10/4/12 Onward at Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA Poster Set

Ann Atomic ONWARD poster set

Onward! A Celebration of Ann McNamee’s Musical Life

Accord­ing to Moon­al­ice leg­end, there once was a beau­ti­ful blue moon named Blue Moon­al­ice. She was one of a kind, and so much more. She reflected light and joy wher­ever she went. On this night, she gath­ered her bands, her fam­ily, and the Moon­al­ice tribe to cel­e­brate a new adven­ture. Onward she will go into the world of musi­cal the­ater. This show includes music by Ann Atomic (the band Ann took on the Lilith Fair tour in 2011), the Fly­ing Other Broth­ers, Moon­al­ice and the cast of “Love Bytes,” the first of Ann’s two musi­cal the­ater projects.

According to Moonalice legend, 12 posters were created by the Moonalice artists to celebrate the musical life of Ann McNamee aka Ann Atomic Moonalice. Watch the video of this magical evening of music, musical theater and love on MoonTunes at Moonalice.com.

Artists in the poster set include: Darrin Brenner, Carolyn Ferris, Lee Conklin, David Singer, Dave Hunter, John Seabury, Stanley Mouse, Dennis Loren, John Mavroudis, Winston Smith, Wes Wilson, and Alexandra Fischer.

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Watch this show now at Moonalice.com.

Moonalice Artist Chuck Sperry Interviewed by San Franciso Bay Guardian

Caitlin Donohue recently sat down to talk with Moonalice artist Chuck Sperry

Chuck Sperry handing out posters (photo credit: Nick Cernak)

Chuck Sperry handing out posters (photo credit: Nick Cernak)

To Be A Poster Artist During Occupy: Chuck Sperry on Psychedelic Art, Social Change, and Port Shutdowns

With Occupy’s first anniversary sneaking up on us, has enough time past since its inception to reflect on its urban encampments and frightening conflicts with law enforcement in a rational, reasonable manner? Maybe rational is the wrong word — I’m sure many would agree that the movement’s major contributiont to date was a general firing up of the 99 percent, even of those 99 percenters who would sooner have ridden a bike to work than sit in on GA meeting in Oscar Grant Plaza. Through leaving its agenda undefined, Occupy allowed us all to paint our own hopes and dreams for the world onto it like a piece of drawing paper.

For some more literally than others. This month, an exhibit opened at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts that accumulates the work of 25 Bay Area artists who spun their Occupy dreams into poster form. Chuck Sperry is perhaps one of the most well-known name of the bunch. Sperry’s lived in the Bay since 1989, and recently came home early from a camping trip to answer our questions about his relationship with Occupy, the way he distributed his “This Is Our City And We Can Shut It Down” prints on the day of the Oakland port shutdown, and general “what does art mean” token asks.

SFBG: At what moment did you realize that Occupy was an important event? How did you first hear about it?

CS: Through the beginning of 2011, I was creating an installation for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art curated by Renee de Cossio, with artists Chris Shaw and Ron Donovan. Each artist would install work in one of three artists’ gallery windows on the side of the SFMOMA on Minna Street. The proposal for the installation was to bring the aesthetic of San Francisco’s poster traditions to painting, and to realize these in monumental form. I wanted this piece to reflect San Francisco’s poster history beginning in the freedom of speech movement through the 1960’s, and to also reflect the psychedelic tradition that gave birth to the rock poster.

While I was working on an 11-foot by nine-foot acrylic painting, I was following the progress of the Arab Spring movements, Tahrir Square, and the gathering Occupy Wall Street movement that was spreading across America. I decided to use my reaction to these events as inspiration for an iconographic painting titled, “Saint Everyone.” I wanted to express the opening mind, and spreading enlightened humanism, the decentralization of power — or awakening sense of people power — to the piece. I used vibrating, reactive colors to paint a figure holding an opening lotus (symbol of enlightenment), against a background of op-art circles, which communicate decentralization — that the background has many centers — like the movement which has no leaders.

“Saint Everyone” was installed at the SFMOMA in June 2011. So I was getting with it by then.

As Occupy Oakland was forming by the fall of 2011, my artist friend Jon-Paul Bail of Political Gridlock was printing his iconographic “Hella Occupy Oakland” posters on Frank Ogawa Plaza (re-named Oscar Grant Plaza) from the point when people were first gathering there. When I say printing, Jon-Paul Bail was printing live, right there, with a table set up in the open, printing and handing people freshly-made posters. In a few short weeks he had printed hundreds, if not, thousands of posters which were being handed out to people there. He was joined there on Oscar Grant Plaza by Melanie Cervantes and Jesus Barraza of Dignidad Rebelde, who created more iconographic posters for the Occupy movement.

SFBG: What led to your decision to make art inspired by Occupy? Was it a different process than your other creative projects?

CS: In September I was in an art show, LA VS. WAR, with Bail, Barraza, and Cervantes, (among others) and we discussed making posters for the November 2 Occupy action to close the Port of Oakland. Fellow artist Chris Shaw — who was involved in the SFMOMA Window Gallery Installation — offered to pay for the production of any Occupy posters through the printing account of rock band Moonalice who was in solidarity with Occupy.

