Classic Posters Interview with Steven Cerio by Michael Erlewine
Classic Posters Interview with StevenCerio by Michael Erlewine
Michael@Erlewine.netMichael Erlewine: When and how didyou get interested in art?Steven Cerio: My first contacts with artwere the illustrations in the 1975unabridged edition of the RandomHouse Dictionary, and the store-boughtmural on the shower wall that I stared itwhen I took baths. What peaked myinterest in posters wasn't a rock poster,it was hand-drawn supermarket-windowposters for the "Super Duper" inLiverpool, New York, where I grew up.When my dad told me they were madeby hand, I was blown away. My love fortype had begun as well.By the time I arrived in New York Cityand the venerable Jacaeber Kastorhired me at the now legendaryPsychedelic Solution Gallery, myinterest in posters had more thanpeaked. I had been in NYC for only 3days, and I found myself around iconslike Rick Griffin, Robert Williams, RobertCrumb, Victor Moscoso, Randy Tutenand S. Clay Wilson, to name only a few.Michael Erlewine: What kind of artinfluenced you?Steven Cerio: Dr. Seuss and cerealboxes, primarily. Alexander Calder,Stuart Davis and Philip Guston havebeen influences. Rory Hayes, MarkBeyer and Gary Panter as well.Michael Erlewine: What concert-postersartists influenced you?Steven Cerio: Lee Conklin's Santanacover really rearranged my molecules. Itled me to surrealism before I was 10. Istill follow surrational???ethics (notMagritte-esque irony). I love all of Lee'swork as well as Rick Griifin and DavidSinger's.Michael Erlewine: What was your firstconcert-music poster?Steven Cerio: It was for Codeine,Flyashtray and Galaxy 500 at ConeyIsland (August, 1989). After that I didflyers for Monster Magnet and WhiteZombie before their bigger record deals.Michael Erlewine: What are the mainvenues you have done posters for?Steven Cerio: The Fillmore andCleveland Flats. Many of my posterswere done at request of the group ormanager.Michael Erlewine: What are the mainbands you have done posters for?Steven Cerio: My poster work for TheResidents is always a big thrill for me.I've also done film and animation withthem. They are always years ahead. It'salways a challenge and a joy working forthem, since they use no boundaries.Michael Erlewine: Please describe themedia and size/formats you have mostused?Steven Cerio: My originals have alwaysbeen brushed ink on acid free printingpaper. I then either scan the line into myPC or copy it to acetate. The acetatesare painted on the backside with cel-vinyl paint while the scanned images areopened into Photoshop. If the job needsto be prepared for screen printing, I dothe seps by hand on occasion, but haverecently begun separating the colorlayers in Photoshop. With the use of aWacom tablet, I've been able to keep awarmer, more hand made appearance.Michael Erlewine: What other posterartists have you collaborated with?