Phranc: The Butch Closet is a multi-disciplinary installation that spans over 40 years of her life as a queer artist and Jewish Lesbian Folksinger. Building on her performance Phranc Talk, which explores the development of Phranc’s butch persona, this exhibit contextualizes the artist’s experience as a trailblazing performer and maker, constructing and reconstructing her image against a larger historical context of second wave feminism and queer activism — all the way from lesbian separatism through the ongoing evolution of gender identity. 

By meticulously recreating such personal objects as Phranc’s Baby Quilt and Lamb Chop Halloween Costume out of paper, cardboard, thread, and found materials, Phranc explores complex and layered aspects of memory, personal history and nostalgia. These objects illustrate the narrative arc of her life set against the artistic, musical and revolutionary scenes she was both a part of and witness to in LA from the 1960s to the present feminist art, punk rock, surfing, and queer communities. The Butch Closet brings together Phranc’s art, music and personal archive at a pivotal moment in queer history when we are claiming our past and by doing so securing our future.

Phranc: The Butch Closet will be held on view from October 21–December 2, 2023 at the Craig Krull Gallery. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM and Saturday, 11:00 AM-5:30 PM.

The opening celebration will be held on Monday, October 28, 2023, 4:00-6:00 PM at the Craig Krull Gallery, 2525 Michigan Ave # B3, Santa Monica, CA 90404.

Artist Bio

Phranc is a Jewish lesbian folksinger and visual artist who uses song, painting and sculpture to champion personal identities and illustrate the struggle, survival, and victory of the queer individual. An internationally acclaimed performer, Phranc integrates humor and a butch aesthetic to her work. Acknowledgment of her artistic accomplishments includes the GLAAD Media Award, the COLA Individual Artist Fellowship and the 2022 Santa Monica Artist Fellowship. The Butch Closet is her current multi-media project; a memoir spanning 40-years of her life. Phranc lives and works in Santa Monica, California and Vancouver, BC.

This exhibition is organized by Phranc as part of the 2023 Circa: Queer Histories Festival, presented by One Institute.

  • A founding gallery at the Bergamot Station Arts Center in 1994, Craig Krull Gallery focuses on California painting, drawing, sculpture and photography. We represent major LA artists such as Peter Alexander, Don Bachardy, Astrid Preston and legendary Chicano artists, Carlos Almaraz, Gilbert Lujan, Gronk and Dora De Larios. Krull exhibited iconic LA photographers such as Julius Shulman and Julian Wasser for years, but recently he began to explore innovative mixed media, ceramics, textiles and installation art by Blue McRight, Brittany Mojo, and Lavialle Campbell, and bold, emerging artists such as Caroline Larsen and Kelly Berg. The gallery presents 16-20 exhibitions per year, with educational programs, artist talks and performances.