working as salaried janitors there.
Alan shifted from painting to creating light sculptures, constructed with electronic debris. He was given gallery residencies in SoHo, where he continued to work into the 80s. Everything changed in 1969, seeing the Stooges perform an opening show for the MC5.
Marty had a Farfisa organ lying around, they began buying and hooking up used $10 dollar effects pedals. Eventually, they bought a drum machine and began experimenting. Suicide played at the MUSEUM, and moved on to the OK Harris Gallery, they then performed at the Mercer Arts Center, Max’s Kansas City, CBGB’s.
Easy, right? Wrong.
LEFT: Photo © Alan Vega