Check out the pho­tos we took at the Brook­lyn Bowl poster show. Click here…

The Art of Moon­al­ice
An exhibit of Rock Posters cre­ated for the band Moon­al­ice.
Moon­al­ice is a band that com­mis­sions a poster for every gig and gives them away for free. Since the band’s for­ma­tion in 2007, Moon­al­ice has pro­duced a unique series of almost 550 orig­i­nal gig posters with art­work from over 20 artists.

Moon­al­ice posters fea­ture art­work from many of the leg­endary poster artists of the psy­che­delic 60′s as well as today’s top rock poster artists. Moon­al­ice is a band that lets poster artists do what they do best – make art! Unen­cum­bered by stan­dard con­straints, Moon­al­ice posters are as diverse as the artists who cre­ate them.

On Sun­day, Octo­ber 28, 2012, Moon­al­ice proudly presents their 2nd poster show at the Brook­lyn Bowl. The full series of Moon­al­ice posters will be on dis­play and avail­able for pur­chase at this FREE East Coast event. Many Moon­al­ice poster artists will be attend­ing the event in-person. The poster show opens at noon, Moonalice’s con­cert will fol­low the poster show in the evening. Join the event on Facebook!

SUNDAY – Octo­ber 28, 2012
Doors open at Noon!
Artists in atten­dance:
Wes Wil­son • Alexan­dra Fis­cher
David Singer • Stan­ley Mouse
Chris Shaw • John Mavroudis
Den­nis Larkins • Dave Hunter
Den­nis Loren • John Seabury
Chuck Sperry • Wendy Wright
Car­olyn Fer­ris • Gary Hous­ton
Dar­rin Bren­ner • Win­ston Smith
Lee Con­klin • Lau­ren Yurkovich
George and Patri­cia Sargent

Also fea­tur­ing art­work by:
Ron Dono­van • Claude Shade • Grace Slick

BROOKLYN BOWL 61 Wythe Avenue, Brook­lyn, NY

LeftCoastArt.com

On April 20, 1996, in Profiles, by admin


LeftCoastArt.com

It was a dark and stormy night in Berke­ley where I was attend­ing a con­fer­ence of social sci­en­tists (who were nei­ther). To avoid a fatal attack of bore­dom four of us slipped out of a post-dinner panel on the impact of the Kennedy-Nixon debates on U.S. pol­i­tics and made our way down Uni­ver­sity Avenue look­ing for trou­ble. We found it. A poster announced a Dead Kennedy’s con­cert. We went. Four suit-and-tie pro­fes­sors. We stood out like a sore mid­dle finger.

 

I don’t remem­ber much about Jello Biafra’s music but I remem­ber the poster that first caught our eye. Win­ston Smith was the gonzo-artist respon­si­ble for it. In the years since Smith launched his career with bizarre posters announc­ing con­certs by bands — some of which didn’t actu­ally exist — he’s risen from provoca­tive to noto­ri­ous, from fringe to out-of-this world, from appear­ances on cof­fee house walls to a book on cof­fee tables; which is where you today find Act Like Nothing’s Wrong. It was this book that pro­pelled Smith into the nation’s con­scious­ness, thanks to tel­e­van­ge­list Pat Robert­son. When Robert­son railed against Smith’s work on The 700 Club he kept it hid­den from view, pre­sum­ably to pro­tect his eas­ily upset view­ers. The piecethat got Robertson’s dan­der up is “Idol,” a shinny plas­tic Jesus nailed to a “cross” of dol­lar bills. To para­phrase Carly Simon: Pat Robert­son “you’re so vain you must think this picture’s about you… don’t you, don’t you.”

album Panic Now by Winston Smith

The first thing you’ll notice is that Win­ston Smith isn’t a painter. Instead of brushes and paint Smith’s tools are scis­sors and a glue stick. The word for his medium is mon­tage art, pieces and images culled from the kitchen mid­den of our cul­ture, arranged to pro­vide the max­i­mum sound from a clash of sym­bols. He pro­vides what Aris­to­tle called “the shock of recog­ni­tion.” Through his eyes we see the famil­iar, the pedes­trian images and icons of our soci­ety as we have never seen them before. He makes us look at our­selves, at our cul­ture, and at what we praise as progress.

 

Win­ston Smith’s shows us where we’ve gone astray in our love affair with “cap­i­tal­ism,” “con­sumerism,” and “con­ve­nience” in order to get us to change our ways. He’s no machine-smashing Lud­dite but an icon­o­clas­tic patriot who cares enough about the coun­try to want us to do bet­ter and be bet­ter. Smith’s into artis­tic “tough love.”

