8″x10″ acrylic on cardboard, 2012. This particular “Blaster” Transformers toy has quite the tale to tell! For the sake of context, I’ll explain that I’ve been a house music dj since 1995, and it was in this realm that I met my husband Greg, another dj. In the heyday of the Albany “rave scene,” there was a fantastic record store (remember those?) on Lark Street called Audio Underground, which was run by our local techno godfather, DJ Dames. AU was the heart of the circle of creative and interesting people who were involved in the music at the time… everyone gathered there to enjoy each other’s company, talk shop, and fight for tracks when a new shipment came in! A glass case at the counter held all our mixtapes for sale, and Greg contributed his vintage boom-box Blaster Transformer to the display. In April of 2001, a fire struck the building which housed the store. Most everything in it was destroyed and it marked the end of an era. Years later, a friend who’d had a hand in sifting through the wreckage returned the sooty, scuffed toy to Greg — it had survived! Here’s a (terrible photo of a) huge painting I made in 1997 which includes many local djs and scenesters, and perhaps conveys the Audio Underground vibe that meant so much to us. <

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