Gorilla Biscuits’ Alex Brown, RIP
Very sad news: Gorilla Biscuits guitarist Alex Brown has passed away, following an aneurysm. He was 52. Via Art Forum:
The painter and musician Alex Brown, who exhibited at Feature Inc. in New York from 1998 until its closing in 2014 and played guitar in the seminal hardcore punk band Gorilla Biscuits, has died at age fifty-two following an aneurysm. Brown’s painting often worked from found photographs from travel brochures and postcards, press materials, and the internet, which Brown then filtered or superimposed with complex, often gridlike patterns. These lent the canvases a quality of Op Art or a trace of digital manipulation, though they were made freehand.
Brown was born in 1966 in Des Moines, Iowa, and studied art at the Parsons School of Design in New York, eventually resettling in his hometown. In addition to his close association and frequent exhibitions with Hudson, his dealer at Feature Inc., Brown had solo exhibitions at Gallery Min Min, Tokyo; Blondeau Fine Art Services, Geneva; and Twig Gallery, Brussels.
Some of his bandmates have posted tributes. Bassist Arthur Smilios wrote, "I’m going to miss you, Alex. This sums up how you made me feel. I love you, buddy. Completely heartbroken. Stage Right is going to suck."
Frontman Civ wrote, "The world lost a son,brother,uncle,artist,musician and loving friend this week. I lost my bandmate and friend of over 30 years, a piece of my heart died this week and all I can do is think of all the fun, shows, meals flights and trips we had together. All the late night talks and all the early morning hangs with him and my wife and kids. There will never be another alex brown. A memorial service will be held in Iowa in the coming weeks. Tell the ones you love that you love them, alex passed away from natural causes a basal ganglia stroke."
Guitarist Walter Schreifels wrote, "It’s impossible to properly put into words, completely new terrain. Alex has been my brother since we were teenagers, it’s insane to think I won’t see him again, this is heartbreak. I’ve read so many beautiful posts about Alex today that have brought me to tears. It feels great to see Alex recognized as the great artist, musician and visionary that he was. He’s been a go to source of inspiration, insight, loving support and cry laughing hilarity to me since we first starting hanging out, somewhere around the time this photo was taken. More than any of us I think Alex understood how valuable our time together actually was and wasn’t afraid to express it. I loved how at the end of every GB trip he’d make the point of saying a proper goodbye, including a hug followed by looking me in the eyes and telling me he loved me. If I feel good about anything it’s knowing the last time I saw Alex I told him I loved him, he wouldn’t have let me get away otherwise.
Alex was also in Side By Side and Project X before joining Gorilla Biscuits. He played on their second and final recording before their initial breakup, 1989's classic and highly influential Start Today, and he was with the band during recent reunions. Alex was one of the greats, and punk, hardcore, and music in general wouldn't be the same without him.
In addition to music, Alex co-created the Schism fanzine/label with Porcell and was an artist and painter and designed album artwork for bands including Quicksand.
Listen to some Gorilla Biscuits and see tributes from other artists -- including Touche Amore, Steve Aoki, Burn, Sick Of It All, Strife, Texas Is The Reason's Norman Brannon, and Quicksand's Tom Capone -- below.
Rest in peace, Alex. You'll be missed and your very crucial contributions to music will live on.