Frank Kozik Book Release!
A set of three 20+ year old books from Frank Kozik.
I teased this release on Instagram last week but if you don’t already know who Frank Kozik is, I’ll give you a brief rundown of his work. Kozik is an American graphic designer, poster artist, and toy creator born in 1962. Frank Kozik is often credited with reviving the art of a concert posters.
His career in art really started in the 80’s when he was serving in the navy and worked at a base in Texas. It was in Austin that Kozik had his first introductions to punk music and the punk scene at large. He began attending small local punk shows networking with people in the small but budding community. Kozik first started making black and white posters for friends and small acts in the area that could often be found posted on telephone poles in the area. His work was graphically compelling and culturally influenced which is what gained him a reputation in the scene.
Frank Kozik’s early work started off relatively simple using methods to create black and white or three color screen prints. His posters often featured high contrast images with little to no actual shadowing which made them visually very striking. To pay the bills Kozik would often do posters for anyone that would pay including local disco’s and other venues, but his heart was in the punk and hardcore scene. As his skills advanced and his tools got better he was able to start adding multiple colors to his prints which can be quite difficult to execute well.
With each color addition the precision and level of skill increased and it wasn’t long until Frank Kozik’s poster art caught the eye of many popular artists and large concert venues. With his color palette and opportunities growing Kozik continued to push the boundaries with his work. Kozik’s work often has a dark side or message attached to it and it can be argued that some of it is overtly controversial, provocative, and even unnerving, but that was his goal.
This edgy and controversial style of work ultimately became his signature style. No topic was too taboo for Kozik. Another big theme in Kozik’s work is the gore, times he makes cartoon looking children and animals and adds a grotesque twist to them resulting in something almost comical about these images. His work is inherently dark in matter but that never stopped him from getting jobs with large companies and musical acts.
Another important point in Kozik’s career was his founding of the record label Man’s Ruin Records in 1994. In the 90’s Kozik was living in the lovely city of San Francisco where he created an independent record label that signed a number or groups including Killdozer, The Melvins, Brutal Juice, Acid King, Electric Wizard, and many more. Kozik was making a lot of the album artwork for the bands at this time as well as making all of the promotional advertisements for Man’s Ruin. Unfortunately the record label eventually went out of business in 2001.
Another cool thing about Frank Kozik’s work was his ability to move in to the commercial art scene. Not only did he make awesome concert posters for A-list acts but he also created artwork for a number of fashion designers, magazines, beverage companies and events like SXSW and Lollapalooza. He also had a career in the fine art world selling prints and original paintings.
Moving on from his work as a poster artist, Kozik went on to create a number of iconic vinyl figurines with brands such as BountyxHunter, Kidrobot, and Medicom Toy. His most famous toy being the Smorkin’ Labbit, the innocent rabbit figure smoking a cigarette. I could go on about Kozik’s work all day but I have to end this write up at some point. All of these scans are from three books I own; The Posters and Art of Frank Kozik (1995), An Ode To Joy - Posters, Prints, and Other Work Frank Kozik (2000), and Desperate Measures Empty Pleasures Frank Kozik (2002). Be sure to scroll to the bottom to view All of these books in full, enjoy!
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