Without doubt one of the most important artistic movements of recent times, if not the, punk rock’s unwavering power and intensity is still felt daily in 21st century creativity. In fact, you feel there’s very little about today’s art, design, music or fashion that would be the same were it not for the explosion of DIY youth culture in the 1970s.
Sure, the original venom has been watered down, commercialised, but the disenthrallment of traditional conventions, the freedom to act out whims of creativity before over-thinking and diluting, the two fingers stuck up at the establishment… they’re all elements of punk’s legacy that make the best of today’s creativity what it is.
Rewind a few decades; The Beatles were deemed rebellious for the length of their mop-tops, The Stones virtually embodied the devil himself, it’s hard to imagine a time before the Sex Pistols made anarchy a way of life. Punk: An Aesthetic, published by Rizzoli on 13th September, is a new book that coincides with Someday All the Adults Will Die! Punk Graphics 1971-1984, an exhibition at the Southbank’s Hayward Gallery Project Space.
Both are curated by Jon Savage and Johan Kugelberg, and both celebrate the iconic graphic design of punk rock. From thrown together gig posters, to DIY photocopied fanzines, and onto the publications that turned punk into an international movement; this comprehensive retrospective of a culture-defining moment is a welcome reminder of the ever-lasting impact and influence of punk and its key movers.