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The Bulletin Board Jim Jocoy

Jim Jocoy’s project for The Bulletin Board takes the form of a visual diary. Jocoy’s deceptively casual aesthetic masks a very particular approach to image-making. Jocoy’s photographs are highly specific, his interests clearly identified. As with artists such as Wolfgang Tillmans, Jack Pierson, or Nan Goldin, Jocoy uses photography as a filter through which to consider the immediate world around him. Shot over the past two years these 220 unique Polaroid photographs create an informal autobiographical narrative that is underpinned by Jocoy’s continuing interest in portraiture. Amidst the ambient urban images of posters, signage, and window displays, are intimate portraits of the friends, artists, musicians, and misfits Jocoy has encountered on his travels: including the artists Bruce Conner, Tom Bonauro, Bruce La Bruce, Chris Johanson, and Shepard Fairey; musicians such as Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore (pictured with his daughter Coco), Joe Strummer, John Doe and Excene Cervenka (of X), The Cult’s Ian Astbury, Courtney Love, Penelope Houston, Eddie Vedder, and Michael Jackson; as well as the celebrity party-goer par excellence Paris Hilton.

A self-taught artist Jocoy’s interest in photography began whilst a student at UC Santa Cruz in 1977 when he started to document the nascent punk scenes in both San Francisco and Los Angeles. Jocoy would often focus solely on the individual habitués and denizens of such now-legendary clubs as San Francisco’s Mabuhay Gardens and Los Angeles’s Masque. Separated from their social context – the crowd – Jocoy’s subjects were transformed into specimens or ‘types’: his photographs in turn took the form of a quasi-anthropological account of an emerging subculture. Jocoy’s celebrated book ‘We’re Desperate’ (powerHouse Books, 2002) finally brought together his punk-era images and featured an interview between the artist and Thurston Moore and an introduction by designer Marc Jacobs.

Jim Jocoy continues to live in the Bay Area. He currently works in the Physical Therapy department at UC, San Francisco. A co-publisher of the late ‘70s punk fanzine ‘Orphans and Widows’, Jocoy’s photographs of the S.F. and L.A. punk scenes have been exhibited at Juice, and Aquarius Records, (both San Francisco, 2003), and were included in the exhibition ‘The Gray Area: Uncertain Images – Bay Area Photography 1970s to Now’ at the CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco, where he also had a solo show (both 2003-04).

Jim Jocoy would like to thank Tana Smith Emmello and Tom Bonauro for their assistance on this project.

The Bulletin Board series is generously supported by Corrie Sandelman.

Related Press

Jim Jocoy - Time Out New York - February 2005