Grafix Knox – The Graphic Art of Chris Knox

Grafix Knox, a project to publish a volume of Chris Knox’s visual art, is currently seeking crowd-funding through Fundnation. Anyone familiar with Chris’s music – The Enemy, Toy Love, Tall Dwarfs, Friend (and other solo work), and latterly The Nothing – will know that his distinct visual art has always been integral with his music: cover art, posters, song videos (animation!), advertising etc.

I recall his first solo exhibition in Auckland’s Red Metro Gallery in the early 80’s, a lot of his canvasses were apple crates; if convention’s nose can be pulled, Chris is your man.

Chris has an expansive, half-a-dozen decades worth of eclectic work to select from: his Max Media strip, his illustrations and advertising art for Flying Nun Records, his own Jesus on a Stick comics, and his illustrations for Loose, Real Groove and The Listener magazines to name but a few. And as Gary Steele so rightly says in his Audio Culture profile of Chris, “Where to start with Chris Knox? He’s one hell of an entity”. Chris Mousdale, as editor of Graphix Knox has the enviable, but mammoth undertaking of selecting work for this book.

Chris has generations of music fans throughout the world, has been a movie reviewer for Real Groove and The Listener, a music reviewer for Rip It Up, host of a couple of art and film television shows, had that song voted as New Zealand’s 13th favourite song, has won an APRA Silver Scroll for ‘Best song of the year’, was made an Arts Laureate in 2009, and remarkably, since his stroke in 2009, has learnt to draw again with his left hand.

The aim of this post is to share some of Chris’s art that I am familiar with, in the hope it will encourage you to contribute – the reward will be well worth it; take a look at the links of Chris’s work posted above, and the images below (click for full image). The book will be an extraordinary collection.

2002’s Sound Design Exhibition included three Chris Knox album covers: the sublime Croaker, the auto-biographical Seizure, and the iconic Boodle Boodle Boodle for the Clean. The exhibition of UK and NZ album covers, presented by the British Council and AUT’s New Zealand Design Archive , was curated by Nick Bollinger; the exhibition designer, coincidently, was Grafix Knox editor Chris Mousdale.

Sound Design Croaker

Croaker, designer Chris Knox 1990

Sound Design - Seizure

Seizure, designer Chris Knox 1990

Boodle Boodle Boodle, designer, Chris Knox 1981

Design, Chris Knox 1981

Chris’s bold, neo-epileptic design for Seizure was utilized by Alec Bathgate for the Stroke album and associated artwork:

Stroke-Invite

In 1999 Chris was part of the Loose publishing collective as comix editor. The magazine’s masthead is his design:Loose-Fear

Loose Logo

Issue one featured a number of his cartoons, including a strip to accompany the issue’s ‘Fear’ theme:

Loose1-Cartoon4

Loose1-Cartoon1

Loose1-Cartoon3

Loose1-Comic

Issue two of Loose, with the theme ‘Colour’ featured a four page strip:

Loose2-Colour1

Loose2-Colour2

Loose2-Colour3

Loose2-Colour4

Next: Max Media, The Listener, Flying Nun and Forced Exposure

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San Francisco – California’s Locavores

California

Californians are proud of their produce. They take great delight in letting you know who their local providors are: their baker, brewer, butcher, creamery, market gardener… and none more than San Franciscans it seems. While not the only city to embrace buying seasonally from within its provincial boundaries, it was the first to give it a name, in fact, two names: in 2005 a group of San Franciscans challenged Bay Area folk to become ‘Locavores’ –  to source food from their ‘Foodshed’ – the area within a 100 mile radius of their home. The idea soon spread, becoming so popularised that ‘Locavore‘ was Oxford’s New American Dictionary word of 2007. San Francisco menus are a ‘who’s who’ of local artisans and growers, for the visitor, their urban and rural locales become familiar, neighbourly, and inclusive.

