Rock art, suitable for framing | Lit Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Rock art, suitable for framing

Thanks to Clay Hayes's Gig Posters, Volume 2, you don't have to steal your home decor anymore

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Ripping a concert poster out of a record store window or off a venue's wall is a desperate act, but considering the pool of talent currently churning out vibrant, imaginative artwork to promote high-profile rock shows and basement thrash-punk shows alike, it's almost defensible. In Gig Posters Volume 2 (Quirk Books)—sequel to Gig Posters Volume 1: Rock Show Art of the 21st Centurygigposters.com founder Clay Hayes gives 101 cream-of-the-crop artists the coffee-table-book treatment. Each participant gets a profile that supplies the obligatory answers about influences and preferred medium/method. But as you might expect, the focus is on the images—700 of them, ranging from a blood-splattered guitar-slash-chain saw for a Slayer show in Berlin to a Lego statue depicting musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords. And here's the kicker: each artist's spread features a full-color, 11-by-14-inch poster with a perforated edge so you can detach it from the book and frame it, if you're so inclined. A host of local designers (and a few Reader freelancers) appear in volume two, including Ryan Duggan, Alana Bailey, Josh Davis of Dead Meat Design, Erin Page of Kill Hatsumomo Prints, Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi of Sonnenzimmer, and Johnny Sampson, who explains that he creates gig posters "because it's one of those things where several of my interests intersect. I love making art, I love making music and going to shows—and I actually enjoy manual labor."

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