A survey of the extraordinary diversity of punk and post-punk graphic design, Pretty Vacant: The Graphic Language of Punk features several hundred posters, flyers, fanzines, handbills, record sleeves and other graphic ephemera from the collection of Andrew Krivine.
Emerging in the mid-1970s, punk was truly popular culture on the margins, with new ideas germinating out of a sense of urgency and seemingly random aesthetic collisions. Before it became commercially commodified into a simplified mishmash of safety pins, mohawks and anarchy symbols, punk was as much about its wide range of visual signifiers at it was a kind of music. A do-it-yourself approach and a loathing of commercial slickness were key hallmarks of the punk attitude, informing not just the music, but also the explosion of graphic design that accompanied it. Taking cues from a wealth of influences ranging from Dadaism to the Situationist International to pulp fiction, and communicating the themes of nihilism, black humor and reappropriation, the visual language of punk was a pastiche of imagery that reflected the consciousness and anti-aesthetic of a new counterculture.
Featuring several hundred works on loan from New York-based collector Andrew Krivine, the exhibition includes iconic works by some of the most illustrious graphic artists of the period, including Barney Bubbles, Malcolm Garrett, Raymond Pettibon, Jamie Reid, Peter Saville, Linder Sterling, Gee Vaucher and Arturo Vega, as well as pieces created by the hands of talented, yet anonymous, artists. Beyond the ‘holy trinity’ of punk – The Clash, The Ramones, and the Sex Pistols – Pretty Vacant includes posters, flyers, handbills, record sleeves, badges and other graphic materials created for both iconic and obscure punk and post-punk bands, including: A Certain Ratio, The Adverts, The B-52s, Bauhaus, Blondie, the Buzzcocks, the Circle Jerks, The Cramps, The Cure, the Damned, Devo, Elvis Costello, The Fall, Fear, Gang of Four, Generation X, The Gun Club, Iggy Pop, The Jam, Joy Division, Killing Joke, Kraftwerk, Lou Reed, New Order, Public Image Limited, Sham 69, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Teenage Jesus & the Jerks, Television and X-Ray Spex.
Tattoos by Thad Ritchey
Tattoos and Painting by Jeff Johnson
Tattoos by Ross Carlson
Tattoos by Ross Carlson
Story and photos by Mitch Gurowitz
My trip to the Joshua Liner Gallery for the opening of Shawn Barber’s Memoir: The Tattooed Portraits Series was yet another door opening into another world for me. I went there to view the work of a fine artist who specializes in painting tattooers and tattooed people. While I’m no stranger to art or to galleries, I’ve only recently joined the ranks of the tattooed a few months earlier as a celebration of my 50th birthday.
My mind skipped between the excitement of seeing Shawn’s artwork up close and meeting him and the subjects of some of his work, and also concern that the reception would be a gathering of a very exclusive and private group of professionals… A group that may not appreciate an outsider walking into their world… (more…)
Courtesy of Philip Riley: Skink Ink Fine Art Editions is pleased to announce a show of prints made from the paintings of Victor Kensinger, a New York based illustrator and tattoo artist originally from Spain and trained in Boston. The major works in this show are individual pages from an unwritten graphic novel; discreet incidents imply the existence of a lager story, episodic moments taken out of a time line. Similarly they hint at larger themes, taking timeworn narratives and reworking them into a tantalizing mystery whose origin and conclusion we cannot know… (more…)
Nick Baxter’s technically demanding painting style dwells somewhere in between traditional sharp-focus still life and modern photorealist styles, while bringing in elements of symbolism and surrealism. His subject matter tends to center around close-ups of skin and visceral, bloody macro-scapes, in exploration of what it means to be human- to have a unique consciousness inhabiting a vessel of flesh and blood… (more…)