Tom Murrin, a beloved New York performance artist known as The Alien Comic and Jack Bump, died Tuesday after a long struggle with cancer. He was 73. The Hollywood-born Murrin became a fixture on Manhattan’s downtown arts scene in the 1960s and ’70s performing at La Mama Theater on the Lower East Side, and later co-founding “Balloon Theater,” “Dwarf Theater,” and “Trash Theater,” sometimes assuming the name Tom Trash. As a writer, he was a regular contributor to Paper magazine, read his poems at the Bowery Poetry Club, and wrote the plays Hung, Cock-Strong, Son of Cock-Strong, and Roommates, all of which premiered at La MaMa, and Myth (or Maybe Meth), which played briefly at the Andy Warhol Theater. He also wrote songs for Jackie Curtis’ Heaven Grand in Amber Orbit. Regarding his Alien Comic shows in which he dressed himself in handmade masks, found objects, trash, and assorted detritus, he once told the Village Voice‘s Michael Musto, “I’m not afraid to look ridiculous.” In 2006, a retrospective exhibition of Murrin’s masks from his performance pieces was presented at Track 16 Gallery in Santa Monica.
(More on the Alien Comic here and here)