Creating gig posters takes time and meticulous precision.
The resulting art hangs in rock clubs and living rooms, but some even more interesting art is created by accident during the screen-printing process.
Screen prints are created one color, one layer at a time, and printers test each layer on a scrap of paper. Those scraps are used dozens of times for different posters, and the resulting “test prints” are a menagerie of color and imagery.
“Our biggest aesthetic and conceptual influence is the test prints, which are the opposite of craft and precision,” said Dan Ibarra of Minneapolis studio Aesthetic Apparatus in the gig poster documentary “Just Like Being There.” “They are absolute pieces of ... trash that, through some miracle of being printed on again and again and again, reach some point where they are suddenly beautiful again. You can't calculate it and you can't plan for it.”
At Screen Ink in Lincoln, an exhibition will show test prints from 16 internationally acclaimed artists including acclaimed gig poster studios such as Aesthetic Apparatus and Landland from Minneapolis and Berlin's Damien Tran. Regional artists include Des Moines' Basemint and Lincoln studios freedrugs and Little Mountain.
Michael Nielsen of freedrugs began the show a few years ago after he noticed his test prints were becoming pretty interesting.
Friday's opening night will include more than 100 prints, some of which are for sale, as well as beer from Modern Monks Brewery of Lincoln and music from Touch People. A limited edition print featuring a layer from all the artists will also be for sale.
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