Some gig poster artists really relish color. Arno Kiss is one of those artists. He started “scribbling band logos in my notebooks in school” in 2001, he says, and in less than 10 years he began making posters. I just have to show you some.
Arno Kiss does work for a variety of clients as an illustrator: Netflix, 20th Century Fox, Lucasfilm, Samsung, and some other big organizations. But he also has done this personal work on behalf of bands. What we’ve seen in other posters, mainly screenprints seems different in this poster for Mumford & Sons for a 2019 show in Utah. It reminds me a bit of the art we saw on album covers for Flaming Lips, albums like The Soft Bulletin or Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. It shares that same splash of color and, anyway, what are we looking at here? A rising sun? A nuclear explosion?
One of his screenprints, a collaboration done with The Half and Half, is a 12″ x 24″ print for a 2019 Eric Church show in Canada. Note the similarities in the very Americana images (even if it is a show in Canada):
That Ford Bronco is classic. In fact, it’s one of three versions, each with a UFO. In the other images, cows are being lifted from the earth, each with similar coloring and font.
The Death Cab for Cutie poster likewise has that Americana feel, starring a TV set only some of us remember. They did use to go off the air, you know. And had antennas. Again, for the Death Cab fans, this would have been something remembered. And there’s a story here; what’s with the flowers? Is it a young man waiting on his date? Why the desk lamp spotlighting him? Why the dead air?
If you’ve been reading my blogs, you’ll know by now I appreciate the deep reference; say something that references ancient art. And then plugs the tastelessness of something like Ween into it.
This poster is ambitious. Really, it’s not only ambitious but intelligent and witty. Here we have Ween as figured on an ancient Greek vessel. A jar that features that crazy face of theirs, instantly recognizable, and contextualized here into antiquity. The design is impeccable, and the poster features some facts on the back. The “Argus” is both a many-eyed giant often figured in numerous works in the Greco-Roman period, as well as “A really rad song by the band Ween.” the tagged text on the back is in the form of a dictionary entry.
To end on a different note, it’s an amateur birder like me who immediately recognizes this cherished bird: the cedar Waxwing, here featured on an Umphrey’s McGee poster from 2017. Not only the birds but the flowers have a real spark of life to them.
Check out more of Arno’s work at his website.
Interested in learning more about concert poster collecting? Check out GoCollect’s Guide to Concert Poster Collecting