EYE CANDY

Kurt Cobain’s Never-Before-Seen Art Is Full of “Crackbabies” and Apocalyptic Benihanas

Jeff McLane/Kurt Cobain

Decades before his daughter Frances Bean Cobain landed a gallery show in Los Angeles, her father, Kurt Cobain, was making his own art on the west coast that reflected his depression, heroin addiction, and general irreverence. In fact, it was pretty in line with the music he made with Nirvana. And while his most infamous pieces, like the Virgin Mary containing both his and Courtney Love‘s blood, first illuminated in the 2015 documentary Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, may have led you to believe the artist preferred multimedia, Cobain’s 2-D works can finally be seen up-close and in-person in the city where he died more than 20 years ago, at the UTA Artist Space‘s booth at the Seattle Art Fair this weekend. On view alongside works by artists like Mike Kelley, Elizabeth Peyton, and Dash Snow through Sunday, two of Cobain’s paintings have never been publicly exhibited—besides on the cover of Nirvana’s 1992 album Incesticide. The rest constitute Cobain’s forays into sketches and comics, the latter of which take place at both jail and a Benihana—or, in Cobain’s words, “Benny Hannas,” where they serve “fried babys [sic] on toast with juice.” Take a look inside that imagined establishment and the rest of his forgotten, “crackbabies”-filled world, here.

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Jeff McLane

Incesticide (Acrylic Mixed With Oil) by Kurt Cobain, on view at the UTA Artist Space at the 2017 Seattle Art Fair.

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Jeff McLane

Comic 1 by Kurt Cobain, on view at the UTA Artist Space at the 2017 Seattle Art Fair.

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Jeff McLane

Guitar 2 by Kurt Cobain, on view at the UTA Artist Space at the 2017 Seattle Art Fair.

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Jeff McLane/Kurt Cobain

Crackbabies by Kurt Cobain, on view at the UTA Artist Space at the 2017 Seattle Art Fair.

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Jeff McLane

Guitar by Kurt Cobain, on view at the UTA Artist Space at the 2017 Seattle Art Fair.

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Jeff McLane

Untitled by Kurt Cobain, on view at the UTA Artist Space at the 2017 Seattle Art Fair.

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Jeff McLane

Fistula (Acrylic Mixed With Oil) by Kurt Cobain, on view at the UTA Artist Space at the 2017 Seattle Art Fair.

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Jeff McLane

Comic 2 by Kurt Cobain, on view at the UTA Artist Space at the 2017 Seattle Art Fair. z

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Jeff McLane

Pink Face by Kurt Cobain, on view at the UTA Artist Space at the 2017 Seattle Art Fair.

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Jeff McLane

Head Drawing (Graphite on Paper) by Kurt Cobain, on view at the UTA Artist Space at the 2017 Seattle Art Fair.