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Newton the Nomad

Richard Newton in "Get Under the Table - Don't Look at the Windows," a performance staged at the El Dorado Hotel in 1980.

Richard Newton in “Get Under the Table – Don’t Look at the Windows,” a performance staged at the El Dorado Hotel in 1980.

Artist Richard Newton, who in “Young Turks” memorably takes viewers on the “first tour of the Museum of Contemporary Art” on Bunker Hill, will show a series of his short films on Thursday, May 16, 2013, at the Laguna Art Museum.

Some Poets — Short Films from 1969–1987 by Richard Newton” will start at 7 p.m. at the museum located at 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach.

During the shooting of “Young Turks” in 1977-1981, filmmaker Stephen Seemayer and Newton lived downtown and collaborated on each other’s projects. (Seemayer is driving one of the cars in Newton’s film/performance “A Glancing Blow,” a portion of which is included in “Young Turks.”)

The Victor Clothing Building, 240 S. Broadway, was home to Richard Newton and several of the other "Young Turks" in the 1970s and '80s.

The Victor Clothing Building, 240 S. Broadway, was home to Richard Newton and several of the other “Young Turks” in the 1970s and ’80s.

Newton had a studio at the Victor Clothing Building for a few years, and later he had the top floor of a building at 8th and Spring streets. But apparently, after an unstable childhood, he has never really felt settled.

In the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot, journalist Rhea Mahbubani paints a touchingly intimate portrait of Newton, the performance artist/filmmaker/gadabout.

“Just like I move around a lot, I change my name a lot,” said Newton, who donned the pseudonym Ric Marin upon embarking on his career as an artist. “So besides the fact that I don’t seem to know where I belong, I also actually don’t know what my name is. Fortunately, I guess I have art to attach all this stuff to.”

“Ultimately,” Mahbubani concludes, “Newton’s every venture is driven by a desire to communicate.”

“What I enjoy the most is when viewers — across a broad spectrum of ages and backgrounds — somehow find something in what I have done to relate to themselves,” he said. “I want them to be able to step in and feel something.”

Read Mahbubani’s article here.

“Some Poets — Short Films from 1969–1987 by Richard Newton”
Laguna Art Museum
307 Cliff Drive
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Map
Thursday, May 16, 2013
7 to 8:45 p.m.
Free for museum members, free for nonmembers with museum admission
Information: (949) 494-8971 or lagunaartmuseum.org
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