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December 17, 2004

{     Art of Modern Rock - Paul Grushkin and Dennis King - prefaced by Wayne Coyne     }    

If you know anything about Crown Dozen, you know that we take our poster art very seriously. And if you know anything about poster art, you know how culturally significant it has become over the past fifteen years. Paul Grushkin and Dennis King have long realized the importance of postering: Grushkin is the author the genre standard Art of Rock, and co-author of several other highly regarded rock poster publications. King is an internationally respected authority on postering, graphics and screenprinting who boasts one of the largest private poster collections in the world. Together, they have compiled Art of Modern Rock, a massive tome collecting work from hundreds of artists that serves as a veritable cross-section of the new poster movement. Postering has long been viewed as the common-law marriage of art and commercial design, its wildly imaginative side balanced by its advertising-rooted ulterior motive (to get people out to see a show). The current scene challenges that notion, defining the worth of the work not by the band name attached to it, but by the quality of the material itself, with poster artists gaining the kind of notoriety usually reserved for the rock bands they help promote. As the community has grown, so has its inherent legitimacy- spawning gig poster conventions, independent merchandising and gallery shows- postering has become a way and a means for many emerging artists/designers. Art of Modern Rock celebrates the surge of creativity, new techniques and styles, and overall upswing in quality we've seen as the movement has grown. I actually bought a pair of white cotton gloves and slipped them on before perusing this 492 page hardbound monster. It bears a quiet authority belied by the loud colors and striking images contained therein, equal parts museum-level reference guide and super-sweet eye candy. It was hard not to drool directly onto the pages. Culled from the work of 350+ international artists, Art of Modern Rock includes the work of Crown Dozen associates and alumni Aesthetic Apparatus, The Chopping Block, Bobby Dixon, House Industries, Little Friends of Printmaking, Matt Mastrud (Punchgut), Ragnar, James Quigley (aka Gun Sho), and Seripop. There is an absolutely tremendous amount of work compiled here, and you'll likely find a new favorite every time you open the book. At the moment, I'm particularly smitten by the work of Tara McPherson and Michael Michael Motorcycle, along with The Little Friends of Printmaking pieces included here. Heavies like Coop, Kozik, Sheperd Fairey and Andy Warhol are represented too- the scope of this collection is just staggering. It may be the most important art-related book published this year, and is certainly required reading for the culturally aware. The Art of Modern Rock webiste linked below is offering two versions, both hardcover with solid binding and excellent color transfer and paper quality (courtesy of Chronicle Books)- the "regular" version and a web-exclusive hand-signed by the authors that includes a limited tipped-in plate. Amazon is also selling the book for a disgustingly affordable $37.80, and can get it to you in time for the holidays if you throw in a few extra bucks for shipping.

     » Art of Modern Rock
     » Order the Limited Edition Now!
     » Standard Edition, via


damn, i want this so bad.....

Posted by: shane at December 17, 2004 10:03 PM

You need to come over and check it out... then you'll want it even more.

That price at Amazon really is retardedly low.

Posted by: Adam at December 17, 2004 10:05 PM

Just stopping in to say hello and to congratulate you on your recent nomination at the BoB Weblog Awards 2004.

Posted by: Genuine at December 20, 2004 1:28 AM

Thanks for giving this book props. Hanging out on for so long, I feel like I know most of the folks in that book intimately.

Posted by: Al aka El Negro Magnifico at December 22, 2004 2:29 AM
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