During the mid-1970s, he started off as a musician playing electric bass for several bands such as Blue Mood, Zephyr, The Good, The Detours and The Plastics. It was in 1978 that he left home and moved to New York City.
In New York City, he joined the experimental musical group, Gray with artist Jen Michel Basquiat. However, he did not stay with the band for long and soon formed his own band, Bohack. He recorded an avant-garde album, ‘It Took Several Wives’.
While his musical career was going steady, he gave unusual street performances which made a huge impact on the audience at large. Through his performances, he provoked people to get into the realm of self-realization, consciousness and cognizance.
Beginning with the 1980s, he started experimenting with films in addition to his work as a musician and painter. In 1985, he made his debut on the big screen with the Eric Mitchell film, ‘The Way It Is’ along with co-stars Steve Buscemi and Rockets Redglare.
It was then that he tried his hand at directing and came up with the short film, ‘If You Feel Froggy Jump’ in 1986. He also made the films, ‘The Gunlover’, ‘Rocky 10’ and ‘Vampire LeStat’.
Starting 1989, he starred in ambiguous films such as ‘Doc’s Kingdom’ and other well-known films such as ‘Goodfellas’, ‘The House of the Spirits’, and ‘The Perez Family’. He followed this up by appearing in short films and made-for TV series such as ‘Keep It for Yourself’, ‘Go Home’ and ‘Nénette et Boni’
In 1998, he donned various hats for the film ‘Buffalo ‘66’. He was involved as actor, writer, director and composer of music with the film. Though the film was widely appreciated and won numerous nominations, it failed to bag an award.
In 2003, he directed the self-starrer ‘The Brown Bunny’ along with co-star Chloe Sevigny. The movie provides the story of a motorcycle racer’s cross country road trip. However, it gained negative reviews for its use of still image of the sex scenes.
In 2010 he starred in the Jerzy Skolimowski directed venture, ‘Essential Killing’ for which he received the Volpi Cup for Best Actor at the 67th Venice International Film Festival. Interestingly, his character didn’t have a single line in the film.
In 2012, he starred in Davide Manuli's‘La leggenda di Kaspar Hauser’, a modern western interpretation of the German legend of Kaspar Hauser at the 2012 International Film Festival Rotterdam.
In 2013, he co-starred with KōichiSatō and YooJi-tae in Junji Sakamoto's ‘Human Trust’. The same year, he headlined the 3rd Annual San Frandelic Summer Fest in San Francisco
Alongside directing and starring in films, he starred in the music videos for the song ‘Going Inside’ and ‘Anemone’. Furthermore, he starred in the music video ‘Cosmopolitan Bloodloss’ by Glassjaw and ‘Grounded’ by My Vitriol.
Currently, he serves as the HOA president at his Arts District loft in Downtown Los Angeles