An auburn-haired songstress holds a fawn. Shocking magenta hair falls to the shoulders of a blue nude strapped with artillery. A 1950s-model cop car rests peacefully at the bottom of the sea, washed in blues and purples revealing a silent white angel. Each outstanding print on display represents a prominent rock band. Each was created by Chuck Sperry.
In early 2011, Chuck Sperry, San Francisco artist and co-owner of Firehouse Kustom Rockart Company, made an unprecedented donation to the Library’s Art, Music and Recreation Department of over one-hundred limited edition, hand-printed rock art posters. Officially entitled, The Chuck Sperry Archive, this collection comprehensively documents the Goldenvoice Music Series (at the Regency and Warfield Theaters) from 2008 to present, as well as selected Firehouse productivity related to the cultural-life of San Francisco.
This collection is exciting in both use of color and variety of content. Each silkscreen print is comprised of up to sixteen colors, applied as individual layers. The pieces reference styles ranging from Japanese nishiki-e, Austrian Expressionism, 1960s psychedelia, to the provocative punk poster tradition of Sperry’s youth. Musicians such as Neko Case, Danzig, Bad Religion, Nick Cave, Soundgarden and The Black Keys are represented, as are a talented group of Bay Area graphic artists (Ron Donovan, Alex Fischer, Gregg Gordon, Dave Hunter, Alan Hynes, Scott Johnson, Dennis Loren, Chris Shaw, Frank Zio, and Zoltron) who contributed to the Firehouse Goldenvoice Poster series under the art direction of Chuck Sperry.
High Volume will be on display on the Fourth Floor from Oct. 7th, 2011 – January 6th, 2012. An opening reception will be held in the Latino/Hispanic Room on Thursday, Oct. 20th beginning at 6 p.m.
Photo Credit: Mike Abramson
This Friday is going to be all about celebrating the creative talent that has come out of the East Bay for the past decade. There are two shows opening this friday as part of the East Bay Express’ “Best of the East Bay” Party. “A Decade with No Name” and “If These Walls Could Talk.” Hangar 18 Artists – Emory Douglas, Chuck Sperry, Ron Donovan, Chris Shaw, Alexandra Fischer, Reuben Rude, Dave Hunter, Alan Hynes, Jon-Paul Bail, Scott Johnson, Frank Zio and Zoltron – were invited to participate (see list and links below).
A Decade with no Name is going to be a group show of 22 artists who work in a variety of mediums. As the facebook event describes it: “multi-disciplinary look into the works currently being created in our collective backyard, “The Decade With No Name” serves as a celebration of the sculptors, painters, photographers and street artists who call Oakland, Berkeley and the greater East Bay their home.”
Pictures are borrowed from the artists websites.
Occurring simultaneously outdoors, “If These Walls Could Talk“ will feature a live showcase of aerosol art by Bay Area legends Chor Boogie, Apex and Eon75 with additional support from Los Angeles’ Dabs/Myla and Surge. All six artists will be working on live graffiti murals during the event.
The Hangar 18 artists will have a Poster Kiosk right across from the Graffiti Mural.
Check out the Facebook event for more details, this is all going on:
Jack London Square
Friday August 6th
5:00pm – 11:00pm
The Gallery is across from the Main Stage.
Participating Artists for “A Decade With No Name”:
Eddie Colla - http://eddiecolla.wordpress.com/
Zoltron - http://zoltron.com/
GATS - http://www.flickr.com/groups/graffitiagainstthesystem/
Ras Terms - http://www.myspace.com/rasterms
Monica Canilao - http://www.monicacanilao.com/
Meagan Donegan - http://meagandonegan.com/home.html
Annie Vought - http://annievought.com/
Scott Hove - http://www.mshove.com/
Peter Gronquist - http://www.petergronquist.com/
Owen Cook - http://theeowencook.com/
Brett Amory - http://www.brettamory.com/
Alika Cooper - http://www.alikacooper.com/
Brendan Monroe - http://www.brendanmonroe.com/
Aaron Nagel - http://www.aaronnagel.com/
Skinner - http://www.theartofskinner.com/
David D’Andrea - http://www.dvdandrea.com/
Dave Correia - http://www.playwithknives.com/
Jason Vivona - http://www.jasonvivona.com/
Deth P. Sun - http://www.dethpsun.com/
John Felix Arnold - http://www.theothersideofasmile.info/
Amanda Lopez - http://www.amandalopezphoto.com/
John Coyne - http://www.caughtinthescramble.com/
Poster Art / Hangar18 Showcase:
Emory Douglas - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emory_Douglas
Chuck Sperry - http://chucksperry.net/
Ron Donovan - http://rondonovan.net/
Reuben Rude - http://www.reubenrude.com/
Dave Hunter - http://gammalyte.com/blog/
Chris Shaw - http://homepage.mac.com/c.shaw/Menu5.html
Jon-Paul Bail - http://www.gridlock.bigcartel.com/
Alexandra Fischer - http://www.facebook.com/Afishcalledalex
Alan Hynes - http://omgposters.com/2009/07/30/ten-questions-with-alan-hynes/
Scott Johnson - http://www.scottyjprints.com/
Frank Zio - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Frank-Zio/95871445028
Participating Artists for “If These Walls Could Talk”:
Chor Boogie - http://www.chorboogie.com/
Apex - http://www.vimby.com/video/art/us/all/detail/9695
Eon75 - http://maxehrman.carbonmade.com/
Dabs & Myla - http://www.dabsmyla.com/
It’s been a hectic, hard-working year establishing the Firehouse-Goldenvoice Poster Series, art directing and printing all these great posters, with my friend and partner Ron Donovan. Yes, it has been a year, and we are nearing poster number 70.
