Opening Reception Saturday February 2, 6-9pm
The seditious editions in the show are works of “rebellious disorder” that act as an intellectual call to arms to the public at large to stand against complacency. Each artist repurposes the pop cultural zeitgeist of the 50’s postwar era with punk rock bones to create sometimes complex sometimes bone chillingly simple messages challenging us to look harder at the politics and governments we take for granted are working in our best interests. On exhibit will be original works and limited editions.
Kozik and Smith share the experience of having lived in postwar Europe in the early to mid 70’s, a period of intense upheaval. Kozik’s childhood in Franco Era Spain was full of visually influential authoritarian acts and imagery, evidenced by his use of the propaganda poster format. By contrast Winston Smith’s time in Italy as a teenager was full of class struggle and socio-political turmoil turned to violence that one writer claims “amounted to anarchy.” This state of chaos mixed with a 50’s childhood in a “flyover” state comes into stark relief in his politically tinged collage-montages.
Using imagery of the 50’s and beyond as his starting point, Smith “kidnaps” them from their original contexts, re-purposing them into politically charged tableaus that confront the viewer with the paradoxes and incongruities occurring in front of our eyes. With a sublime humor, Smith talks to us of deep and troubling issues with friendly imagery. Kozik uses the template of the propaganda poster prevalent during and post WWII in the US and Europe to create art print and music poster editions full of visually gripping and supremely graphic scenarios rife with cultural messages of challenge. He has recently turned his graphically keen eye to the world of sculpture, creating limited edition works of some of his most well known images.
Smith first became known (and later beloved) for his collaborations with punk legends Dead Kennedys and his numerous album covers, inserts and flyers for the band in their formative years. His technique of cutting out by hand and gluing each individual element has inspired a generation of artists. He is classically trained in Renaissance art, having left the U.S. in 1969 to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, where he lived for several years before moving to Rome. Over the last 35 years, Winston has had numerous one-man shows in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, London, Berlin, Antwerp, Rome and Tokyo, as well as group shows through out the United States and Europe. He lives and works in San Francisco.
Frank Kozik is an entirely self-taught artist whose artistic career rose largely out of his enthusiasm for Austin’s growing undeground punk rock scene in the early 80’s. He transitioned to silkscreening large colorful concert posters, creating artwork for a diverse array of musicians such as Pearl Jam, The White Stripes, The Beastie Boys, Green Day, Neil Young and Nirvana. He moved to San Francisco in the 1990’s where he started his own music label. In 2001 he transitioned full time to creating fine art, design and art toys. He currently lives and works in San Francisco with his wife, Sharon, and their four cats.
Kozik & Smith editions will be released online Saturday at 6pm PST
Additional information at VarnishFineArt.com
16 Jessie Street, #C120 — San Francisco, CA
Occupy Bay Area
Many of our favorite Rock Poster Artists will be featured in a new exhibit at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts titled Occupy Bay Area at YBCA running July 7 — October 14, 2012 in Gallery 3.
$10 Admission, $8 Students & Seniors
FREE for YBCA Members & YBCA:You
FREE first Tuesday of each month • noon – 8 pm
Since its inception in September 2011, the Occupy Movement has generated both praise and condemnation. A direct response to the financial instability, subprime mortgage crisis and the decline of trust in the government’s ability to effectively address the problems in the labor market, it continues to resonate in the American consciousness. In response to the significant output of art and documentation produced in support of the Occupy Movement in Oakland and San Francisco, YBCA has put together an exhibition of works that have proven to be particularly effective in supporting the goals and aspirations of the Movement. Impressively, various political poster artists devoted their talents to messaging the politics and culture of the movement by creating iconic images — designs that were a call to action, or posters announcing an upcoming event. In many ways these works, by twenty-five Bay Area artists, carry forward the region’s long tradition as a leader in political struggles, from the Free Speech Movement of the 1960s, to struggles by communities of color in the 1970s, to AIDS activism in the 1980s. The exhibition also includes a selection of photojournalistic and documentary photography and video that serve as a record of the events around the Occupy Movement.
Additionally, to connect to earlier movements and provide a historical context for the project, the exhibition includes posters and photographs from other political struggles, including the Black Panther Party, I-Hotel in Manilatown (1968–77); the ARC/AIDS Vigil at City Hall (1985–95); the Occupation of Alcatraz (1969–71); the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley (1964–65); and the San Francisco State University protests, to gain an Ethnic Studies program and Black Student Union demands (1968–69).While these earlier movements certainly differ in ways from Occupy, they all are the result of a deep desire for marginalized peoples to be represented and treated fairly.
This exhibition is not meant to represent a fully executed social history, but is a testament of the power of images to evoke the emotional expression of popular and wide-spread sentiments. By localizing our efforts, we also pay special tribute to the role that Bay Area artists have played in giving voice to the 99% and utilizing art as an effective vehicle for social change.
- Chuck Sperry
- Chris Shaw
- Winston Smith
- Alexandra Fischer
- Political Gridlock (Jon-Paul Bail)
- Emory Douglas
- Jesus Barraza
- Melanie Cervantes
- Favianna Rodriguez
- Eric Drooker
- Robert Bechtle
- R. Black
- D. Ross Cameron
- Ray Chavez
- Sergio de la Torre
- Zerena Diaz
- Cannon Dill
- Kota Ezawa
- Dave Garcia
- & many more.
Occupy Bay Area Night
July 7, 2012 6:00pm
Grand Lobby — FREE
An evening of live performances, music and community discussion and interaction through the marriage of art and activism as seen by the Occupy movements of the Bay Area. YBCA’s Room for Big Ideas will feature artworks and performance by artist Annie Danger, Jessica Tully and the Oakland-based hip-hop artist Do D.A.T. and his friends will shut us all down.