"EMEK: THE THINKING MAN’S POSTER ARTIST"
RECEPTION: Saturday, July 18 – September 13. Gallery hours are Thursday- Sunday, NOON-6pm.
Featuring hundreds of new and past works, ranging from electric and glow-in-the-dark poster installations, to hand-crafted originals by this internationally acclaimed print and design artist EMEK
The Peoples Art of Portland was opened in 2010. We were struggling for two things: a name for the gallery and a resident artist. Both came with one conversation with the amazing EMEK, who not only agreed to be our shining resident artist, but also helping to provide the basis for the name of the gallery.
EMEK has made his home in Portland (from L.A.) for nearly 10 years now. But he lives in many worlds and his art shows it. Born a decade after the 60's, he was nevertheless influenced by 60's culture and counter-culture. He was raised in an environment that supported his crazy artistic aspirations. His first poster commission was done immediately after the L.A. riots/uprising of 1992, for a unity rally and concert held on Martin Luther King Day. EMEK writes of the creation, “On scratchboard, I depicted an image of MLK, Jr., rising above a concert crowd. No copies of this poster remain, but it does hold special meaning for me as the seed of my career.” EMEK is considered one of the most famous American poster artists alive today, part responsible for the lasting revitalization of the art form from the 1960’s tradition of music posters. His unique vision and insight to these creations spawned a new medium and collector base in the genre, and forever coined EMEK – “The Thinking Man’s Poster Artist”.
So far, his unique visual style has graced music posters on a diverse musical spectrum, from Blues legend B.B. King to the Beastie Boys. He has painted album covers for Neil Young and Pearl Jam as well as for many punk and alternative bands. He was invited to exhibit at the opening for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame “History of Rock Posters” exhibition and has been in national and international magazines. As you read this, his work is permanently displayed in Hard Rock Cafes. Over the last decade, EMEK’s work has been shown in galleries across the United States, in Berlin, London and Tokyo. In December, 2007, Billboard named the top 25 rock posters of all time. EMEK garnered 3 spots on the list, the most of any single artist.
In Emek’s posters, psychedelic 60’s imagery collides with 90s post- industrial iconography. To this collision of the organic vs. the mechanical worlds he adds humor, social commentary and fantasy. Even in the smallest details there are messages. All of EMEK’s artwork is originally hand-drawn and then hand-silkscreened for each actual concert or event, usually in limited editions of around 300.
This is EMEK’s 4th annual show with the gallery, an always celebrated and magical time as hundreds of art works grace the space. We will be featuring highly sought original works; installation areas of electric poster boxes and glow in the dark/black light works, as well as a selection of rare past works and concert handbills. Our gallery slogan, “For Artists, By Artists” is represented as a whole by this generous and talented Portland transplant and we are proud to present this enormous collection of his works.