Artist Mike Diana on Blowfly: "It Was Like Nothing I'd Heard"
Show of hands. Who's surprised that the first time an artist in the U.S. was convicted criminally on obscenity charges, it was in the State of Florida? No one? Exactly.
Mike Diana was initially approached by cops at 18, fingered as a suspect in the Gainesville murders because of his suggestive underground comic books. DNA tests proved his innocence, but the po-po still insisted on riding his ass into court for his gory but artful and amusing works Boiled Angel #7 and Boiled Angel #ATE.
Diana is back in the Sunshine State, speaking at Miami Art Museum tomorrow about his evolution as an artist and his legal strifes. He also has a show up at Bas Fisher Invitational with those whose works he's influenced. We wrote a full article on the man for Miami New Times, but wanted to expand upon his musical experiences growing up in this weird part of the earth.
"the dirty rap music of Blowfly I used to listen to since age 15 became a big influence on my art,say what the frick you want!"Amen to that. He told us he first came by the sounds of the revered Clarence Reid while shuffling through the sale comedy section at Peaches. He found Blowfly next to Richard Pryor.
Once, his sister overheard the record, and told their dad he was listening to "X-rated music." "He can listen to what ever he wants," was his father's response. "It was like nothing I'd heard at the time," Diana says, "This was before NWA."
When he got of high school, Diana got his first car. He was finally able to go to shows like the Circle Jerks, Sonic Youth, Butthole Surfers, and Gwar. But his favorite was GG Allin, who he saw once in Orlando, Florida.