San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Californian San Marzano Tomatoes – Photo: InkEatsMan

San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Californian Land O Lakes Butter – Photo: InkEatsMan

San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Californian Chimes Ginger – Photo: InkEatsMan

Acme Bread

Berkeley’s Acme have been baking organic artisan bread since the early 80s. We were lucky that our closest store, Alpha Market in Cole Valley, not only stocked Acme’s bread but had a great deli. Marin Cheese Company’s Jalapeño Jack, Acme’s Walnut Sour-dough, and Anchor Steam Beer.

The Acme Bread Company San Francisco

The Acme Bread Company – Photo:InkEatsMan

Beer

Anchor Brewing's Californian Lager – Photo: InkEatsMan

Anchor Brewery’s Californian Lager – Photo: InkEatsMan

Pepsi Cola & Liquor – Photo: InkEatsMan

T & M Liquor, San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Anchor Brewing's San Francisco Giants Lager– Photo: InkEatsMan

Anchor Brewing’s San Francisco Giants Lager– Photo: InkEatsMan

Liqour & Grocery San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Liquor & Grocery, 17th & Eureka San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Sierra Nevada's Torpedo India Pale Ale – Photo InkEatsMan

Sierra Nevada’s Californian Torpedo IPA – Photo InkEatsMan

Grocery & Liquor San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Grocery & Liquor, 17th & Noe San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Mad River Brewery's Steelhead Extra Pale Ale – Photo: InkEatsMan

Mad River Brewery’s Californian Steelhead Extra Pale Ale – Photo: InkEatsMan

Anchor Steam Beer – Photo: InkEatsMan

San Francisco’s Anchor Brewery Steam Beer – Photo: InkEatsMan

Frances

Jo found and booked Frances a couple of months before we left New Zealand; Frances is small and popular, so reservations are a necessity.  Applewood Smoked Bacon Beignets with the local Magnolia Prescription Pale Ale from the tap.

Frances Cnr 17th Ave & Pond San Francisco – Photo InkEatsMan

Frances, Cnr 17th Ave & Pond San Francisco – Photo InkEatsMan

Frances Cnr 17th Ave & Pond San Francisco – Photo InkEatsMan

Frances, Cnr 17th Ave & Pond San Francisco – Photo InkEatsMan

Blue Bottle Coffee

At Heath Ceramic’s tile factory and shop (a re-invented industrial laundry), a glass wall separates Blue Bottle’s espresso bar and lounge from the factory. In quirky alignment with Edith Heath’s very cool signature ceramic styles (made in small batches since 1948 across the Bay at Sausalito), the shop’s gallery-like display mixes an eclectic range of objects – from vintage cook books to artisan food products.

Blue Bottle Coffee Hole-in-the-wall, Ferry Building San Francisco – Photo InkEatsMan

Blue Bottle Coffee, Hole-in-the-wall, Ferry Building San Francisco – Photo InkEatsMan

Blue Bottle Coffee Espresso and Seltzer, Ferry Building San Francisco – Photo InkEatsMan

Blue Bottle Coffee Espresso and Seltzer, Ferry Building, San Francisco – Photo InkEatsMan

Blue Bottle Coffee Heath Ceramics San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Blue Bottle Coffee at Heath Ceramics, San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Blue Bottle Coffee Heath Ceramics San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Blue Bottle at Coffee Heath Ceramics, San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Blue Chair Preserves  Heath Ceramics San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Blue Chair Californian Preserves at Heath Ceramics, San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Z Salted Caramel Corn Heath Ceramics San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Z Confections Californian Salted Caramel Corn at Heath Ceramics, San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Tartine

We had to visit Tartine. After graduating with a visual arts degree, our daughter then studied and graduated as a pâtissier; she has worked as a baker ever since. When she first become interested in bread, we got very used to the Tartine Bread book lying around.

So, while this was somewhat of a wee homage, we did anticipate the coffee and baking of Tartine as we walked from our stay in Mount Olympus, through the Castro, and toward the Mission – because it was Sunday morning. We joined the queue that slumped lazily around the corner of 18th and Guerrero, and like the others we chatted, read the paper, and contemplated the snatches of surrounding conversations – because it was Sunday morning.

