Courtesy photoFrank Moore

Iconic Bay Area performance artist Frank Moore dies; tribute planned in Oakland

Frank Moore, a Bay Area performance artist, shaman, poet, writer, painter and musician who became known for ritualistic performances with audience participation and eroticism, died Oct. 14 in Berkeley. He was 67.

Moore, who experimented in performance art and shamanistic teaching since the late 1960s, passed away surrounded by family and friends after battling pneumonia, said Linda Mac, his partner of 38 years.

“Frank was a risk taker, a player. He was very smart. Frank enjoyed life,” Mac said. “I feel so lucky to have spent my life with Frank.”

In addition to his various forms of performance art, Moore was recognized for an online presence with the Web station LUVeR (Love Underground Visionary Revolution), and a performance and video archive on Vimeo.com. He was credited with coining the term “eroplay” to describe “physical play between adults released from the linear goals of sex and orgasm.”

Moore was born with cerebral palsy and could not walk or talk, often communicating with a laser pointer. Still, he wrote books, directed plays, acted in and edited films, gave poetry readings, participated in ensemble music jams and even played the piano. “Frank had binders of his writings about how life works, relationships,” Mac said. “He had it all figured out.”

Moore was considered by some to be an underground counterculture icon and artistic inspiration. But others were not as quick to offer praise of his work.

Moore attracted attention in the early 1990s as one of the National Endowment for the Arts-funded artists who were targeted by then- U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., and the Government Accounting Office for performing art they considered “obscene.”

Moore also made headlines when, in 2006, he announced his candidacy for the 2008 presidential election. Dr. Susan Block, Moore’s running mate, expressed fond memories of the artist in her blog, saying he conquered his disabilities to become “one of the world’s foremost performance artists.”

“Frank was, without a doubt, one of the most marvelous people with whom I have ever had the honor and pleasure to work and play,” Block wrote.

Moore authored such books as “Cherotic Magic,” “Art of a Shaman,” “Chapped Lap” and “Skin Passion,” along with other self-published pieces. He performed regularly in the Bay Area until his death.

A musical dance jam celebration of Moore’s is scheduled for 8 p.m. Nov. 2 at the Temescal Art Center in Oakland. Admission is free.

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