Have You Seen My Privacy?

In the spirit of the Getty Foundation-sponsored project “Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980,” the 18th Street Art Center in Santa Monica enlisted artists to create exhibitions commemorating California’s influential contemporary art movement. “Have You Seen My Privacy?” curated by artist Richard Newton, incorporated paintings, video, installations, ephemera and correspondence into a series of exhibits by artists whose work examines personal identity in this increasingly technological age. There were also weekly public discussions with the artists involved. Newton asked me to show examples of my work that explore issues of the loss of privacy, identity and depersonalization. I chose life-size photo blowups of my “Burning Mask” series — a performance in which I crawled in an alley wearing a flaming triangle mask — and my “Unit in Orange” performance — in which I marched around a gallery with a number shaved onto my head and an aborted human fetus cupped in my hands. I also set out three “Body Bags” on the floor of the gallery and two “Buddha on Money Bags” meditation mats. On the evening of my public discussion, I previewed “Being Human,” an 11-minute video documentary on my nearly 40-year career.

Click For ‘Being Human’ Video

Captions: Above: (L to R) ‘Buddha On Moneybags’ c. 1995 (Under) Body Bags c.1998. (To Right) Unit In Orange c. 1978. (Below) Stephen Seemayer wearing fire mask c. 1978. (Below) Installation shot at 18th Art Gallery.

Richard Newton’s Website 
Richard Newton’s Video Channel
Richard Newton’s Watching In The Dark
18th Street Art Center/Gallery

LA Rising: Art Encyclopedia

I feel very honored to be among the artists included in the new book “L.A. Rising: SoCal Artists Before 1980,” published in late 2010 by the California/International Arts Foundation and edited by Lyn Kienholz. Christopher Knight of the Los Angeles Times called it an “instantly indispensable ‘encyclopedia’ of more than 500 artists who worked and showed in L.A. before the city emerged as an international powerhouse.” HuffPost Books reviewer Jane Chafin said, “Besides finding ‘L.A. Rising’ an invaluable reference tool that every visual arts professional should have, it is also a lush and highly entertaining stroll down memory lane for anyone who has watched the L.A. art scene.” I agree, and reinforcing the nostalgia aspect of the book, many of the artists still alive and working gathered at the Getty Museum for a book launch party in December 2010. It was an amazing evening, as we all got to set eyes on the book for the first time. The cover photo by Joe Morgenstern is beautiful, and Lyn did a Herculean job rounding up reproductions of all the artists’ work, as well as reviews and excerpts of essays from the period in which the work was exhibited.

California/International Arts Foundation

LA Times Review

HuffPost Book Review

Getty Museum

Captions: (Below L-R) 1.Artists assemble at the Getty Museum for the LA Rising Publication pary. 2. Artist Jon Peterson and Stephen Seemayer. 3. Artist Jeffery Vallance with a bust of J. Paul Getty. 4. Artist Michael Davis, art writer Peter Frank and Stephen Seemayer. 5. Stephen Seemayer with featured artist Jerry Brane. 6. Center- Featured Artists Gary Lloyd and Vic Henderson. 7. Artists Dark Bob and Light Bob with Stephen Seemayer.


Stephen Seemayer, Coleen Sterritt, Mary Jones and Jon Peterson at the LA Rising Launch Party hosted at the Getty.