 Occupy poster by Chuck Sperry

I created “This Is Our City, And We Can Shut It Down.” I usually work with images and take a lot of time to work my art into a design. In this case, the message was so overriding and important that I felt it was my job as an artist to stay out of the way, and let the words and message do their job. So in this way it was different. I used color theories learned in studying the long San Francisco tradition of psychedelic poster art, the use of hot colors against cold colors to make the words read from a half mile away — haha! I wanted a strong, radical message, used with bold nurturing colors that convey a positive emotion. It would not be a typical political poster.

SFBG: How do you want your Occupy poster to be used?

CS: Chris Shaw and I discussed printing our posters on heavy paper stock, and printing on both sides to double the exposure we could give people to our message. You could use this poster as a placard, hold it up over your head. It would make quite an impression and be useful to the action. I stood at Oscar Grant Plaza next to the street and passed out nearly 1000 posters in 45 minutes to the front of the march, so when television camares picked up the action at the Port of Oakland, the front of the march was a sea of my poster with the message, “This Is Our City, And We Can Shut It Down.” No one directed us to make these posters. No one asked. We just did it. And passed them out.

Read the full interview by Caitlin Donohue at the SFBG Arts & Culture Blog PIXEL VISION

Occupy Bay Area – through October 14
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
701 Mission, SF
(415) 978-ARTS
www.ybca.org
See photographs of Moonalice Artists Handing Out Occupy Posters

Occupy Posters by Moonalice artists pictured below include: Chris Shaw, Alexandra Fischer, Chuck Sperry, Ron DonovanDennis Larkins, Carolyn Ferris, & Winston Smith.

 

  • Occupy poster by Chuck Sperry
  • Occupy poster by Chris Shaw (front)
  • Occupy poster by Chris Shaw (back)
  • Occupy poster by Alex Fischer (silkscreen)
  • Occupy poster by Winston Smith (front)
  • Occupy poster by Winston Smith (back)
  • Occupy poster by Dennis Larkins
  • Occupy poster by Alex Fischer (front)
  • Occupy poster by Alex Fischer (back)
  • Occupy poster by Ron Donovan (front)
  • Occupy poster by Ron Donovan (back)
  • Occupy poster by Carolyn Ferris
  • Occupy poster by Alex Fischer (front)
  • Occupy poster by Alex Fischer (back)
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Startling Art! A Conversation with Dennis Larkins on Circus Posterus

Tangling With the Sands of Time by Dennis Larkins

Circus Posterus recently sat down with artist Dennis Larkins, who has designed 8 posters in the Moonalice Poster Series, for a conversation. Here is part of that interview…

I’d be willing to bet that most of you know Dennis Larkins’ work and don’t even know it. Despite his expansive, 40-year-plus art career as a 3D painter and being one of the major players in LA’s Lowbrow movement in the ’80s and ’90s, Larkins is probably best known for his rock art, having created some of the Grateful Dead’s most famous gig posters for their now legendary stints at the Warfield in San Fran and NYC’s Radio City Music Hall in October 1980.

Grateful Dead Radio City poster by Dennis Larkins

Like many artists, Larkins was well accustomed to having parallel careers, working as a scenic artist, set designer and rock n’ roll art director, while still actively pursuing his own artistic exploits. In the late ’80s, he went from Dead artist to Disney Imagineer, designing exhibits and attractions for Disneyland and Disney World.

But then there was the other side of Larkins’ work: the sci-fi nerdery, the dark humor, the sculpted dimensional relief … this is where it gets particularly interesting, at least from a designer toy standpoint.

Let me put it this way: the whole premise behind the toy movement was to redefine the canvas; to take characters from a 2 dimensional world and reimagine them in 3D. To make them tangible, ‘real’, and in a form that is more interactive for the collector. Well, Larkins had a similar idea about 30 years prior, but did it without abandoning the canvas. Instead, he started building upon it. Using foam, rubber and various plastics, Larkins pioneered a whole new chapter of conceptual realism. By applying a combination of low- and high-relief sculpture right onto the canvas, he’s able to create the illusion of an entire scene popping out at us. Some paintings have many layers, some only a few, but even his ‘deepest’, most complex pieces never exceed five inches. This was entirely new to the art scene in the 70s and transformed the canvas’ expressivity.

I recently caught up with Larkins to discuss his work, his plans with Stranger Factory and his move back to Santa Fe, NM, from LA after a 20 year absence.

Who or what first inspired you to make art? When was this?

I have been creating art of various kinds from a very young age. My first memory is of copying Disney comic book covers at age 5. Many years later, as an adult in the 1980s, it was very ironically satisfying to become a theme park designer for Walt Disney Imagineering in Burbank, California.

Read the full interview on CircusPosterus.com

see all Moonalice posters by Dennis Larkins

An Overriding Misunderstanding by Dennis Larkins

Roger McNamee’s interview with WGDR

3/31/12 Moonalice poster by Lee Conklin

3/31/12 Moonalice poster by Lee Conklin

Jeff Lindholm of WGDR/WGDH, Goddard College community radio in central Vermont interviewed Roger McNamee, aka Chubby Wombat Moonalice, of the band Moonalice, in advance of the band’s show at Nectar’s in Burlington, Vermont tonight!

Roger talks about supporting the Occupy Movement, the free upcoming Art of Moonalice Poster Exhibition, and why they hire artists (including veterans from the ’60s San Francisco scene) to make posters for EVERY show, their chosen tribe, and much more.

The interview was recorded for the Geezer Rock show