A year after the release of “Beat Bop” (Rammellzee, K-Rob) in 1983, Basquiat was involved in another record cover, this time for seminal punk rock outfit The Offs.
Basquiat illustrated the work for the album cover for his friends, The Offs, a Punk/ Ska band originally from San Francisco. The band moved to New York and soon became a regular act at underground venues such as The Mudd Club and Max’s Kansas City, which were popular with artists in the East Village scene.
With the help of their friend Andy Warhol, the band was signed by San Francisco punk label, CD PRESENTS, and their first record was released in 1984. David Ferguson, President of CD PRESENTS, chose to reverse the original image done in blue and black oil stick, to white on black, keeping more in line with the punk sensibility of the times.
In Basquiat’s typical Neo-Expressionist, primitive, instructions-infused style, the artist repeats the band’s name three times in the composition, placing the album’s simple title at the bottom. Using images and symbols found throughout his work during the 1981-1983 period, in The Offs First Record, raw oil stick lines delineating the body extend to form a crown of thorns above the skull. This same imagery is also found in a cycle of totemic figures realized during this early period: perhaps emphasizing the band’s role as hero or martyr caught in the travails of the then shifting cultural landscape, as Basquiat too saw his career experiencing this same shifting landscape.
OGalleryLA is pleased to exclusively present large format Limited Edition screen prints of the image illustrated by Jean-Michel Basquiat for The Offs First Record. Available in two sizes, editions of 85.
Originally shown in Toronto at the Art Gallery of Ontario in 2015, the screen prints are now being released for the first time in the full edition run, exclusively by OGalleryLA.
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