Noted artist and musician Steve Thomsen’s chapbooks were first exhibited in July 2012 at Art Osaka in Japan, and are offered here for sale for the first time in the United States. Printed in tiny editions by the artist. Photocopy process; color covers (except for "Lotto"), black and white insides.
Steve’s description of the chapbooks:
“The hype and hucksterism–sampling chapbooks contain satirical graphic collages consisting of mutated images and text derived from America’s most popular, influential and inescapable art form – the ADVERTISEMENT.
“Advertising art portrays a smart or loving or fashionable lifestyle obtainable through purchase of products or through adoption of political, religious or scientific ideologies. From this attractive but spurious visual cornucopia the first chapbooks were hastily pasted together, highlighting the art’s surreal promises.
“With time, insight was acquired about the advertisement’s astonishing effectiveness and eventually the core elements of graphic composition—line, contour, color, etc., were distilled from it and simplified into minimalist-geometric abstract paintings.
“It took many years of Xerox and laughter to exorcise myself of the false reality dictated by consumer culture, and the chapbooks chronicle a portion of that artistic and spiritual journey.
“I am indebted to the countless unknown but consummate artists whose sampled work made this possible.”
Steve Thomsen has led a double life over the past 35 years. Steve is equally a brilliant visual artist working in multiple media such as paint, collage, and sculpture, as well as a sound sculptor who has also created some of modern music’s most interesting tunes since the late 70s.
Steve’s visual art interests began at an early age and blossomed when he co-founded the San Fernando Valley-based art collective World Imitation Productions (WImP) in 1977. WImP produced artwork, events, parties, and small chapbooks in tiny editions sold in underground venues around Los Angeles. Eventually WImP birthed the art-rock band Monitor who played their first show Halloween 1978. Monitor released two singles (one with kindred spirit Jeffrey Vallance) and an LP before splitting up in early 1982. Steve continued making music over 10 solo releases and with the group Solid Eye (with LAFMS-alum Rick Potts and Joseph Hammer).
In the Spring of 2012, Thomsen exhibited two posters in the Gildar Gallery exhibition entitled “Richard Peterson and the Art of a Warrior Tribe.” Peterson was a lead photographer of San Francisco’s Search & Destroy in the late 1970’s. Along with Steve’s collage’s, Peterson’s photos were be accompanied by original visual works created by punk musicians, poets and artists who surrounded Search & Destroy such as Bruce Conner, Tomata Du Plenty (The Screamers), Fritz Fox (The Mutants), Penelope Houston (Avengers), David J (Bauhaus, Love and Rockets), Jeff Raphael (The Nuns), Moritz Reichelt (Der Plan), Richard Waara and Deborah Valentine.