 

Describ­ing him­self as a fig­ure “shrouded in mys­tery and leg­end,” Illus­tra­tor Win­ston Smith says the cut and paste mon­tage of ‘50s mag­a­zine imagery that he cre­ates monthly for Spins Top­spin col­umn “reflect the hypocrisy, excess, and banal­ity of 1950’s Amer­ica.” That decade “made a dis­as­trous impres­sion” on the artist, who has worked closely with the Dead Kennedys’ Jello Biafra design­ing many of the sem­i­nal punk out­fits record cov­ers. Smiths motto: “Mod­er­a­tion is for the weak.” Smith who also con­tributes illus­tra­tions to Mother Jones, The Pro­gres­sive, Utne Reader and Max­i­mum Rock­N­Roll, has com­piled a sec­ond vol­ume of his mon­tage art, Art­crime (Last Gasp), due in May, 1997.

Excerpt cour­tesy of Spin Mag­a­zine.

Tagged with:
 

Addicted to Noise

Armed with old mag­a­zines, an X-acto knife and glue, the man behind the Dead Kennedys’ and Green Day’s most (in)famous album jack­ets fights to make you think.

At a glance, it seems harm­less enough. Pleas­ant, even. A smil­ing father gazes lov­ingly up at his happy, well-coifed wife; their son leaps joy­ously in the back­ground. At a glance, “Nuclear Fam­ily”, part of the vast body of work by the in turns respected and reviled mon­tage artist and punk rock illus­tra­tor Win­ston Smith, is a peace­ful peek at the per­fect Amer­i­can Family.

Green Day Insomniac album cover by Winston Smith, 1995Look more closely, how­ever, and this bucolic scene turns grue­some: Dad’s got two ears — on the same side of his head. Mom’s jaw is hor­ri­bly dis­torted (way beyond talk-show host pro­por­tions), an appalling fea­ture matched — if not sur­passed — by her three baby-blue irises. And the boy’s seven-fingered hand no longer seems glee­fully out­stretched, nor does his double-wide mouth look much like a smile any­more. “Nuclear Fam­ily” sud­denly car­ries a whole new message.

Such is the nature of Smith’s col­lages. He takes beloved and famil­iar Amer­i­can images–from Santa Claus to Ronald Rea­gan to Nor­man Rockwell’s illustrations–and, with the help of an X-acto knife and some glue, strips them of their mytho­log­i­cal aura and replaces it with a hefty dose of real­ity. All the bet­ter to see them more clearly.

A lot of my images are from pub­li­ca­tions from the ‘50s and ‘60s. They’ve got all these fan­tas­tic illus­tra­tions that depict a fan­tasy world,” Smith explains, his gen­tle voice becom­ing slightly more agi­tated. “There was some silly remark [Newt] Gin­grich made about look­ing at mag­a­zines from the ‘50s, and how that was the Amer­ica we want…Beaver Cleaver, Ozzie and Har­riet, that’s what we want to live up to. No men­tion of the racism, the sex­ism of the era. We’re sup­posed to keep up with the Jone­ses, but the Jone­ses never existed.”

Smith, who two decades ago took on the name of the pro­tag­o­nist from George Orwell’s 1984, finds it ridicu­lous that we should model our­selves after an era that thrived on inequal­ity, manip­u­la­tion and denial. In order to get that point across, he uses some pretty potent imagery, har­vested from post-war mag­a­zines and cut-and-pasted into some­thing alto­gether dif­fer­ent. Dozens of his works address­ing this divi­sion have been gath­ered in his 1993 book, appro­pri­ately titled Act Like Nothing’s Wrong.

Dead Kennedys' In God We Trust, Inc., album cover by Winston Smith, 1981

You’ll also find the pieces for which he is prob­a­bly best known: the Dead Kennedys’ logo and “Idol”, a cru­ci­fix of dol­lar bills, which was used for DK’s In God We Trust, Inc.. “Idol”, much to Smith’s (and, one would assume, Jello Biafra’s) plea­sure, gave Pat Robert­son con­nip­tions. Shops dis­play­ing his work, and DK’s album, were shut down in England.

Smith is again design­ing the album jacket for a pop­u­lar punk band — this time for Green Day’s lat­est, Insom­niac (see image at the top of this page). And again, his work is strad­dling the line between what is and isn’t accept­able for the main­stream. An ani­mated ver­sion of the cover for Green Day’s “Stuck With Me” had to be altered before it aired on MTV. A gun was removed and replaced with a cir­cu­lar chain­saw. The change of weaponry was oddly appro­pri­ate, though. The orig­i­nal work, from which he designed the album cover, was enti­tled “God Told Me to Skin You Alive.”

Neg­a­tive responses like these don’t bother Smith. In fact, he’s flat­tered by them. “It feels just as good as if they’re wildly enthu­si­as­tic about it,” he says. “If they rabidly don’t like it, then that’s sincere…my pieces are like Rohr­shach inkblots. Music and art are cat­a­lysts for emo­tions, so even if they react unfa­vor­ably, I’m pleased.”

Smith’s art is the visual coun­ter­part to punk rock. It’s crowded and chaotic and seeks to explode the myths of the Amer­i­can Dream. On the sur­face, they may seem harm­less. Pleas­ant even. But they aren’t, and that’s the dan­ger Win­ston Smith wants to warn you about. And he does so, in ways some­times sub­tle, some­times bla­tant, but always–always—powerful.

Tagged with:
 
Page 1 of 3123