> Off The Wall : The Fine Art of Rock
Rolling Stones Australian tour poster
Pop in aesthetic, punk in sensibility, the concert poster is the vital word on the street for alternative music.Like graffiti and tattoo art, it has an immediate relationship to the popular and political. Since its creation, the poster has served as a promotional tool, a work of art and a piece of memorabilia. Over the past three decades, the poster has been the mainstay of alternative music promotion and is responsible for creating logo-like band identities and an iconography of its own.
The punk do-it-yourself ethos of the 1980s saw a resurgence of poster art production, not seen since the 60s and 70s, when reprographic processes such as silk-screening, small photo-litho presses, photocopying and letter-transfer systems were used to advertise gigs, clubs and festivals.
This irreverent medium employs everything from recognised iconography to darker imagery of political commentary or violence. Many classic examples of alternative rock posters corrupt familiar icons and cartoon characters in order to provoke, amuse and incite social, cultural and political insurrection.
However, even when employing the darkest imagery, subversion, in the form of humour, is seldom far away. Irony, wit, caricature and satire will always be key characteristics of the art form.
Tony Gould, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, South Bank, Brisbane
The White Stripes © Pixelshifter, 2001
Nick Cave © Justin Hampton 1998
Off The Wall: The Fine Art of Rock, was produced in 2001 from the collection of John Harris from Beyond The Pale Melbourne. To find out more about the collection and new works being published by Beyond the Pale, please visit the Beyond the Pale website.
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