Friday, July 6th, 2012
By John Dugan
Is it just me, or did indie rock take a big jump into visual art this year? In the last month, Pitchfork-fest acts the Chromatics made an "art book," and the Dirty Projectors released a "short film." All of a sudden, it isn't enough to just have a video and an album cover.
It just so happens that Pitchfork Music Festival itself is about more than music. It's also got a little bit of art and design going on—which is a good thing when you need a break from tight T-shirts, echoey guitars and pseudo-Afro-Pop rhythms. This year's edition features two large-scale installations produced in collaboration with Chicago's Johalla Projects. Matthew Hoffman's large sculpture near the Blue Stage will spell out “THESE MOMENTS” in eight foot tall wooden letters. It will be eighty feet long. Andrea Jablonski will transform the VIP area with hundreds of balloons, some of them glowing or lit by LED.
Out in the fest's market district, Flatstock 35 (presented by the American Poster Institute) features purchasable poster art from more than 40 artists and printmakers, most of whom are masters of the modern gig poster. Flatstock's Daniel MacAdam (of Crosshair Silkscreen) gave us some Flatstock highlights to anticipate below.
Minneapolis artists Landland are on a hot streak right now.
Mike King of Crash Design is of Obi-Wan Kenobi like stature as a veteran from way back, still producing up-to-the moment art.
Kentucky's famed Print Mafia is making a triumphant return to Flatstock following a multi-year absence.
Detroit's Shawn Knight brings the metal.
...as does Chicago's own Kill Hatsumomo.
Jason Munn's ultra-clean design is a perennial favorite.
Ex-Milwaukee, occasional Parisian, now LA resident filmmaker and Flatstock regular Gina Kelly of Weathermaker Press returns.
My own Chicago-based Crosshair Silkscreen takes a unique photorealist approach.
Sounds like we'll be bringing bring some extra cash and a poster tube.