A composer, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, author, and visual artist, Mark Mothersbaugh is best known as co-founder, lead singer, and keyboardist of the popular new wave band DEVO, which released a top 20 hit in 1980 with the single “Whip It” and has maintained a cult following throughout its existence.
In addition to his work with DEVO, Mothersbaugh has made music for television series, films, and video games via his production company, Mutato Muzika, and has had a solo career with four studio albums. In film, he has worked frequently with filmmaker Wes Anderson, scoring half of his feature films, including Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. His music has been a staple of children’s television, appearing in shows such as Rugrats, Beakman’s World, Santo Bugito, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, and Regular Show. The character design for Chuckie Finster on Rugrats was based on him.
With a lifelong interest in creating multimedia art pieces, Mothersbaugh’s visual art practice preceded his musical career, and he continues to add to a prolific body of work that includes prints, drawings, paintings, postcard diaries, sculptures, rugs, musical instruments, videos, and performances. From his popular music to his personal artwork, Mothersbaugh’s unique artistic view constantly foregrounds the relationship between technology and individuality. Mothersbaugh will be in conversation with Adam Lerner.
Adam Lerner, Director and Chief Animator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, author of the book Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia, and curator of the accompanying traveling museum retrospective which traces the path from DEVO days to the present. Lerner received his Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University and his master’s degree from Cambridge University. Lerner is known for a unique approach to museum programming that combines elements of curatorial and education practice.
In partnership with ArtPrize, with additional support from the University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor Art Center’s POP‑X, and the Ann Arbor Film Festival.
In accordance with the University of Michigan’s Standard Practice Guidelines on Freedom of Speech and Artistic Expression, the Penny Stamps Speaker Series does not censor our speakers or their content. The content provided is intended for adult audiences and does not reflect the views of the University of Michigan or Detroit Public Television.