Mo Wax Visual Sampler, (1996)
12” record cover holding assorted posters and stickers. I have always envied the way bands present their work: It can be personal and emotional; qualities we associate with “art.” It can be socially engaged and subversive, but even in it’s most “underground” incarnation, music is available to a wide audience, relatively cheaply, easy to live with, and a very visceral part of our everyday life. In contrast, the art world that I grew up with and would have entered when I left art school in the late 80’s felt separated from everyday life, exclusive in terms of class and art theory indoctrination, and it was hypocritically about selling objects and personal mythologies, while pretending to be above the market. At this point in my life, I thought it was more powerful, subversive and fun to engage a broader public by surprise, delivering personal messages within the context of the “entertainment” industry. In addition to commercial jobs, I pursued pop formats such as posters, t-shirts, stickers, common objects that didn’t carry the burden of being “important” like art, but could still be personal and hopefully subversive. Aaron Rose from The Alleged Gallery and I approached James LaVelle of Mo Wax Records to release a series of my posters in the format of a 12” record sleeve. A Visual Sampler was sold in record stores and book stores for approximently $20. A “tour” was organized with exhibitions in London, Tokyo, and the Andrea Rosen Gallery in New York.