Review: THE ART OF MODERN ROCK: THE POSTER EXPLOSION

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THE ART OF MODERN ROCK: THE POSTER EXPLOSION
PAUL GRUSHKIN AND DENNIS KING

Chronicle Books
Street: 11.04.04

Guided by the premise that music (at least in the recorded age) and visual art are inextricably linked, The Art of Modern Rock provides readers a captivating compendium to the world of poster art. Featuring an array of artists ranging from heavy hitters like Frank Kozik to local printmaking chanteuse Leia Bell, anyone interested in the overlap of music world politics and DIY visual production can justify the purchase of this pricey coffee-table behemoth. According to the authors, the rise of the CD and digital-music sharing permanently downgraded the role of album cover art. Therefore, these posters serve as both response to that phenomenon and documents of a new, organic form of artistic ingenuity. Yet, as one would expect with such a product, the text takes a back seat. The authors’ assertions, as well as the artist’s biographies and statements, are too often tucked away in the margins, overshadowed by bold imagery. Despite the sometimes aggravating all-over pastiche of the book’s layout, this collection does far more to legitimize this subcultural genre than the archetypal late-night coffee shop bulletin board. –J. Thomas Burch, Esq.