Exclusive: “Uncle” Art Print by Jermaine Rogers (Onsale Info)

Coming off a couple of super strong releases, Jermaine Rogers is ready to drop his newest piece of social commentary.  “Uncle” is a 17″ x 25″ screenprint with an edition of only 60.  It will drop Tuesday, January 27th between 1pm-5pm EST.  Visit JermaineRogers.com.

Here is what Jermaine had to say about the imagery:

“Excuse me, folks…but I’m going to talk here for just a bit about ‘Uncle’ and why I did it.

It’s interesting to study the personified symbols that families, groups, nations, etc. use to identify themselves. Typically, the symbolic icon inherits some quality (or desired quality) that its constituents feel typifies (or should typify) their nature. For instance, since ancient times various animals have been designated by clans, societies, and governments to represent their ferocity, majesty, or longevity. Religion too, has always provided an array of gods, goddesses, demons, and spirits to characterize a certain ‘class mindset’ or aesthetic.

One of the most powerful modern examples of such a symbolic subject is ‘Uncle Sam’. He is a national personification of the United States of America, and sometimes more specifically of the American government. His first mention dates from the War of 1812 and the first illustration of him dates from 1852. He is typically depicted as a serious elderly white man with white hair and a beard.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, the art poster became a major tool in this ‘linkage’ propaganda…burning the correlation of character to group into the minds of the average street passerby. It was during the early 20th century that the most recognized rendering of Uncle Sam occurred. James Montgomery Flagg’s 1917 poster depicted Uncle Sam pointing at the viewer with the almost accusatory words, ‘I WANT YOU FOR U.S. ARMY’ printed below. Flagg used his own face as the primary model for Uncle Sam, and the imagery has endured.

And yet, things are changing. I don’t have to tell you how: everyone knows. For the first time, an African American leads the country of the United States. From a purely objective point of view, it’s a staggering shift of…well, everything. Beyond the obvious racial implications, there are a myriad of supplemental differences that have been thrust into daily American life, too many to go into here. I’m reminded of a quote by Aldous Huxley that said that a ‘governmental symbol should accurately reflect the development of that government, of its people, and their way of thinking and reacting’. After the recent dynamic changes in the visible look of the U.S. government, the idea of reinterpreting Uncle Sam hit me. Why not? Uncle Sam as an elderly and distinguished African American man.

I remember when I was a kid, there was a guy that lived in our neighborhood. His big brother lived in a small garage behind their family home. One day while I was over there waiting on my friend, I saw that his brother has a portrait on the wall of ‘Black Jesus’. I was 8 or 9 years old…and it struck me. I’d never seen that before. At first it was funny, then strange. As I got older and learned more about myself and African American struggles or civil equality, I came to understand ‘Black Jesus’. I learned the power of a bigger thing, a symbol, an icon…or a god, who understood you, sympathized and empathized with your plight, thought like you, LOOKED like you. I remember having this explained to me shortly thereafter my first contact with ‘Black Jesus’ by an older relative. Afterwards, I began to notice this aesthetic everywhere. It was the 1970’s. I remember seeing a black Santa Claus at Northline mall. I even remember going to a Montgomery Wards in inner-city Houston and seeing a black Superman. Other kids laughed about things like that…even the black kids. But I understood it. I had been taken aside and told ‘why’.

And so here, years later, is ‘Uncle Sam’. No funny little in-jokes, allusions to ‘Black Power’, or colorful ‘African’ garments, jewelry, or headdress. No gloved hand raised in a defiant fist. All of that isn’t necessary: this depiction SHOULD be enough. This is simply an observation on symbolism.  Nothing more, nothing less. Could the popular culture of the USA comfortably accept this rendition into their casual and everyday social language?

A funny thing: as I said above, during the civil rights movement and the eventual fight for cultural representation that followed, I saw a black Santa Claus…even a black Superman. Black men and women needed to find balanced representation in every thing. Every historic and pop cultural Anglo-American symbol needed to have a positive racial reciprocal, and if they didn’t exist they were created. The thing is, in all of that time, I never remember seeing a black ‘Uncle Sam’.

I guess it just didn’t make sense, yet.”

“Ultrafamily” Art Print by Ferg

Man, it’s been wayyy too long since Ferg made an art print, nice to see him back.  The man behind Jamungo just released this new one, “Ultrafamily”, referencing his (and everyone else’s) love for Kaiju.  It’s a 15″ x 16″ screenprint, has a tiny edition of 15, and is only $35 shipped.  Seriously, just buy this, it rules.  Visit the Gigposters.com Classifieds.

