Twin brothers Charly and Vincent Fasano believe that art belongs on Broadway.
"Showing your work at a Santa Fe gallery is like having Mom and Dad home during a party," says Vincent. "I like my art to be surrounded by punk-rock music; I'd take that over a gallery any day. At a DIY space, we can do whatever we want."
"Whenever I'm walking by a gallery and I peek in, I feel kind of weird," says Charly, an iconic local poet known also as City Mouse, his artistic handle. "It breaks the ice if there's a [rock] show going on. It's easier to come in and check things out. It's a different crowd, too."
The brothers are helping curate the Phoenix Gallery, an art-gallery space in the basement of 3 Kings Tavern. The brothers Fasano feel that rock and art are a match made in heaven -- assuming, of course, said heaven served whiskey and blasted GG Allin on the jukebox.
"All of the art shows we've had down there are always really well attended," says Vincent (aka Vincent Cheap). "You have the diversity of the people who are going to an art show and the people who are slamming Jager upstairs."
There is somewhat of an environmental divide between the upstairs rowdiness of 3 Kings and the programming of the Phoenix Gallery. While there is no shortage of live music performed downstairs, Charlie describes the scene as "more experimental bands, like Ships & Fog. Bands that play warehouses. Stuff that wouldn't necessarily work upstairs."
Besides playing in a band and helping run the Phoenix, Vincent also runs Fast Geek Boutique, a charming shop of local and vintage clothing, jewelry, art and literature that will host a month-long installation at the Phoenix.
On Friday, March 2, Fast Geek will kick off three separate evenings of live music. A selection of four artists will each present twenty pieces for the month of March, with the musical accompaniment of Weirdword (former members of Fucking Orange) on First Friday at 7 p.m., David Mead of Ships & Fog on Saturday, March 10, at 7 p.m., and Vincent Cheap's Booger Sugar on March 23 at 8 p.m.
In addition to Faim Worldwide, Heretik Art and Vincent Cheap, Fast Geek's March show at the Phoenix will feature the art debut of Charly "City Mouse" Fasano. Known more as a local poet -- giving readings and putting out poetry books and albums since 1997 -- Charly was inspired by his brother to try his hand at painting on canvas.
"He's always painting, all the time," says Charly of twin brother Vincent. "And it's an opportunity to try and tell a story in a new way -- without words." Beyond the diligent painting of his brother, Charly was also inspired by a bizarre antique music instrument. "It's called a nose-whistle," he explains. "It's a toy novelty now, but it was a serious instrument between 1904 to 1910. I put it on some portraits, and people never know what it is."
"It looks like a breathing apparatus in a sci-fi movie," Vincent adds.
Along with 3 Kings co-owner Jim Norris, the Fasano brothers plan to organize more regular Phoenix Gallery events in the days to come. "We're going to put on a lot more art shows, but then also movies, crazy genres of bands, the whole gambit," says Charly. "We could put something on every weekend, or every week."
"The art that excites me the most is the art in this city," says Vincent, adding that Denver has no need to look outside itself for something really inspiring. "To get inspired, you just have to walk around. There are so many great artists."
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