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Porn Star/Artist/Author Zak Smith Reads Tonight at City Lights

We finally got out to Berkeley last night to meet painter/author Zak Smith, currently on a book tour for the first release of Tin House-published We Did Porn. Nestled in the back room of Moe's Books, Smith read from his newly published memoir, which details his career as an actor in adult films under the name Zak Sabbath. Far from being the stereotypical bohemian artist, Smith's reading is smart, sarcastic, bitchy, and downright hilarious. He challenges us NorCal folk to ask more questions during the Q&A than his LA audiences - we couldn't let them be more "intellectual" than us, could we?

Zak Smith appears as somewhat of an anomaly to people invested in the politics of the art world. Life as a porn star? And a successful artist, with exhibits in the SFMOMA, the NYMOMA, and the Whitney as well as a  partnership with a well-established gallery? Usually, we think that these two careers don't really go hand in hand. However, Smith takes much of his inspiration from the girls he meets in his line of work, and produces dark, intricate portraits.

His other published works include art books Pictures of Girls and Pictures Showing What Happens on Each Page of Thomas Pynchon's Novel Gravity's Rainbow. We Did Porn is his first published written work, and includes over 100 new sketches and paintings. Catch him tonight at his last Bay Area reading at City Lights at 7pm.