Streetart - The Punk Poster In San Francisco 1977-81 - a book of rare punk rock ephemera published by Last Gasp, 1981.
Softcover, 128pg. B&W
8.5" x 11"
"StreetArt" grew out of an exhibition of the same name presented in 1980 at Valencia Tool & Die in conjunction with the Western Front Festival. The book reproduces 126 black and white, Xerox and off-set posters, almost all of them advertising bands. The posters are augmented by Mariane Kester's witty and offhanded text, which is in turn augmented by snippets of published interviews, articles on subjects like performance art and even excerpts from Walter Benjamin's mid-century essay, "Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction." Brad Lampin's introductory "15 Theses" provides effective theoretical counterpoint to Kester's more narrative/anecdotal brand of cultural history, by placing the mass-produced punk poster within the context of McLuhan, industrial society and youthful rebellion. "These disparate elements ad up to much more than an art book devoted to advertising imagery. StreetArt is a sociological document chronicling a vital phenomenon, one which has — at the very least — profoundly influenced painting, graphic design and fashion. (It may still be a bit early to assess the covert cultural impact of punk.) Lest I mislead, StreetArt is also an engaging art book, surveying a graphically oriented style heavy on collage and future shock or nostalgia schlock imagery."