How Quirky is Berkeley? Mark Bulwinkle’s sculpture inside the new Mad Monk

Mad Monk Center for for Anachronistic Media. Photo: John Storey
Mad Monk Center for for Anachronistic Media. Photo: John Storey

As Berkeleyside reported in July, Ken Sarachan’s resurrection of the old Cody’s bookstore at Telegraph and Haste is open for business. Inside are books and records, and nine painted-metal portrait sculptures by Mark Bulwinkle, depicting iconic Berkeley figures. Sarachan has used Bulwinkle on other projects, and Bulwinkle art decorates the outdoors balcony at Mad Monk as well as the restrooms.

Nine portrait sculptures depicting local luminaries

Julia Vinograd. Photo: John Storey
Julia Vinograd. Photo: John Storey

Julia Vinograd is often described as a “street poet,” a term that doesn’t help me much. She has been a part of Telegraph and Berkeley for 50 years and is by now a chromosome in the DNA of Berkeley.

Mario Savio. Photo: John Storey
Mario Savio. Photo: John Storey

Mario Savio became one of the primary faces of the Free Speech Movement in 1964 after a summer with SNCC in Mississippi. His oratory and love of ideas and dignity were of another time.

Robert Oppenheimer. Photo: John Storey
Robert Oppenheimer. Photo: John Storey

Robert Oppenheimer was a professor of physics at Cal and a central figure in the Manhattan Project. After the war he advocated international control of nuclear power to avoid nuclear proliferation. In 1954 his security clearance was revoked.


Rasputin. Photo: John Storey.
Rasputin. Photo: John Storey.

Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin was a Russian monk who made himself a trusted and influential friend of Tsar Nicholas II and his family. When the Russian Revolution came, Rasputin was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Rasputin has been a central theme in Sarachan’s businesses, mostly prominently with Rasputin’s Records and now with Mad Monk. In this sculpture, Rasputin is holding two round, flat things  — a record album (sold at Rasputin’s and Mad Monk) and a pizza (sold at Blondie’s Pizza,  owned by Sarachan).

Malcolm Margolin
Malcolm Margolin. Photo: John Storey

Malcolm Margolin founded Berkeley’s Heyday book publishers and has written extensively about the Ohlone people and other California Indians.

Moe Moskowitz. Photo: John Storey.
Moe Moskowitz. Photo: John Storey.

Moe Moskowitz founded Moe’s Books, a sine qua non of the Telegraph Avenue and Berkeley that we know.

Ken Sarachan. Photo: John Storey
Ken Sarachan. Photo: John Storey
Laurie Brown. Photo: John Storey
Laurie Brown. Photo: John Storey

Ken Sarachan and his wife Laurie Brown.

Mark Bulwinkle. Photo: John Storey
Mark Bulwinkle. Photo: John Storey

And lastly, a self-portrait by Bulwinkle. Bulwinkle chose the subjects for the sculptures, acting not as a historian but as an artist who admired the people he depicted.

These pieces are not the only Bulwinkle work at Mad Monk. His painted-metal flower sculptures adorn the exterior balcony, the balcony is lit by Bulwinkle sconces, and Bulwinkle tiles are found in the restrooms.

Tom Dalzell, a labor lawyer, created a website, Quirky Berkeley, to share all the whimsical objects he has captured with his iPhone. The site now has more than 8,600 photographs of quirky objects around town as well as posts where the 30-year resident muses on what it all means. A longer and more idiosyncratic version of this post, may be found at Quirky Berkeley.

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