The Midwest is full of piss and vinegar. Whether Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Louis, or any other Midwestern urban scene, there’s no doubt that what Coasties call “fly over country” has something to be reckoned with. In the case of Detroit, after decades of economic decay, signs of rebirth in the form of grassroots entrepreneurship, there’s some visible hope. Artistic recreation, and acres and acres of freshly-tilled urban gardens speak volumes to that gritty, hardworking, no-nonsense attitude that Midwesterners embody so aptly.
So it is for the artistic expression of the Midwest. Graphic artist Kevin O’Rourke and his company Crown Vic Productions take a decidedly stubborn view when it comes to the question of whether or not the cities of America’s Heartland have been defeated. “Not without a fight,” his hand-carved linoleum block prints suggest, with a pound to the chest.
He also is clearly a music fan, and makes the subjects of his prints some of Chicago and Detroit’s most renowned musical landmarks, including underground Mecca the Fireside Bowl and generations-old mainstay the Aragon Theater (Chicago); the Uptown Theatre and THE original Motown Records (Detroit, duh).
Along with his other design and video work, Crown Vic hearkens back to a mid-century urban America, perhaps now lost to the sprawl and plight of the inner-city, with a style of DIY, punk rawk quirk and moxie that demands a second chance at hope. And if all else fails, there’s always the tough-as-nails babes of roller derby to shake off the dust and whoop some ace.
Give his Etsy shop a visit and get some goodies at extremely agreeable prices…