Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Best Of: Spoke Art's "Mucho Machismo" Art Show

First things first, apologies for the lack of updates everyone. It's been a busy, busy, week or two for me recently. I not only left my job of several years last Friday, I'm getting married this weekend. Separately, those two things would probably be enough to throw me off my game or, at the very least, interrupt my regularly scheduled posting. But together, they've created the perfect storm that has made publishing anything on Posterocalypse all but impossible these past few days. So, here goes nothing.

I heard about "Mucho Machismo" a few weeks ago and was instantly intrigued. For those of you with your head cocked sideways and a quizzically raised eyebrow, "Mucho Machismo" is a poster show put on by Spoke Art and curated by artist Jon Smith. Here's Jon's mission statement (taken from his blog):
"Violence is cool. So are guns and explosions. When it’s fake. It’s okay to be tough and flex your muscles as long as you’re a good guy and you say your prayers and take your vitamins like a real American. Pain don’thurt.
These are just some of the truths prescribed from the hyper violent media that saturated the late 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. The golden age of the action movie, professional wrestling and the dawn of arcade fighting games and the first person shooter provided endless yet completely ridiculous entertainment to generations.
'Mucho Machismo' embraces the spirit of this era as modern action movies are now PG-13 and video games are hyper realistic and less cartoony in their violence."
I, like many of you, reveled in the over-the-top violence of yesteryear, when the kicks and punches were often as badass as they were hilariously ridiculous. And I can assure you that "Mucho Machismo" sports some of the most unapologetically testosterone-filled artwork I've seen all year...and it's a beautiful, beautiful thing. Jon has assembled an A-list group of folks and put something together that should speak to the heart of anyone who fondly remembers when high fives were without irony and puns were an integral part of the enemy murdering process. Below, I've selected a few of my favorite pieces from the show that still happen to be available for purchase, but in all honesty, there's not a bad apple in the bunch.

"They Live" Art Print
Smithe
18" x 24" (Screen Print) - Signed and Numbered
$50 - Limited to 100
Inspired By: They Live

"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum." These are the words that changed a generation! Okay, hmm, maybe it wasn't that big a deal, but I think we can all agree that They Live is a great snapshot of 80s sci-fi action, features some amazing ideas, and boasts one of the most ridiculous fight scenes ever filmed. I don't know much about Smithe, but I love this print's execution and am really digging his line work. Smithe's "They Live" print is currently available through Spoke Art's storefront for $50. To see more of the artist's work, be sure to check out his Tumblr. Consume. Obey.

"Commando" Art Print
Grzegorz Domaradzki (AKA Gabz)
18" x 24" (Giclée) - Numbered & COA
$50 - Limited to 50
Inspired By: Commando
"Rambo" Art Print
Grzegorz Domaradzki (AKA Gabz)
18" x 24" (Giclée) - Numbered & COA
$50 - Limited to 50
Inspired By: Rambo

If it's Gabz, I'm in. It's that simple. Does it help that these prints celebrate the kings of 80s manliness? Well, yeah, of course it does! But it's Grzegorz's consistently gorgeous work and obvious passion for film that really take his art to the next level. I'm telling you, this guy is going to be making some big waves this year and next. I can feel it. (Note: I'm cheating a little bit by including both prints in just one section, but I'm having a hard time thinking about these posters apart from one another for too long, and I think we all know about Rambo's well documented separation anxiety and kennel cough.) The "Commando" and "Rambo" giclée are now available for $50 each. For more about info on Gabz, head over to iamgabz.com.

"Wez" Art Print
Kraken
18" x 24" (Screen Print) - Signed and Numbered
$50 - Limited to 100
Inspired By: Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior

Kraken's Mad Max 2 inspired print is straight up terrifying. The artist took what was already a great character and somehow made Wez even more primal and predatory looking. Just a quick aside, this show has really exposed me to some great new artists. Case in point: I had absolutely no familiarity with Kraken initially, but thanks to "Mucho Machismo" will now be closely following. The "Wez" poster is available for purchase at $50. To see more of Kraken's work, be sure to visit krakenkhan.com and follow @krakenkhan on Twitter.

"All Hail the New Flesh" Art Print
Godmachine
18" x 24" (Giclée) - Numbered
$50 - Limited to 50
Inspired By: Videodrome

This may be the most cerebral piece of this bunch and I'm completely okay with that, because not only was the print inspired by David Cronenberg's best film (just my opinion - hold the hate mail, please), the poster was also conceived and created by artist / mastermind Godmachine. Beyond illustrating the film's grotesque / amazing flesh-gun, the artist has his boob tube for the 21st century set. It took me a while to figure it out, but there's an iPhone button on the right side of the set. It's little details like that that make this print stand out and show how clever an artist Godmachine is. "All Hail the New Flesh" is now available for $50 and is limited to an edition of 50. You can learn more about the artist by visiting his blog and following him on Twitter @godmachineuk.

"It's Always Sunny on Mars" Art Print
Tim Doyle
16" x 20" (Screen Print) - S / N
$40 - Limited to 80
Inspired By: Too Many Things to Count
"Murphy Delivers the Law" Art Print
Tim Doyle
18" x 24" (Screen Print) - S / N
$40 - Limited to 80
Inspired By: Robocop and Terminator

What's not to love here? While a few of the artists featured in "Mucho Machismo" may have played their prints a little more straight and narrow, Tim Doyle aimed right for the funny bone. For example, "It's Always Sunny on Mars" cleverly references It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Total Recall, and motherf-ing Twins (and possibly even Junior!) Say, what?! The artistic and logical contortions necessary to make these posters work is incredibly impressive and speaks volumes about Tim's delightfully twisted imagination. "It's Always Sunny on Mars" and "Murphy Deliver's the Law" are available through Spoke Art for $40 each, which makes these the most affordable prints in my post. To learn more about Tim Doyle, head over to nakatomiinc.com and follow @NakatomiTim on Twitter.

"Up Up, Down Down..." Art Print
Oliver Barrett
18" x 24" (Giclée) - Numbered
$60 - Limited to 50

Last, but definitely not least, we arrive at Oliver Barrett's Contra meets Aliens meets Commando / Predator meets Rambo mishmash. Can I just ask, why wasn't this a real game? What gives? While Konami may have failed us on that front, it's clear that Barrett came to the party guns loaded (with pixelated ammunition) and delivered something that's a true pleasure to behold. Now I'm getting a little misty-eyed thinking about my complete inability to beat that game without using +30 lives cheat code. Time to download an emulator! Barrett's "Up Up, Down Down..." is now available for $60. For more info on the artist, visit ohbarrett.com and follow him @oliverbarrett.

That's all folks! Have a great morning and I'll return later today with a "Best Of" on Bottleneck Gallery's latest exhibit!

3 comments:

  1. No Alan Hynes love for the Scarface poster? By far my fav and the one I am +1 on.

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    1. Totally agree Robert! I originally had Hynes' SCARFACE print on the list, but had to cut it (and a few others) because time was running short and I wanted to get something posted sooner than later. It should have been on this list though.

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