JEFF KEEN TRIBUTE: JONNY TRUNK

Jeff Keen drawing

Jeff’s friends, fans and collaborators offer their memories and recollections of Jeff and his films. Originally published in Film Panic Magazine, issue 1, June 2013 

My first encounter with Jeff Keen was seeing the early video dubs of his films at the BFI. This was while they were preparing the films for their formidable GAZWRX DVD set. It was a mind-blowing and unforgettable few moments for me; sat there in an office chair watching the big telly and seeing Jeff’s films moving from experimental 80s video synthesis into 60s nudity, destruction, pop, sex, sci-fi, death, war and all points in between. Everything from the bombardment of ideas, the sublime editing and the heavy sonic collages bursting from the TV speakers were disturbing and thrilling in equal measures. My brain couldn’t quite work out 1) why I’d never heard of Jeff Keen before, 2) why he wasn’t better known or more important – it seemed to me like his work was unique and distinctive, and he joined up all the visual dots between Dadaism, Pop Art, video culture, cartoon art and just about anything else I could think of. Now he’s gone, the films are out, the music is out, the myth is growing, the art shows are happening, it’s only a matter of time before the great Jeff Keen takes his rightful seat alongside the art masters of the 21st Century. Long live Dr Gaz!

Jonny Trunk is the man behind Trunk Records.