Tartine’s terrazo foyer is a link to a former bakery; originally established in 1950 by Carl and Mabel Reichmann, Carl’s Pastry Shop closed in 1998.

Corner of 18th and Querrero – Photo: InkEatsMan

Corner of 18th and Querrero – Photo: InkEatsMan

Former Carl's Pastry Shop Tartine – Photo: InkEatsMan

Tartine: once-upon-a-time Carl’s Pastry Shop – Photo: InkEatsMan

Tartine Bakery San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Tartine Bakery San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Tartine Lemon Cream Tarts – Photo: InkEatsMan

Tartine, Lemon Cream Tarts – Photo: InkEatsMan

Tartine Orange Cinnamon Morning Bun – Photo: InkEatsMan

Tartine, Orange Cinnamon Morning Bun – Photo: InkEatsMan

Tartine Orange Oatmeal Currant Cookie with Four Barrel Coffee – Photo: InkEatsMan

Tartine, Orange Oatmeal Currant Cookie with Four Barrel Coffee – Photo: InkEatsMan

Mission Cheese

Mission Cheese hand-pick a Californian sideshow of artisan produce to match their cheese selections, they enthusiastically present simple food with style, humour and little fuss. A place so laid-back you buss your own table; yet, if you can spare 20 minutes they will bake you a fresh batch of cookies. A place where they have individual cloth hand-towels in the bathroom, where a green salad is finished with seasonal fruit and a champagne vinegarette, and where a sandwich is named ‘Ched or Alive’.

Mission Cheese San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Mission Cheese, San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Mission Cheese San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Mission Cheese, San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Izze soda Mission Cheese San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Californian Izze Soda at Mission Cheese, San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Mission Cheese San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Mission Cheese San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Spindrift soda Mission Cheese San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Californian Spindrift Soda at Mission Cheese, San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Mission Cheese San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Mission Cheese, San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Mission Cheese San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Mission Cheese, San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Sparrow Bar and Kitchen

Describing their self-styled ‘Haight Cuisine’ as ‘Modern American’ Sparrow Bar and Kitchen clearly revel in the history and future alike, of their iconic locale. Casually efficient, serving largely organic local produce from a roomy, handsome place – where floor to ceiling windows up-front let fractured light splash about sweeping timber floors and white walls – while providing a casual distraction outward onto the street-scape of Upper Haight.

Sparrow Bar and Kitchen San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Sparrow Bar and Kitchen San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Sparrow Bar and Kitchen Bacon and Corn Griddle Cake – Photo: InkEatsMan

Sparrow Bar and Kitchen, Bacon and Corn Griddle Cake – Photo: InkEatsMan

Sparrow Bar and Kitchen – Photo: InkEatsMan

Sparrow Bar and Kitchen – Photo: InkEatsMan

Four Barrel Coffee

Four Barrel Coffee Valencia San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Four Barrel Coffee, Valencia San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Four Barrel Coffee, Almond Cake – Photo: InkEatsMan

Four Barrel Coffee, Almond Cake – Photo: InkEatsMan

Four Barrel Coffee Valencia San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Four Barrel Coffee, San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Around Town

Whizz Burgers San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Whizz Burgers, South Van Ness San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

San FTads Steaks San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsManrancisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Tads Steaks, Powell Street San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

The Little Chihuahua, Valencia Street San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Straw, Hayes Valley San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Orphan Andy’s Diner, The Castro San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Love N’ Haight, Haight Street San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Alpha Market, Cole Valley San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Loma Produce Number fourteen, 16th Street San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Linea Caffe, 18th and San Carlos San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Linea Caffe, 18th and San Carlos San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Linea Caffe, 18th and San Carlos San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Harvey’s , Castro Street San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Golden Gate Bakery, Chinatown San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Fresh, San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Dandelion Chocolate Valencia San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Dandelion Chocolate Valencia Street San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Chinatown, San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Boba Guys, 19th Street San Francisco – Photo: InkEatsMan

Cowgirl Creamery San Francisco – Photo:InkEatsMan

Cowgirl Creamery San Francisco – Photo:InkEatsMan