Sunday, October 18, 2009

San Francisco Rock Poster Society Show

So Johnny and I finally made the trip out to San Francisco for THE ROCK SOCIETY POSTER SHOW. We had a blast playing tourist for a few days in one of my favorite cities. I wished I lived there.

The first night we attended the Lee Conklin Show at D.King Gallery in Berkeley where we met up with old friends Paul Grushkin and Dennis King, the authors of the The Art Of Modern Rock, a book that DCS posters are featured heavily in. Our buddy Gary Houston was there in full force and the fun commenced. We bugged out and went down the street to get some Indian food. The curry was top notch and woke me up for the rest of the evenings adventures. Johnny and I ventured down to Fisherman's Wharf to catch the scenery at night. The neon was blazing and it was a beautiful atmosphere to just hang and drink coffee.

The next day was the TRPS show. Our booth was next to Stanley Mouse and Gary Houston. Once again I found myself lost in Gary's art. The guy does some of the best posters out there today. I always gain a stronger appreciation for his work every time I get to be around it. Well crafted and expertly rendered, the posters sing of the master work that went into their creation.

Gary is one of those people I can't wait to see when I have the chance. We always have a good time just being around each other. I hadn't seen him in a couple of years and there was much catching
up to do. We made up for lost time. I promised him that I would try to make it to Portland to see his studio in the near future.

I also finally got to meet my hero Stanley Mouse. A humbling experience since he is the guy along with Rick Giffin and Alton Kelley that I credit for me becoming an artist. Mouse is a true legend in the art world and one of the kings in the rock poster genre. Just getting to shake his hand and say "thanks" made the entire trip out to SF worth it. I can't thank him enough for the inspiration he has given me through the years. He literally drew the face on my childhood and teenage years as I became immersed in music and art. The man is a legend, plain and simple and one hell of a sweet guy. The world needs more folks like Stanley around. We would all be better for it. After the TRPS show there was the Firehouse, Forbes, Malleus opening at Artrock Gallery and we all got to wish Stanley "Happy Birthday" as they served him a special cake. I can't really describe how I felt standing in Artrock with Stanley that night. It was a dream come true.

Later in the trip we got to hang with Chuck Sperry and George (of Firehouse Kustom RockArt), Urlo, Lu and Paio (of Malleus). We had breakfast at the Pork Store on Haight Street and wandered around a bit. Much fun. The gang from Malleus, who hail from Italy, are super people. I can't say enough about how talented they are. And of course, once Chuck and I sat down and started talking the conversation immediately went to printing and poster art. Chuck and I have this kinship as artists who stay knee deep in ink printing our own work. We discussed a collaboration possibly happening in the future. that should be a good one. I can only imagine what we will come up with. I look forward to going back to California and spending some time at the Firehouse getting crazy. Ron Donovan, Chuck's partner was out of town, but I look forward to getting to see him also. It's dangerous when you get a bunch of printers together in the same room. The place may explode from the ink fumes.

On our last night we had sushi with Dave Hunter, another poster artist and close friend. He brought along Soul Sister Shakti, Brenda Brewer, whom I met earlier this year via Facebook. We ate at Godzila Sushi and the food was killer to compliment the wonderful company. We spent many hours in the place enjoying each other's company, great food and copious amounts of saki.

It was a sad day when we had to leave, not to mention the hellish storm lashing San Francisco that created a three hour delay in our flight. I look forward to heading back to San Francisco. Such a great place. Real culture and real people. Screw Bill O'Reilly and his bashing of such a wonderful city that exemplifies everything good and right about America.

More pics from the SF trip can be seen in my Facebook TRPS album

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