Overspray: Riding High with the Kings of California Airbrush Art

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9780979415302: Overspray: Riding High with the Kings of California Airbrush Art

Overspray is the conclusive account of the rise of airbrush art, and of the equally bright and glossy Los Angeles culture alongside which it came to prominence in the 1970s. Inspired by surf graphics, psychadelia and the slick shine of Hollywood, a generation of young artists began to make every lip and palm tree glisten, and every record cover shine. Fueled by a combination of intense demand, sleepless nights and brutal competition, the four men at the center of L.A.'s airbrush art market--Charles E. White III, Peter Palombi, Dave Willardson and Peter Lloyd--embarked on careers encompassing work for Playboy, Levi's, the Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart and major studio films including American Graffiti and Tron. Together, their work came to define the look of illustrative graphics for a generation of viewers. This book tells the story of these four artists for the first time through hundreds of images of the artists' best and best-known work, unseen production roughs, documentary photographs and other ephemera. Viewed now, their surreal, funny and utterly slick imagery seems all the more fantastic--combining technical precision with wild flights of imagination that bring to mind the work of some of today's top artists, from Takashi Murakami to Matthew Barney. Essay by Mike Salisbury, acclaimed designer of everything from Disney logos to Jurassic Park ad campaigns to Sassy magazine.

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About the Author:

Norman Hathaway is an art director and design historian whose primary focus is lesser-known and underappreciated design techniques and personalities. His professional experience has spanned many design disciplines, from sign painting to filmmaking, in both the United States and Great Britain. While in England, he led creative efforts for clients including The Design Museum, The Royal Academy of Arts, Paul McCartney and Peter Gabriel. He has lectured widely on the history of design and typography for The London College of Printing, The Royal College of Art and Goldsmiths College. He currently lives in Brooklyn with his daughter Wilma.

Review:

"The book contains many of the most memorable examples from four prolific air-brushers. Technique abounds here, with each artist trying to outdo the next in shimmering highlights or syrupy goo." -- Steven Heller --The New York Times Book Review, December 7, 2008

"This year's prize for curatorial revival of a willfully forgotten (and, for many, still difficult) niche of L.A. art history goes to author Norman Hathaway's book Overspray (Picturebox), which chronicles the rise and fall of the glistening, coke-fueled airbrush-illustration movement that emerged here and briefly dominated the popular visual landscape with oozing Chris' Big Cherry candies and gargantuan Rod Stewarts. Pop at its most unironic pinnacle." -- LA Weekly --LA Weekly, December 18, 2008

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