Standing on the Verge and Maggot Brain
Adrian Matejka, Nicholas Galanin, Kevin Neireiter
A collaboration of visual art and poetry inspired by Funkadelic’s classic albums Standing on the Verge of Getting It On and Maggot Brain. Adrian Matejka's (Pulitzer Prize finalist in poetry for The Big Smoke) new book Standing On the Verge & Maggot Brain is a chorus of poems and visual art that is psychedelic and bright, full of quarter notes disguised as words. The poems bend like a solo bends the big ideas of Funkadelic’s glitter and unrepentant funk. The colletion also bends the design of books themselves. Standing On the Verge & Maggot Brain is more accurately described as a double-chapbook, featuring two front covers and no back cover. Essentially, it is a two-in-one book. For the Standing On the Verge section of the two chaps, sculptor and artist Kevin Neireiter translates music into stained glass graffiti in honor of the landmark record. For Maggot Brain, Nicholas Galanin’s (also front man of the Sub Pop band Ya Tseen) art creates musical compositions from monochromatics in response to the quintessential album. Matejka's collection of poems is synesthesia for the ear and alchemy for the eyes and heart. Standing On the Verge & Maggot Brain is both a tribute to the iconic band Funkadelic and deep introspection of the contrasts in poet Matejka's celebrant hips and maggot brain. Just as the album Standing on the Verge of Getting It On is a celebration of energy and action, Maggot Brain is a place of deep sorrow. Matejka explores both the light and dark within the original visual art by Kevin Neireiter and Nicholas Galanin, reflecting the poet's radiances and shadows.
Adrian Matejka is the author of five books of poetry including the forthcoming collection Somebody Else Sold the World (Penguin, 2021) and The Big Smoke (Penguin, 2013) which was a winner of the Anisfield Wolf Book Award and a finalist for the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize. He was the Poet Laureate of the state of Indiana from 2018-19.
Nicholas Galanin's work is rooted in his perspective as an Indigenous man connected to the land and culture he belongs to. Over the past two decades his work has ranged across media, materials and processes; in which Galanin has splintered tourist industry replica carvings into pieces, the rearranged pieces evidence the damage of commodification to culture through photos, objects, and video. In 2020 Galanin excavated the shape of the shadow of the Capt. James Cooke statue in Hyde Park for the Biennale of Sydney, examining the effects of colonization on land, critiquing anthropological bias, and ultimately suggesting the burial of the statue and others like it. In 2021 he created a replica of the Hollywood sign for the Desert X Biennial in Palm Springs CA, which reads INDIAN LAND, directly advocating for and supporting the Land Back and Real Rent initiatives. Galanin holds a BFA from London Guildhall University in Jewellery Design and an MFA in Indigenous Visual Arts from Massey University in New Zealand, prior to which he apprenticed with master carvers and jewelers in his community; he is represented by Peter Blum Gallery in New York, his music ( as Ya Tseen) is released by Sub Pop Records in Seattle. Galanin lives and works with his family on Tlingit Aani, Sitka, Alaska.
Kevin Neireiter uses a wide variety of mediums in his art. These include paint, pastel, clay, wood, or any other objects found around his home. Many of his paintings are an attempt to describe what he hears in music. Kevin was thankful to have been asked to create the cover for Adrian's debut book, The Devil's Garden. When he's not making art, he is usually making music or maintaining a Funk shrine. (The Funk shrine is a sculptural homage to Pedro Bell's album cover for Funkadelic's Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On). He currently lives in Seattle with his two daughters and his dog Ringo.