The Crescent Avenue gallery filled an entire wall with Matt Mullarkey’s “F’d-up and Photocopied” show. The energetic and edge fliers, which the artist created over a span of 15 years to promote live band appearances, were 5 bucks.
Their Reagan-era vibe reminded me of the new-wave stuff from the 80s, zine-type art that was hung on student center bulletin boards or on light poles on South Street in Philly. In the last years of the pre-digital era, if you had a photocopier that could scale magazine clippings, and maybe a stack of old magazines and newspapers and a pair or scissors, you were in business.
But these mainly 8 1/2 x 11 flyers were really from more recent years and for acts playing at the Green Room and other local spots that aren’t necessarily around anymore. I wonder if Matt cheated and used scanners, jpegs and other things not available when this genre was big.
The photo in the middle of the bottom row is of local kids keeping busy, making their own art courtesy of a big piece of cardboard from Eileen Walsh, whose Gallery at Black Rock produced the show.
Unfortunately I couldn’t stay long. Mother’s Day duties called, so I missed the bands. But I stayed just long enough to chat with Melissa Bernstein, who raised some funds for the savaged St. Mary’s trees last week. Her Blackrock Rocks weekend really brought the neighborhood together.
Along the same wall were some black hipster Ts, also relating to local music, designed by one of my favorite public artists ever, Liz Squillace. She was one of the first artists to hang in the Black Rock gallery. If I had any brains I’d be snatching up her work. On another wall were some of E Fitz Smith‘s Industrial Strength work which simplifies some of Bridgeport’s most iconic structures into clean shapes and colors.
Of course, everyone knows the gallery building is haunted. Legend has it that the building was a jail in the 1800s. There was a fire and the prisoners were left inside to burn to death. So guess who showed up to protect us from forces seen and unseen. The “paranormal cop” happened to materialize at the show.
But back to the band fliers. I’d recommend he publish them in a ‘zine, and then sell that. Could bring back a whole new genre.
UPDATE: Here’s a much more descriptive blog account.