The 25th Anniversary of Alternative Press continued it’s multi city revelry on Friday in Los Angeles at the Merry Karnowsky gallery where hundreds of iconic musicians and respected rock photographers displayed their art work.
The Cleveland based magazine, who have already celebrated with a big British themed show in Las Vegas, chose an Art Show themed party in Los Angeles, to pay tribute to all of the pin-up posters and amazing art work that has been featured in the magazine since it started.
Founder Mike Shea notes that when AP planned this party, they had some specific guests in mind.
“We are the forgotten child in the magazine world. We’re thought of as a fanzine. A magazine for kids. We create it for kids. We didn’t want to throw a party that was exclusive and for a bunch of advertisers. Kids don’t care about advertisers. They care about music and they care about artwork.”
Amongst the rock n roll portraits of icons such as Trent Reznor, Robert Smith, Elliot Smith and Nick Cave, and favorite artists such as The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Beastie Boys, The Dandy Warhols, Taking Back Sunday and Paramore, there was art work created by musicians themselves.
Shirley Manson of Garbage fame created a knit on canvas creation called Peking Noodle.
Adam Jones of Tool contributed a bronze sculpture and Liz McGrath of Miss Derringer’s sculpture Eyes Of Dead Ophelia was a focal point of the exhibit.
Rancid’s Tim Armstrong and Shepard Fairey, who were both on hand, proudly hung their paintings and multimedia silkscreen prints in between Marilyn Manson’s eerie watercolors.
There was even some living art in the form of a Dark Crystal styled monster greeting people on their way into the exhibit. In a sea of punks, goths, cosplay dollies and music denizens, the monster blended right in.
Along the back room of the gallery was a small shrine recounting the history of AP with many of the old covers, proofs from old photo shoots, and other memorabilia on display.
One case even included Dave Grohl’s laminate for the Tibetan Freedom Concert that clearly states that his access should be restricted.
Looking over all the covers throughout the years, the question begged: What makes a good cover? Mike Shea pondered thoughtfully.
“I spoke to some Vogue photographers recently and they said that the trend has gone away from Photoshop and post production. A lot of magazines are doing a raw pared down look. But they tell us to keep doing what we’re doing. Our audience was raised on video games and graphics and green screen technology. It reflects the generation. The stripped down cover doesn’t work for us. They want a lot going on.”
Luckily there was a lot going on both on the walls and in the room. The event was a big success. What was represented on the brightly colored pages on the walls seemed to spring to life as the party went on well into the night.