For many people the visual arts can feel aloof, elite, and inconsequential. What value could that 30-ft pink statue or a splattered canvas really impart anyway? And besides, why should I pay astronomical amounts of money just to get a glimpse of these pieces of art? That’s why I was always drawn to accessible mediums, modes of art that didn’t price people out of participation or create a barrier to entry for the uninitiated.
So when I discovered gig posters, it was huge for me! They were the perfect entrypoint into art collecting. I was already going to tons of concerts all over the country, and buying the gig poster for the show is and has always been the coolest way of immortalizing the experience.
Before I founded IPaintMyMind, I had built up a collection of gig posters and art prints by the likes of Jermaine Rogers, Emek, Justin Santora, Dan Grzeca, Jay Ryan, a few of which you might recognize from projects here at IPaintMyMind.
The fact that gig posters are really all about the music gives fans a brand new way to think about and enjoy their favorite tunes. Synesthesia, the ways colors and sounds come together, comes to the fore and we see what incredible connection is created by bands and musicians that have fans worldwide.
I have always loved the communal experience of a concert, the power and creativity that everyone in attendance is a part of, and how people from other sides of the world can form an instant bond over having been at the same concert. This gives the gig poster for that show so much more meaning, and is why it has become one of the most successful ways bands can monetize their art directly.
When you purchase a gig poster, both the band and the artist are making money. And they rarely have to give a cut to anyone else. Survey says? Buy gig posters!!
Gigposters usually range from $15 – $150, with most really between $25-$50. This means it’s within splurge spend distance for most folks. At least way more folks can participate than when we’re talking about acquiring a $10,000 original painting.
The price is thus inherently accessible, democratic, and for the people. And I’m just one of hundreds of thousands of concert goers that have supported their favorite bands and visual artists in this way. It’s so accessible that many artists evn offer annual subscriptions, which gives their biggest fans a chance to own everything they make that year, including every gig poster for every concert they were commissioned to make.
When you visit afine art museum, the content of the art is…well, more fringe. It’s less accessible, less of the people, often abstract, or put forward in some overly academic, intellectual, or stodgy way. When you buy a gig poster, the likelihood that it’s abstract or has to do with 17th century European culture is quite low.
In gig posters you see urban scenes, rural scenes, people, tons of figurative work, cars, and everything that bands think of and are inspired by. This means the entire color wheel is open to these gig posters and you often see surreal or far out depictions, because well, there are no rules.
The fact that the subject matter is stuff that real people are into makes all the difference.
When you ask regular people what kind of art they like, they often talk about the things they are into. This point is similar to the point above regarding content, but it’s even more important because it takes into account the overall presentation; the context in which the art is presented.
When you go see your favorite band in concert, it’s usually easy to see how what the band is doing sonically is inherently connected to what is being created visually for the gig poster. Bands really like to find great fits with artists they relate to and whose aesthetics are in line with theirs.
It’s amazing to find out how much cultural overlap there is between visual art and music. Artists and musicians are often friends, creating little communities of creatives that rely on each other for various facets of their overall output.
At IPaintMyMind, we love thinking about these cultural movements as eras in history, little vignettes in which creative forces come together and create cultural currencies, languages, and aesthetics.
We’re inspired by seeing the way in which multidisciplinary artists can continue to come together, and gigposters is one of the foremost instances of this incredible synergy.
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