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Classic Posters - Interview With Jb Rastagrafix by Michael Erlwine

Classic Posters - Interview With Jb Rastagrafix by Michael Erlwine

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Published by Michael Erlewine
These are articles on concert-music posters and poster collecting from the site ClassicPosters.com founded by award-winning archivist of popular culture Michael Erlewine who founded All-Music Guide, All-Movie Guide, Astrologyland.com and many other popular Internet sites. All articles copyright and written or produced by Michael Erlewine. Do visit ClassicPosters.com in its current incarnation.
These are articles on concert-music posters and poster collecting from the site ClassicPosters.com founded by award-winning archivist of popular culture Michael Erlewine who founded All-Music Guide, All-Movie Guide, Astrologyland.com and many other popular Internet sites. All articles copyright and written or produced by Michael Erlewine. Do visit ClassicPosters.com in its current incarnation.

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Published by: Michael Erlewine on Jan 08, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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04/20/2014

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Interview with jb (rastagrafix) by Michael Erlewine
 
Interview with jb (rastagrafix) byMichael ErlewineMichael@Erlewine.net
 Michael Erlewine: When and how didyou get interested in art?Jb: One of my earliest memories was ofmy dad drawing an Indian. I wasstunned that you could just make apicture of something like that! Later, inhigh school, I knew I was going to be anartist, and I worked hard at it, evenwinning an award or two. I went to workearly-on in a local art gallery, and thenduring the Vietnam era enlisted in the airforce, ended up at the DefenseLanguage Institute studying Chineseduring the week and dropping out on theweekends. When I got out in 1968, Ilived in the Haight and worked ingalleries again, but as time passed Ibecame more interested in restoring artthan in creating it. Now I'm the head of amuseum conservation lab, and not anartist anymore. But I'm still stunned atthe art that surrounds me everyday.Michael Erlewine: What kind of artinfluenced you?Jb: Beatnik art, the art of the 60's, andthe vibrant colors I saw in the MissionDistrict: Galleria de la Raza during theDia de los Muertos exhibition; the muralon the facade of China Books; and theFillmore posters tacked to telephonepolls. Mookerjee's "Tantra Art," cheapcopies of ukiyo-e prints in Japantown,and especially the work of TadanoriYokoo.Michael Erlewine: What concert-postersartists influenced you?Jb: Wes Wilson, Kelly Mouse, RickGriffin, David Singer, VictorMoscoso,...heck, ALL of 'em. The folkswho did the light shows, my palDemetrios and his florescent puppetsupstairs at the Avalon (whateverhappened to him), that darned whiterabbit poster above my refrigerator...Michael Erlewine: What was your firstconcert-music poster?Jb: After a sailing trip to the LesserAntilles in '72, I started seriouslyhanging out at Kingston Records onFillmore Street, Ruel Mill's tiny enclaveof riddim and vibes. One day I saw Rueldrawing up a flyer for a concert he wasproducing with Toots, Dennis Brown,and Jacob Miller at Winterland. He wasdoing such a lousy job that I offered towhip something together overnight,gratis. The result was crude, but afterhanging out later with the talent I figuredit was a pretty cool gig.Michael Erlewine: What are the mainbands you have done posters for?Jb: Most of what small amount I'veactually done was for Reggae bands:local groups at neighborhood clubs,Toots et al, Big Youth, Third WorldBand, Burning Spear, Soul Syndicate,Earl Zero, Epiphany Records, MangoRecords, and a few others. Once Istarted getting into the "big time" Irealized I really didn't want to competewith the pros on the fast track (hey, itwas a hobby, ok?). I was only active forabout 5 years. But I still dream of doing"one more" for Toots.Michael Erlewine: Please describe themedia and size/formats you have mostused?Jb: My first job was a hand separationon bristol paper (I used a desk lamp onthe floor under a piece of Plexi). Theprinters jaw dropped when they sawwhat I brought in, but it worked. Afterthat, most of my work was done

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