Ragi da Lawywer & Matt Gonzalez

Graffiti-Every-Inch-Illegal-Art-03 copy

For The Exhibit ILLEGAL.

Often one sees no other answer but to break the law. This is an exhibit about artists that work while embedded within a system that provides no outlet for them. This is done for various reasons, some art is considered illegal just by making it, obscenity for instance. Other times artists shop lift or acquire materials by spurious means (often called obtanium here in San Francisco). Some artists steal ideas of forge artworks. There is a place artists often land where they see no way to continue with their work without breaking the law. Often artists start their career breaking the law as a way to lash out at a system that negates their existence and leaves no place at the table for them. I was inspired to be an artist by the space left open for ambiguous works that aren’t shoe-horned into a fixed category. A field that is open to just about anything, unlike most careers.

The exhibit will consist of photo documentation, written, videotaped and oral stories, reenactments, ephemera, sculptures, legal support talks, a confessional and more.



THE LUGGAGE STORE  1007 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Paul Kos
Chip Lord/Ant Farm
Mark Hosler/Negativland
Judith Donath, Mark PaulineKen Goldberg & Eric Paulos
Cheryl Dunn
Michelle Pred
Dave Schubert
Chris Johanson
Nina Wright aka GIRLMOB & Danielle O’Malley
Dustin Fotnot
Xara Thustra
Rudy Rucker Sr.



Artists Survival Techniques and The Law.

Friday Dec. 1, 2017

Ragi da Lawyer & Matt Gonzalez:

A wide ranging conversation with two lawyers. Each whom have dealt with a myriad of legal issues with and for artists. Including their how to survive tips and stories of those who made BIG mistakes.



Curatorial assistance by Alicia McCarthy
Mad thanks to Darryl Smith and Laurie Lazer


There are some classic, even historic examples of this practice.

Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog stole a 35 mm camera from the Munich Film School. In the commentary for Aguirre, the Wrath of God, he says, “I don’t consider it theft—it was just a necessity—I had some sort of natural right for a camera, a tool to work with.”

Gordon Matta Clark

A 1976 show at the Institute of Architecture and Urban Studies in New York featured the work of lots of aspiring young architects, whose designs offered idealized visions of space and the cityscape. This was, of course, the general goal of architecture as a discipline, but Matta-Clark, with his sense for realism, contributed images of vandalized project buildings in the Bronx with their windows blown out. Window Blow-out represented a truth that was largely avoided in conceptual architecture. This juxtaposition was pushed further when Matta-Clark broke into the gallery and shot out several of the windows with an air rifle. Not to mention the countless buildings he dissected and cut up.


Terry Fox­­ The most infamous piece in the show was Terry Fox’s Defoliation, performed on opening night. To express his anger over the U.S. military’s scorched earth policy in Vietnam, Fox used a flamethrower—the type used in Vietnam to cremate plants—to burn a section of star jasmine plantings on the Berkeley campus.[3]

“This was my first political work. I wanted to destroy the flowers in a very calculating way. By burning a perfect rectangle right in the middle, it would be like someone had destroyed them on purpose. The flowers were Chinese jasmine, planted five years ago, which were to bloom in two years. It was also a theatrical piece. Everyone likes to watch fires. It was making a beautiful roaring sound. But at a certain point, people realized what was going on—the landscape was being violated, flowers were being burnt. Suddenly, everyone was quiet. One woman cried for twenty minutes . . . . So, then, the next day, when these people came to have their lunch there, it was just a burned-out plot, you know. I mean, it was the same thing they were doing in Vietnam, but you burn some flowers that they like to sit near.”

Survival Research Laboratories

Leonardo da Vinci
He is well known for his anatomical sketches of the human body. He would dissect dead human remains and then draw what he saw.

Dissection was completely illegal unless one was a physician, which da Vinci was not. It is believed that da Vinci would get a grave robbers, and eventually a hospital director to get him cadavers to study. da Vinci hid all of this anatomical drawings and kept them secret because of the illegal nature of what he was doing. He was able to identify not only muscles and bones, but also their functions in the body, which was an incredible breakthrough. Leonardo was detained and questioned for this research for his art.


“By any means necessary.” Black Panthers

Kal Spelletich


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