Spinning Platters Picks Six: Rock Poster Artists Coming to Flatstock 25

by Gordon Elgart on July 1, 2010

Flatstock is coming to the Bay Area for the first time in years, thanks to a new team-up with the San Francisco-based TRPS.  I’m pretty darn excited, let me tell you. On July 10, at the Hall of Flowers in Golden Gate Park, nearly 50 great poster artists, both local and national, classic and brand new, will be showing and selling their posters. It starts at 10AM, but I promise you there will be folks lined up for hours to get first shot at some of the hotter artists at the show.

About a year ago, I posted a list of six of my favorite artists. I’ve mentioned and interviewed two of them that are coming to the show: Kevin Tong and Gregg Gordon. And now, I present six additional artists that you’ll be able to see on July 10th in Golden Gate Park.

1. Jay Ryan

OK so that’s not a rock poster but a movie poster, but it’s still awesome. Chicago artist Jay Ryan of The Bird Machine manages to take things down to singular iconic images and draw them in a way that can add instant nostalgia to something new, and make something nostalgic feel exciting. And to geek out for a moment, his paper choices (rarely if ever white make for a unique feel to the art as well. He’s always got some good specials on the table, so don’t leave without picking up some Jay Ryan pieces.

2. Chuck Sperry (Firehouse Kustom)

This is a picture of an Amanda Palmer poster that Chuck Sperry did for a show of hers in Australia, but the pictures of Chuck Sperry’s posters don’t tell the whole story. The varieties of colors and metallic inks he prints on thick paper stock makes for a “wow” viewing experience in person. I have this poster at home (under the bed — it’ll cost a mint to frame), and when I pull it out for people, it is “wow” that I hear for sure.  Also, Chuck is great to talk to, as he will discuss the process and inspirations behind his art without making you feel like you’re wasting his time if you don’t buy. But you’ll see the work, and you will. (He’s also done my all-time favorite Fillmore poster, which I don’t own, but I do enjoy looking at.)

3. Jason Munn (The Small Stakes)

For Jason Munn of The Small Stakes, it’s all about simplicity and composition. Most of his prints have more space than lines, yet for the most part are able to clearly signify the band they represent. The Flight of the Conchords poster above: who else could it be? While he does have the tendency to overuse guitars and vinyl as themes for his posters, it works because everyone loves guitars and vinyl. He’s also recently put out what’s probably the best single-artist poster book I’ve ever seen because the pages of the book are printed with the same inks as the original posters. Because the work is about shapes, line and color, the smaller size of the posters doesn’t detract from their impact. It’s a must own for poster lovers.

4. Lil Tuffy

Lil Tuffy has been pumping out excellent posters for years at what would seem to be an alarming rate. It’s a clever mix of hand-drawn and photo reference that looks like it could have been done by ten different artists to the untrained eye. He’s got a great gig right now doing the posters for the entire Pavement reunion tour, so if you went to the Berkeley show, you may have a Lil Tuffy on your wall now.

5. Dan Stiles

Portland artist Dan Stiles does posters featuring bold collages of often repeated shapes. His use of color can be a bit jarring at times (like the Decemberists poster above that reminds me of a neon nightmare – maybe you want something more low key), but they always stand out against whatever else you’re looking at.  I feel like he’s taken his game to a new level in the last year or so, so grab a bunch of his posters while you still can.

6. David D’Andrea

David D’Andrea’s work looks like the kind of thing you might find an in illuminated manuscript. The ancient feel of it blows me away, and he tends to use a lot of warped religious iconography in his work. Also, lots of flowers and animals. And recently, he’s done a bunch of posters for Emeryville Public Transit, posters that make me want to smash a bus shelter or two to get at. Or at least ask the city if they’re selling them. Awesome stuff.

Gordon Elgart

A music nerd who probably uses that term too much. I have a deep love for bombastic, quirky and dynamic music.

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