California Literary Review

The Rock Posters of Rich Black

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April 17th, 2008 at 8:03 am

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Rich Black: Bauhaus

Futura: The Art of Rich Black
by Rich Black
Dark Horse, 112 pp.

Rich Black: Billy Idol

Rich Black: Go-gos

Rock posters had just started going through their third renaissance. The first being in the Sixties with Griffin, Mouse, Moscoso, Tuten, and so on. The second time was the early Nineties with Kozik, Coop, Forbes, Hess, Emek, and Hampton. Rock posters started showing up again in the beginning of 2000. It was as if “Klaatu Barada Nikto!” was uttered, and a small group of people woke up and began making rock posters for the bands touring through their cities.

In case you were wondering, there’s very little money to be made in rock posters. Yet people are still designing them and are passionate. The same can be said of Rich Black. He’s passionate about the poster he does. I personally think he’s had the greatest impact with the Goth/Industrial scene, a scene that’s overlooked by most other rock poster artists. Rich chooses the bands he likes. Bands that you’ve never heard of because they’re hardly on the TV or radio. Great bands that need posters and appreciate them. Whether Rich admits it or not, he’s an important part of that scene, and he’s doing his part to keep it alive. But he’ll never cop to it. It is difficult to out-humble that fucking guy.

Now we’re in the third (and hopefully not the last) poster renaissance of artists who are making the music scene breathe with life and color again. This time around, more people are informed and involved, thanks to the many websites and forums that have been popping up and supporting the movement (especially gigposters.com). Books are being published on the rock poster genre and the artists who are shaping it.

Brian Ewing, from the Foreword

Rich Black: Elvis Costello

Rich Black: Misfits

Rich Black: My Morning Jacket

Rich Black: Siouxsie

Rich Black: Tommy Lee

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