Phranc introduces herself as 'the All-American Jewish Lesbian Folksinger.' Also a visual artist, she has adopted the moniker 'The Cardboard Cobbler.' As a teenager Phranc attended The Feminist Studio Workshop at the Woman’s Building in Los Angeles, California, where she focused on songwriting and silk-screening. In the late 1970’s Phranc was a member of the bands Nervous Gender and Catholic Discipline in the L.A. punk rock scene. She has released five albums of original music on Rhino Records, Island Records, Kill Rock Stars, her own label Phancy Records, and toured internationally with many acclaimed and notorious artists including The Smiths, Violent Femmes, The Pogues, and Morrissey. Both Phranc’s music and visual work employ humor to raise consciousness, trigger response, and provoke discussion. Phranc is currently writing new music and gathering photos from throughout her career to be compiled in a forthcoming book. She lives and works in Los Angeles, California.
Making 'Toys' for this show let me time travel. It also led me to search and find images I had all but forgotten. I have created toys that I once had. Toys I wished for but never got. Toys my father had. Toys my brother had. Toys that my friends had. Toys that I dreamed of. I remember the sheer joy of galloping around the house straddling my 'Broomtail' hobby horse. Dressing up! Costumes! Not just for Halloween, but to play to be someone else. Puppets were friends who could talk to you. Toys and cars and trucks and trains drove the streets of pretend towns.
There is grief, too, in losing a toy. One day I left my PEZ candy gun on top of the station wagon. We drove off and I never saw it again. I still can’t believe a toy was made that let you put a gun in your mouth and pull the trigger so that your tongue could enjoy a piece of candy.
Dolls, trains and dress-up games, toy kitchens and puzzles and kites bring fun and relief and memories.
Creatively escaping reality — enjoy!