Wednesday, April 22, 2009

John Van Hamersveld

TRPS (The Rock Poster Society) unveiled their poster for "Rock Art By The Bay" today, the event at which we will premiere "American Artifact":

The poster was done by none other than John Van Hamersveld - And, for those of you asking yourself "who is John Van Hamersveld?", here's your answer:

John is perhaps best known for a little album cover he did for The Beatles:

Or, maybe it's the one he did for the Grateful Dead:

He also was responsible for The Rolling Stones "Exile On Main Street" cover:

And, among others, album covers for Jefferson Airplane "Crown of Creation", Kiss "Hotter Than Hell", Blondie "Eat to the Beat", Steve Miller "Fly Like and Eagle", and the list goes on.

John's 1969 "Grinning Johnny" image is also said to have been the inspiration for John Pasche's design for the Rolling Stones' "Lips / Tongue" logo.

In addition to his concert poster and album cover work, he is perhaps most often remembered for the iconic movie poster image that he created for the 1966 documentary surf film, "The Endless Summer":

Anyone who lived in California around 1966 will attest to the fact that the "Endless Summer" poster hung in just about every surfer kid's bedroom, garage, or the like.

We're honored to have John's hand behind the design for the TRPS poster bearing our premiere announcement - It's an honor indeed!

John's book, "Post Future" is due out later this year, and is currently available for pre-order on

Thursday, April 2, 2009

June 20th premiere

"American Artifact" movie premiere announced: June 20th in San Francisco!

"American Artifact: The Rise of American Rock Poster Art", the long-awaited documentary about the history and resurgence of the American Rock Poster, is scheduled to premiere June 20th, in San Francisco, as part of The Rock Poster Society's "Rock Art By The Bay" event.

The film, four years in the making, is the story of one of America's truest folk art forms, the rock poster.

Beginning in the 1960s in San Francisco with the birth of the dance concert, a rock poster accompanied almost every show that was put on during that era.

"At the time, Janis Joplin and The Grateful Dead were not played on the radio, and the only way you could advertise their shows, was by hanging posters in the streets", explains author Robert Greenfield, from the film.

Soon, people began pulling the posters off of the telephone poles, almost as quickly as they were put up, and promoters such as Bill Graham started to give them out at the end of his shows to advertise the next week's show.

The art, both beautiful and edgy, closely parallels the changes in American culture throughout the decades.

"Posters" in the '80s were "flyers" done for punk shows on Xerox machines in local libraries, or at Kinko's. They were glued to buildings and phone poles surreptitiously at night by kids in the scene. In this pre-computer era, the flyers were, for lack of a better comparison, "the MySpace of the '80s".

Today, America is seeing a resurgence in this art form, brought upon by the popularity of websites like, and the ease of silk screening.

This extraordinary film, which includes interviews with over 30 artists, takes the viewer on a journey through the different decades and incarnations of this rebellious art form, and spends time with, arguably, some of the finest artists of this era.

For more information on the movie premiere, and to purchase advance tickets, please visit: