POWER TO THE PEACEFUL: poster by CHUCK SPERRY: sold out
When my wife Dawn and I were last in the City, while browsing in some head shops on Haight Street, I noticed a small colour invite card for an opening at the Varnish Gallery, in the financial district.
DARK NOUVEAU POSTER BY MALLEUS: VARNISH FINE ART GALLERY: S. F. 2009
As I recall, the show was called ‘Dark Nouveau’ and it turned out that the card featured a design by a trio of talented young long-haired Italian artists who call themselves Malleus.
Malleus’ oeuvre is clearly in the classic ‘Liberty Style’ (as it was called in Italy in the 1890s), commonly known as Art Nouveau, albeit now updated with decided ‘Gothic’ sensibility, dark colour schemes and subject matter that is even more Decadent than is usual in the posters and book illustrations from the fin de siecle. A Malleus link will be found in the comments section below.
After some effort to find the gallery, passing by the shocking sight of many homeless men bedding down under overhangs in the alley nearby, we finally found the Varnish Gallery in what looked to be an old garage or small firehall.
The show was an eye-opener for me, as I had never heard of these Italian artists before, and I have had a long-standing interest in that period and its influence on the later psychedelic poster revolution in the late sixties.
FIREHOUSE: FUNKY METERS: FOX THEATRE: BOULDER COLORADO: 2000
Also on show there that night were brighter coloured posters by the American artists Chuck Sperry, Dave Hunter and Ron Donovan of the Firehouse group of East Bay artists, some of whose work also follows in the same tradition.
DAVE HUNTER: JIMI HENDRIX: ISLE OF WIGHT: RED VIC MOVIE HOUSE: HAIGHT STREET S. F. 2010
We bought a limited edition signed poster by Chuck Sperry (which opens this post), and after bringing it home to Victoria, had it framed, and it is now hanging in our little foyer.
This bright yellow, orange, burgundy and silver serigraph poster is the first thing one sees when one enters our Rockland home.
Opposite that 2008 POWER TO THE PEACEFUL Firehouse poster by Chuck Sperry we have hung another framed serigraph poster in black and white by another great American contemporary poster artist, Shepard Fairey, now resident in Los Angeles.
It shows a peace symbol in the form of a jet bomber, replete with Fairey’s trademark bordello wallpaper arabesques and is also signed in graphite, but not numbered, by Shepard Fairey.
I will write about Fairey, Firehouse and Malleus in other postings, but now invite my readers to view some of the remarkable work of Chuck Sperry.
– ‘Goyo de la Rosa’
CHUCK SPERRY: POWER TO THE PEACEFUL POSTER 2007: sold out
CHUCK SPERRY: POWER TO THE PEACEFUL POSTER 2009: sold out
CHUCK SPERRY: NOT IN OUR NAME POSTER: 2003: BERKELEY
CHUCK SPERRY: GLASVEGAS: THE REGENCY S. F. (sold out)
CHUCK SPERRY: MOONALICE: DON QUIXOTE’S FELTON CAL. POSTER: 2010
CHUCK SPERRY: WEST FEST 2009 POSTER
CHUCK SPERRY: MOGWAI: REGENCY S. F. 2009
CHUCK SPERRY: DARK STAR ORCHESTRA: REGENCY BALLROOM S. F.: (sold out)
CHUCK SPERRY: THE POGUES: THE REGENCY + WARFIELD S. F. 2009
CHUCK SPERRY: THE CRANBERRIES: THE REGENCY S. F. 2009 POSTER
CHUCK SPERRY: GOV’T MULE: BEACON THEATRE NEW YORK 2009
CHUCK SPERRY: MOONALICE: GREEN SPOT, COOS BAY OREGON: 2009
CHUCK SPERRY: AMERICAN ARTIFACT POSTER
CHUCK SPERRY: NEKO CASE: WARFIELD: FAYA GALLERY N. Y. C.
CHUCK SPERRY: THE ENGLISH BEAT: REGENCY S. F.: 2009
CHUCK SPERRY: PHOENIX: WARFIELD S. F.
CHUCK SPERRY: BRIAN SETZER ORCHESTRA: WARFIELD S. F.: 2009
CHUCK SPERRY: FLASHBACK: LA STATION ORBITALE: GENEVE: OCT. 2010
CHUCK SPERRY: FIREHOUSE + LINDSAY KUHN: I – FLUSS: BERN: OCT. 2010
CHUCK SPERRY: FESTIVAL OF ROCK POSTERS: S. F.: OCTOBER 2010