“Damaged Goods: The Punk Aesthetic,” is the current exhibit at the Samek Art Museum’s Campus Gallery, running through Sunday, Dec. 8. Admission is free to the Campus Gallery, which is located on the third floor of the Elaine Langone Center, and open Tuesday through Sunday between 12 noon and 5 p.m.
When punk first exploded as a counter-cultural movement in the mid-1970s, it seemed virtually indigestible. The music was loud, fast, angry, raw and often amateurish. The attitude was irreverent, uncompromising and confrontational. The fashions were outlandish and shocking—at times even deliberately offensive. The live performances were notoriously unpredictable and sometimes dangerous, blurring traditional lines between audience and artist.
This exhibit focuses on the visual aesthetics of punk, as manifested in various kinds of material culture: posters, concert flyers, LPs and 45s, zines, photos, buttons and other cultural effluvia. It includes many now-iconic images and captures a wide range of design strategies: cut and paste graphics, collage, détournement, agitprop, pastiche and comic illustrations. The images can be surreal, funny, disturbing and sometimes surprisingly beautiful. A wide range of graphic artists are represented as well, from the influential (e.g., Jamie Reid, Malcolm Garrett, Peter Saville) to the unknown.
The work included in this exhibition has been generously loaned from the collection of Andrew Krivine and is presented in coordination with the Fall 2019 Bucknell course “Punk Rock Subcultures.”