News From Burlesque Design

Burlesque Design has been kinda quiet lately, but they are coming back in full force.  They just added an awesome new Heiruspecs poster by Mike Davis to the online store.  It’s a 19″ x 25″ screenprint for $25 shipped.  You can pick one up at BurlesqueDesign.com.

Here’s another piece of exciting news:  Next week, Burlesque will drop this insane new art print by Arik Roper.  “The Sighting” is a 24″ x 36″ seven color screenprint with an edition of 80.  More details to come, but this thing is massive.

Overdrive: New Works by McBess and Netherland at Rotofugi Gallery

Chicago toy store and art gallery Rotofugi are currently hosting an awesome show by McBess and Netherland.  There are still a number of art prints, drawings, and paintings available, all reasonably priced (originals as low as $75).  Check out the show at Rotofugi.com.

Mars-1 Interview and Studio Tour

This video that VIMBY put together chronicling their visit to Mars-1’s studio space in San Francisco is simply awesome.  He does alot of talking, shows off some paintings, explains his sculpture process, etc.  VIMBY has alot of other cool videos, I’ll be pulling stuff from there on slow days for sure.  Enjoy!

Found via Juxtapoz.

Preorder Ron English’s “Grin” Vinyl Figure

Ron English has brought his hilarious pop-culture sensibility to the world of vinyl toys.  “Grin”, produced by English and Made by Monsters, is now available for preorder.  You can grab one for $95 at ToyQube.com.

Thanks to Toycyte for the info.

David B. Smith Gallery Group Exhibition Part 1

To officially mark the change of their name from Limited Addiction, Denver’s David B. Smith Gallery will open their first group exhibition next weekend.  The show will feature work by their three main horses:  Josh Keyes, Jason Thielke, and Gregory Euclide, but there will be a few pieces by others as well.  The show opens Saturday, January 24th at 7pm with Keyes, Thielke, and Euclide in attendance.  You can already view the entire show online right now, check it out at DavidBSmithGallery.com.

Florian Bertmer “Valentine” Package

Well this is just awesome.  Shirts and Destroy have dropped their newest Florian Bertmer package, this one just in time for your favorite romantic holiday.  The bundle includes the best Valentine’s Day shirt I’ve ever seen, a screenprinted 5″ x 7″ valentine in a hand-printed envelope, and a screenprinted shipping box, all for only $36.  They will be capping the edition on this at 90, so hurry over to ShirtsandDestroy.com.

Also, here are some spy shots of Florian’s new “Hagakure” art print in the color proofing stage.  More details to come, this thing is looking ridiculously awesome.

Ten Questions With Andrew Vastagh

I really like Andrew Vastagh’s work.  He just kind of quietly, consistently pumps out great design.  Like, you won’t hear anything from him for a couple of months, then he’ll just come from out of nowhere and upload about 30 new posters.  He’s cool like that, so I was excited to have him sit down for the Ten Questions treatment.  Enjoy!

Age: Thirty Two

Location: Nashville, TN by means of Memphis & Chicago

Years Doing Posters: Screen printed since ’02, I started in the school’s shop with found materials and whatnot. I’d go in the week after exams and everyone had gone home and the students that were just fulfilling requirements would leave all sorts of stuff, paper, screens, ink. It was like in Charlotte’s Web where Templeton went into the fairgrounds after hours, it was a smorgasbord.  I did TONS of xerox stuff in high school and college. I had a xerox machine in my tiny room in the back of this house in the ghetto. I sort of ‘borrowed’ it from this place my dad was working at the time, they closed and the machine sort of just ‘stayed’ with me. i loved that thing. I’d just sit on the floor with that thing for hours in a pile of shredded paper and toner cartridges.

Favorite Poster / Art Print You’ve Done: Anything with Madalyn, my daughter, in it. I love sort of documenting her growing up. She’s eleven now and I’ve done at least a couple a year since I’ve been doing this. It’s cool to see the evolution in the work and her maturing. Maybe she’ll think it’s cool when she’s grown up or she’ll be so jaded she’ll just think I’m a square. I’m banking on the prior. She’s a good kid. I took her to Los Angeles to hand deliver posters to the Jonas Brothers for crying out loud. She owes me, big time.

All-time Favorite Poster / Art Print that Someone Else Did: ugh. maybe anything Jay Vollmar does. I know its cheating the answer but Jay is my go to guy, his stuff just rules.

