streetartsm.jpgYears ago I borrowed this book called Street Art: The Punk Poster in San Francisco 1977-1981 and the lending roommate disappeared before I had a chance to return it. Lucky me! The book is amazing and there are tons of fantastic posters in here. Some advertise shows, some have political messages, and others are just pieces of odd/beautiful/shocking street art. The book was organized by Peter Belsito, Bob Davis, and Marian Kester around an exhibition of 500 posters that took place at Valencia Tool and Die during the Western Front Punk Festival in 1980. Valencia Tool and Die was a San Francisco Mission District punk club in an old hardware store. I don't know too much about it except for seeing its name on posters in this book and hearing old SF punx reminisce about it. Sounded like fun though.

The introduction to the book is 15 theses on poster art. This is #1: The Poster is a thoroughly modern thing. One of those eminently practical stars in what the late Dr. McLuhan called "Gutenberg's galaxy." Compared to the newspaper, book, magazine or the mighty miracle of the imprinted check, the poster may appear to be one of the lesser lights in the print universe, yet it remains as enduring as any of these and, indeed, if form can truly be said to follow function, perhaps the most consistently bright.

Below are 8 pages from the book along with the names of the bands and designers and any information I can find on them. There is so much great stuff in this book, I'm going to have to post at least one more installment. Enjoy!


The cover image is by Peter Belsito. The only thing I can find on him is that he and Bob Davis, the researcher on this book, wrote another book called Hardcore California: A History of Punk and New Wave.


This poster was designed by Joe Rees aka Joe Oakland for The Mutants' show at his studio Target Video.


A Nervous Gender poster designed by An Rafferty. Nervous Gender was Phranc the jewish folk singing lesbian turned cardboard collage artist's band in the late 70s/early 80s. They made synthy techno-y punk. Their mission was to, in their own words, "insert a backbone into electronic music’s much neglected testicles."


Poster designed by Peter Belsito for The Units, Indoor Life, and Nubs at Valencia Tool and Die.


Poster art featuring everyone's favorite guy Ronald Reagan by Katrina Peters.


This rules.


Black Flag poster by the awesome, the fabulous Raymond Pettibon.


A poster for the Alter Boys and Pink Section (named after the datebook part of the SF Chronicle nicknamed the pink section?) by Jo Jo Planteen, bass player of the Inflatable Boy Clams, who is currently performing under the name Monique Marquisa de Magdalena.

Comments (4)

I want a photocopy machine. And a ditto machine.


awesome. i can't wait for the next installment. unless, you know, you'd lend me the book...

Oh yeah, that's a great book!

that's an awesome book, thanks for sharing the information!

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