Friday, 30 July 2010

Daft Punk meets Dare

Jon Pleased Wimmin asked me to follow up the Pet Shop Boys tribute poster with something more modern - he didn't want people to think his Dare! club played exclusively 80s music. Daft Punk was chosen. With their ultra-stylised electro-disco-house records and flashing LED robot masks they made a spectacular show out of twiddling knobs and pushing buttons.

Daft Punk's bold visual ideas, particularly the way the band’s members gradually evolved from humans into robots pioneered the idea of a band as a comprehensive concept, with image and artwork at least as important as the music itself, the ramifications of which can be seen in vivid multicolour in their not one, but TWO movies, may be borrowed from Kraftwerk, but it gave late 90s/ early 00s electronic music a face (albeit one made from microchips.)

I decided that their 3rd album 'Human After All' would be a good reference point for the flyer and poster.

I liked the idea of taking photos of the television, the light is eerie and extremely artificial - Daft Punk themselves have a song called 'Television Rules The Nation'. I wanted it to reference David Cronenberg's movies such as 'Existenz' and 'Videodrome' prophesying a future in which television supplants real life.

I designed various versions of the Daft Punk logo, re-imagined to say 'Dare Club'.

Jon suggested we set up a party shot, as if the guests had been getting ready to go out before the club and had left the tv on by mistake.

I also thought it would be a good idea that for the back a tv test card be recreated, in a Dare fashion.

It was decided this looked too fussy and people might not get the point that it was for a club. A few more retro televisions were photoshopped together.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Islaja poster

Poster and illustration for Finnish folk musician Islaja.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

'Circus Crone' - new group show.

A new gallery has opened in the heart of Leith, Edinburgh. It's very first exhibition has a circus theme. It features 6 new works by myself - Gregor Laird - as well as my super-talented friend (and collaborator) Sarah Green amongst others. It is my first group show following 3 critically praised solo shows.

I decided to use the Flea circus as a starting point for my illustrations. Flea performances were first advertised as early as 1833 in England, and were a main carnival attraction until 1930. Some flea circuses persisted in very small venues in the United States as late as the 1960s.

I had read about 'The Death of the Flea Circus Director' by Thomas Koerfer, a movie in which the main protagonist loses his performing fleas in a crop- spraying operation, seeks compensation from the sort of government agencies where fleas would never be found, and after a chance encounter with a macabre village pageant transforms his enterprise into a theatre of the plague.

It was fleas that carried the Bubonic Plague in the middle ages which lived on the backs of Black Rats, and I liked the idea of a Flea circus travelling around giving all the audience members and circus performers the Plague.

The second idea that drifted in to the mix was Frank Kafka's 'Metamorphosis' about a man that wakes up finding himself transformed into an insect. He is ostracized from society - much like people who were born with genetic abnormalities and were forced to make a living from circus 'Freak Shows' and the like, in the late 1800s onwards.

Axo Gallery is the sister gallery to Dundas Street's Axolotl Gallery.
It is located at 59 Queen Charlotte Street, Edinburgh, EH6 7EY
Axo blog


This was a 'versus' night at Menergy where the two guest DJs would battle it out against each other.


Back of flyer: