Devendra Banhart In Conversation
In partnership with local publisher Featherproof Books, Devendra Banhart will speak with Featherproof publisher Tim Kinsella to celebrate the release of his first book of poetry Weeping Gang Bliss Void Yab-Yum. Afterwards he will sign books, which will be available for sale.
Devendra Banhart emerged seemingly out of nowhere in 2002 with his first CD collection, Oh Me Oh My…The Way the Day Goes By the Sun Is Setting Dogs Are Dreaming Lovesongs of the Christmas Spirit, compiled by Swans frontman Michael Gira for his Young God label from homemade recordings the itinerant Banhart had amassed as he traveled the world. He was born Devendra Obi Banhart in Houston, Texas, but spent his childhood in Caracas, Venezuela; as a teenager, his family returned to the States, relocating in Southern California, where he soon became enamored of skateboard culture.
Finishing high school, he thought he would pursue a visual arts career so he enrolled at the San Francisco Art Institute. It was there that he studied poetry with Bill Berkson. Although he dropped out to pursue a career in music, he has successfully maintained a parallel career as a painter: Banhart’s distinctive, minutely inked, often enigmatic drawings have appeared in galleries all over the world, including the Art Basel Contemporary Art Fair in Miami; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels; and Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art. He has created the cover art for most of his records, and in 2010 his artwork and packaging for What Will We Be was nominated for a Grammy.
Weeping Gang Bliss Void Yab-Yum is his first published book of poetry. Released April 23, 2019 – the book is published by Chicago based Featherproof Books.
For Banhart, his career remains “an adventure and an exploration.”