If you do the math that’s more than one poster a week. Add that to the other posters we produce (read Eric Clapton and Van Morrison to name but two) while at work on the Firehouse-Goldenvoice Series, it’s been a busy year!
Little did we know what a cool year we would have at the Firehouse in 2009. When Chris Shaw introduced us to his landlord Victor Hanson – who was daring enough to rent to us – Chris set us up and we got the new Firehouse studio. We began to call it Hangar 18, the secret military installation in Dayton, Ohio (my hometown) where alien technology is reverse engineered.
After our awesome trip to the United Kingdom in 2008 – organized by the genius of Marc Malakie, founder of Station 4 Gallery, his impeccable site for art prints produced by the Firehouse crew – including the great Emory Douglas – we set to work on the idea of this Series.
The Firehouse-Goldenvoice Series has also brought out the best in Firehouse; the best in me as well, my artwork, and I hope, brought many new faces here to check out my new designs.
The Firehouse-Goldenvoice Series has also brought out the best in all of the fine poster artists who have been invited to take this crazy ride with me and Ron Don. Thanks to everyone included in the series thus far:
Chuck Sperry – Ron Donovan – Malleus (IT) – Dave Hunter – Alexandra Fischer – Chris Shaw – Dennis Loren – Martin Bedford (UK) – Aaron Farmer – Reuben Rude – Gregg Gordon – Jeff Ross – John Howard – Alan Hynes – Frank Zio – Zoltron – Mike King – Scott Johnson
Thanks to David Lefkowitz of Goldenvoice Presents for inviting Firehouse Kustom Rockart Company to produce this poster series, and for having the vision to know it was the right thing at the right time.
We have been fortunate to show this series in quite a few exhibits in the last year including:
TRPS Festival of Posters – San Francisco 2008
Art of Musical Maintanance – Portland 2008
Lucky 13 – Alameda 2008
Varnish Fine Art – San Francisco 2009
Ogilvy West – San Francisco 2009
TRPS Rock Art By The Bay – San Francisco 2009
The Best of The East Bay – Oakland Museum 2009
Lucky 13 – Alameda 2009
Rock Art Revulsion – Sacramento 2009
And soon TRPS Festival of Posters – San Francisco 2009
There have been quite a few Poster of the Week awards on Expressobeans – that makes me proud – thanks for everyones’ support! There have been many emergency runs to the paper and ink suppliers, thanks to George Gamboa (KAW!) and Stephen Abramson.
Thanks to the Firehouse buddy-studio Political Gridlock run by Jon-Paul Bail has been a constant source of creativity, ideas (and emergency ink!) at the Firehouse – without JP no cool graffiti, no political compass and no fun!
And many kind thanks to Lulu Ehrhard, one of the very best printers in the Bay Area.
What would a workday at Firehouse be like without a visit from JC Hall of Ideal Posters with his daughter Anjelica along for the ride, who has supported us through many years and made “Bowlio” an international silkscreen superstar; Or without a neighborly visit from Flipper Ted (the band not a poster dealer). And thanks to Chela from PsPrint for the offsets and friendly break from work.
Many thanks and a great big shout out to Nick Cernak who created Firehouse Kustom Rockart Company’s first fully functional website, Hangar 18, and gave me the foundation and design for this site you are reading right here.
Sometimes the Firehouse seems like a cast of characters from a movie – thanks to Merle Becker for committing some of this to film in her brilliant documentary, “American Artifact: The Rise of American Rock Poster Art,” which came out last year while all this was going down.
On this occasion, Firehouse-Goldenvoice’s first anniversary, I thought it would be cool to revisit my Mogwai poster, and move it here to my new site – begin to move all the posters I’ve done for the Series here – little by little.
Also supplies are getting mighty low on most of my Firehouse-Goldenvoice Series posters from the last year and thought it best to move them here while I still have some to show.
Here’s some posters included in my updated posts:
The Oakland Museum of California – August 7, 2009
Figures that when Rock Poster Art gets invited to be exhibited in The Oakland Museum, it’s in the basement parking garage. Also figures that when WE INVADE the basement of the Museum – we draw a huge crowd down there! A genuine thank you to The Oakland Museum and The East Bay Express for a wonderful time.
The East Bay Express and the Hangar 18 collective had a great time at The Best of The East Bay Party – a celebration of everything great about The East Bay. Many of you stopped by the Hangar 18 booth to see live silkscreen poster making and artwork by Chuck Sperry & Ron Donovan of The Firehouse Kustom Rockart Company, Chris Shaw, Alexandra Fischer, Political Gridlock, Alan Hynes, Scott Johnson & Lulu. Many thanks to our fans and “Keep it in the Basement!”