It's a night to relish in local music folklore at the Youth Nations Project for the Arts this Saturday. This upstart Fort Lauderdale gallery has local musical legend Gregory McLaughlin unveiling his artwork for the very first time. McLaughlin is known as the lead vocalist for heralded '80s punk/new wave outfit the Front, but the public hasn't witnessed what McLaughlin has been up to the past few years. This weekend, that's all going to change as his works on canvas will be on display for all to see. Turns out, this talented, self-taught artist may have stepped away from the sonic spotlight but his creativity was never impeded.
McLaughlin has been painting since 1998, and describes taking a punk approach to his art. His bio notes that he likes to create things "out of thin air." McLaughlin's art has an art brut appeal, with ironic undercurrents. On display at the opening will be his series of "Alien Jesus" works, paintings which are sure to raise a lot of eyebrows. Imagine the "Last Supper," and "The Raising of Lazarus," where J.C. is substituted with green otherworldly individuals who have bulbous eyes and large foreheads
County Grind spoke to event host, Rob Elba, of Holy Terrors fame -- yet another local icon. Elba tells us McLaughlin was a "hero," to him back in the early '80s and played a "big influence" on him as far as songwriting and entertaining goes.