Born Frank Webber in Hackensack, NJ on July 14, 1929. Bastille was adopted by a wealthy NJ family and raised in Westwood, NJ. He studied illustration at Pratt Institute and in 1955 moved to Paris on scholarship to study metal engraving with John Friedlander. Beginning in New York and later in Europe he worked as a fashion illustrator. Later he developed a thriving business as an architectural illustrator, which remained his principal occupation for the rest of his life. In the 60s, he published some drawings of cyclists in small American physique magazines under the name "Bal." In the 80s he took the name Bastille because he was born on Bastille Day and was then living near the Place Bastille. At this time he started to produce the incredible gouache paintings for which he is known. His work regularly appeared in the early, and best, issues of TOY and Mr. SM, published by Michael Holm.
Cited influences on his work have been the writers Jean Genet, William Burroughs, and Pierre Guyotat, and the artists Nigel Kent, Paul Cadmus, Rex, and the early work of Andy Warhol (probably his gold-leaf male nudes). He was simply very fond of lewd, filthy-looking, straight-acting, manly guys with shaved heads and pubes. Bastille’s love of rubber dates from
his childhood memory of used condoms found in lovers lanes. Black rubber did not especially intrigue him. He haunted hardware stores and loved to invent sex toys from the materials he discovered—tubes, etc. Bastille died in Dijon Nov. 5, 1990, from AIDS-related leukemia. He is
buried in Dijon.