Music Currently In Rotation: Bon Iver – Blood Bank EP, new Handsome Furs & Vetiver, Louis CK – Chewed Up-technically not music but the dude is so damn funny, and the new Kanye cd has been in rotation. Very “adventurous” for him, I’d say. I know it’s cool to not like him but as someone who can find the enjoyment of ‘pop’ music I can appreciate all the creative chances he takes. He doesn’t settle for one particular style or formula at the risk of alienating his current fans / supporters which also opens up the opportunity to turn new people onto it. He likes to stir the pot, too. I find that entertaining. Lil’ Wayne too, his latest has some crazy creative songs on it. Seems like the lines in popular hip-hop are being blurred a little bit which I find interesting for a change. Kid Cudi sampling Band Of Horses and stuff is great. To see the hip-hoppers showing their diversity instead of maintaining some clichéd persona is refreshing. I like music alot.

Last Print, Poster, or Toy Bought: Hmmm, it’s been a while. maybe something from this guy Shepard Fairey, maybe you’ve heard of him. I’ve never bought anything by him but i dug “This Is A Poster”.  It’s a one color print with just type. nothing fancy. Oh and tom standard’s ‘Hello Darkness My Old Friend’ print. I had to get it to put by the coffee maker at the studio. I bought one of King Mini’s stuffed trailer trash momma pillows. No toys tho, I have a closet full of unopened Todd MacFarlane figures. I had to draw the line…

Art Hanging On Your Walls: I have a rotating lineup in my office on some Ikea wire thing. Usually its whatever friends / associates give me when they come in town. Lots of Methane & Sasha Barr. After Flatstock I’ll hang whatever new ones I pick up, I need to get that new Morrissey poster Robert Methane just did. Bob’s my drinkin’ buddy, he’s a hoot. Framed, I have some Vollmar (Beulah, flower), Pete Cardoso’s ‘Get Up Kids’ poster. That was the first time I ever swapped prints with someone and that is one of the posters I saw when I was starting and said, I want to make cool stuff like that. Pete rules. My girl is really into Leia Bell so lots of that and Daly.  Mat and Methane rival for mass coverage in the house probably.

Upcoming Stuff: Random stuff for Live Nation on the west coast, I’m doing the Nashville date for the AC Newman tour series. Blitzen Trapper, too. I’m doing all the branding for Next Big Nashville this year. It’s sort of like a regional showcase / industry / excuse to party thing that happens over the course of a long weekend in September. It’ll be a big one. Lots of eyeballs on it so I gotta make it fresh. This is serious business.

Words of Wisdom: Go for what you think is right, follow your dreams & ambitions and as long as you mean it and love it you’ll be successful. Stick to your guns and stand up for what you believe is right and if anyone gets in your way, level them.

Oh and, if you meet more than three people in a day that are assholes, chances are, you’re the asshole.

See more of Vastagh’s work at Boss Construction.

Daniel Danger NADE and Print Set (Onsale Info)

About two years in the making, Daniel Danger is finally about to release his Jamungo NADE figures.  They are 3.75″ toys, available in red and blue colorways.  The total edition is 500 sets, but Daniel only has half of them.  They will be sold in a package with both colorways of the toy and one of three mini art prints (5″ x 5″ screenprint, packed randomly) for only $20.  The sets go up today (Thursday, January 22nd) between 2pm and 3pm EST. Visit the Tiny Media Empire Store.

New Art Prints at Early Griffin Press

I covered these guys a long time ago, but ChangeTheThought reminded me about them.  Early Griffin Press has been tirelessly producing new art prints (they shoot for four series’ every year) by a number of artists, and everything is looking great.  All of their prints are around 19.5″ x 27.5″, have editions of 50, and are £50 each.  Visit EarlyGriffin.com.

“Change We Made” Barack Obama Art Print by Tes One

Tes One created this new Barack Obama art print as part of the Manifest Hope gallery show in DC this week.  “Change We Made” is an 18″ x 24″ screenprint, has an edition of 44, and is $130.  Each print also has hand-customization, making each one unique.  Visit the Tes One Store.

“Max” Art Print by Fantome (Silver Version)

Art Asylum, a new gallery in Boston, just released this new exclusive by Fantome.  “Max” (Silver Version) is a 16.5″ x 23.5″ screenprint, has an edition of 20, and is $120.  To purchase, shoot the gallery an email.

Shepard Fairey Profile from The Los Angeles Times

I am just amazed by this media tour Shepard Fairey is currently on.  I just found this pretty awesome profile that The Los Angeles Times recently whipped up via Juxtapoz.  Pretty much the same old material, but it’s cool seeing them work on a large mixed media piece and getting a peek at the warehouse full of pasters.

Also, here is some official proof that this whole thing has gotten out of control:

Via Supertouch.

More of Tim Doyle’s Godfather Posters on Wood Available

Tim Doyle sold out of all 20 of his special Godfather variants on wood almost immediately, but he is now offering up his 5 A/P copies of this 12″ x 36″ screenprint.  If you have $100 to spend, head over to the Gigposters.com Classifieds.