Broadsides are fine art. Poets have been engaging fine artists’ print shops to make special editions of their work for centuries. It has almost been a secret thing. Underground. Off the record. I once saw a broadside, “Crucifix in a Death’s Hand” a magnificent poem about Los Angeles as seen from an airplane approaching the city surrounded by mountains, a work of great beauty by, of all people, Charles Bukowski….who always gave the impression to the public that he was a lower-class drunk, when all the time he aspired to a Shakespearean reputation among the elite. Oh, perhaps I am being unfair. Jealous? The person who owned that Bukowski printed poem most likely has realized great monetary rewards from his prescient purchase when the poet was just beginning to carouse about in a more public manner. I am selling some broadsides I have collected through the years from my contemporaries and now you can own one or more. Because the technology herein does not allow you to read the script, I have printed the poems for you. Enjoy. For fun, here is a license to publish a broadside with an illustration from the wonderful site, English Broadside Ballad Archive, published online by the University of California, Santa Barbara. Check it out.
John Hunter (In his own words: an excerpt from a column from Visual Dialog: the Quarterly Magazine of the Visual Arts. Copyright by Roberta Loach /All Rights Reserved 1977-78.)
“I shuffle from foot to foot and resolve that my lithos are going to be masterworks – right from the start! I’m going to ‘cram all of my life, and all of L.A. ‘ onto this cold, neutral stone….I make a tentative mark with a crayon. Is this really how Daumier did it? Is this how he started, eventually producing something like four thousand lithos, his daily lithograph for Le Charivari?
First Impressions. Tamarind does it right. Professionalism is written all over the place. Lozingot has earned the designation, “Master Lithographer.” He underwent an awesome training in Europe. His apprenticeship began at the age of thirteen. Today he’s part of a tiny international community of quintessential pros. He’d been printing for Chagall and Miro and Dubuffet before Tamarind hired him away.
The printer fellows and he are able to maintain a waste factor which is unbelievable. Quality control is so tight that when they pull twenty impressions from a stone or a zinc plate nearly all the images are identical and thus they constitute an edition. Based on its researches into paper, ink and technology, Tamarind could write the book on lithography as eventually it does.
A Master Lithographer is an ultimate artisan expert, as is a Tamarind Master printer (a graduate of the center’s apprenticeship program.) One of them, Jean Milant, who later is to found Cirrus Editions, arrives from the bakery with croissants,
Graphics began as inexpensive, portable imagery and a way for artists to circulate their ideas. The finest prints, I’m convinced, proceed from any periods brightest artists —whether or not they’re primarily printmakers. As an artist I dig lithography because it’s a painterly medium. As a collector I dig graphics, or multiple originals, because they’re so very democratic. Who among us can afford a Rembrandt or Picasso oil painting? Yet even I can afford graphic works by these artists.”
ROBERT DAVEY, Artist.
Born in San Francisco, Davy studied at the California School of Fine Arts and The Academy of Advertising Art . He was a member of a small class conducted by the world-famous watercolorist Dong Kingman. He also studied serigraph and oil technique with several other artists. He began to exhibit in 1945 and won many awards. His work has been in the San Francisco Museum of Art, The Society of Western Artists and the Monterey Peninsula Museum of Art. His work is in permanent collections at these and several other museums, and private collections. He had a special fondness for birds and animals which he endowed with human qualities in a whimsical, humorous fashion. He lived with wife, Shirley and his three children in Carmel from 1958 until his death. He was a president of the Carmel Art Association. His work is now in collections throughout the world.