Here's a swell recap of our recent Robert Pollard book release party, courtesy our pal Rob Clough. Thanks to Rob for the recpap and pics (and be sure to check out Rob's writing about comics, he's one of the best on the Net):
On a rainy Durham evening on August 15th, Merge Records hosted a book release party and art exhibit for Robert Pollard. Merge has released the last several solo albums of the former Guided By Voices lead singer, so Durham was a fitting site for the debut of TOWN OF MIRRORS, a tribute to his remarkable eye as a visual artist. His works included art from his album covers, drawings, paintings, collage and other mixed media. The opening was part of a monthly "Third Friday" art walk in downtown Durham, and the small Merge gallery was quickly packed. I snapped these photos just a few minutes after the doors opened, finding a relaxed Pollard talking to friends (that's him in the striped shirt):
Some of the works featured in the photos include "Everything's Baby", "Gratification To Concrete", "The Kids Eat It Up", "The Floating Babies In Space", "Church of the Sci-Fi Episode 23 Too Much Information" "Church of the Sci-Fi Episode 7 Visit This Place", and "Off To Business".
Robert Pollard is the Dayton, Ohio singer-songwriter, who was the leader and creative force behind the legendary indie rock group Guided by Voices, one of the most influential bands of its generation (SPIN magazine recently named Pollard one of “The Top 50 Rock & Roll Front Men of All-Time”). After the dissolution of Guided by Voices in 2004, Robert Pollard launched his official solo career with the release of From a Compound Eye in 2006.
In addition to being a prolific songwriter/recording artist, Pollard is a gifted and prolific visual artist, working mostly in the medium of collage (not surprising, given his interest in sound collage as a recording artist). His work has been exhibited at Michael Imperioli’s Studio Dante in New York and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH. He has created the covers to almost every Guided By Voices record and countless other Pollard-related releases. Town of Mirrors collects the very best of Pollard’s visual art and lyrics/poetry.
Featuring over 175 of Pollard’s favorite collages, hand-picked by the artist, as well as over a dozen new collages produced exclusively for this collection, Town of Mirrors is the first comprehensive collection of Pollard’s visual art ever released. Pollard’s collages are the visual equivalent of his poetic and imagistic lyrics, surreal and reminiscent of the collages of artists ranging from Jack Kirby to Winston Smith.
FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS & MERGE RECORDS PRESENT: TOWN OF MIRRORS: A Robert Pollard Book Release Party and Art Exhibition
at the MERGE RECORDS HQ Friday, August 15, 6PM
DURHAM, N.C. — The Merge Records HQ will be hosting Dayton, Ohio’s Robert Pollard on Aug. 15th for Town of Mirrors, an art exhibition and book release party celebrating the release of Town of Mirrors: The Reassembled Imagery of Robert Pollard, to be published in August by Seattle’s Fantagraphics Books. Town of Mirrors will be the inaugural art show in Merge’s downtown Durham office as part of Durham’s Third Friday, a monthly downtown arts and culture “crawl.”
The forthcoming Town of Mirrors coffee table art book will premiere at the event, with many of the actual collages from the collection hanging in the show alongside several new works. The Reassembled Art of Robert Pollard collects the very best of Pollard’s visual art and lyrics/poetry from his storied career. Featuring over 180 of Pollard’s favorite collages, hand-picked by the artist, as well as over a dozen new collages produced exclusively for this book, Town of Mirrors is the first comprehensive collection of Pollard’s visual art ever released. Original artwork and copies of the book will be available for purchase.
WHO: Robert Pollard WHAT: Town of Mirrors Book Release Party & Art Exhibition WHEN: Friday, August 15th @ 6pm WHERE: Merge Records HQ, 409 E. Chapel Hill St., Durham, NC
Robert Pollard is the Dayton, Ohio singer-songwriter, who was the leader and creative force behind the legendary rock group Guided by Voices, one of the most influential bands of its generation (SPIN magazine recently named Pollard one of “The Top 50 Rock & Roll Front Men of All-Time”). Town of Mirrors is his first book.
In addition to being a revered songwriter and recording artist, Pollard is a gifted and prolific visual artist, working mostly in the medium of collage. His work has been exhibited at Michael Imperioli’s Studio Dante in New York and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. He has created the covers to almost every Guided By Voices record and countless other Pollard-related releases.
Robert Pollard released four records on Merge, the most recent of which, Coast to Coast Carpet of Love and Standard Gargoyle Decisions, were released in October 2007. Mr. Pollard most recently released Robert Pollard is Off to Business on his own Guided By Voices, Inc. label. He was a fourth grade schoolteacher until 1994, when Guided by Voices first broke into the national consciousness with the release of the album Bee Thousand. With over 900 songs registered to his name with BMI, Pollard is among the most prolific and acclaimed songwriters of his time.
Town of Mirrors is published by Seattle’s Fantagraphics Books, best known as North America’s premiere publisher of graphic novels and comic strips.
Town of Mirrors: The Reassembled Imagery of Robert Pollard By Robert Pollard Introduction by Rick Moody $29.99 Hardcover Music / Art 144 pages, full-color, 10” x 10” ISBN 978-1-56097-924-1 PUBLICATION DATE: Aug. 15, 2008
“The visual art of Robert Pollard is uncanny, moving, strange, and it summons a dark melancholy at the same time; an austere beauty is forged in what is degraded and worthless in the image repertoire of culture itself.” – RICK MOODY, from his introduction
Robert Pollard's "Do the Collage" art exhibit at Studio Dante went off this weekend and Time Out New York sits down for a few questions with the man, as does Spin.com, the latter of which also has some cool photos of the opening and brief interviews with people in attendance about their favorite pieces. This show kicks off a busy year for Pollard as a visual artist, with his Town of Mirrors: The Reassembled Imagery of Robert Pollard art book coming in June from Fantagraphics.
FANTAGRAPHICS TO PUBLISH "TOWN OF MIRRORS: THE REASSEMBLED IMAGERY OF ROBERT POLLARD"
STUDIO DANTE HOSTS "DO THE COLLAGE" EXHIBITION DEC. 9 & 10 IN NEW YORK CITY
On the eve of his first solo visual art exhibition in New York City, Fantagraphics Books is proud to announce the release in June 2008 of TOWN OF MIRRORS: THE REASSEMBLED IMAGERY OF ROBERT POLLARD, a coffee-table collection of artwork and lyrics from the celebrated front man of Dayton, OH's legendary GUIDED BY VOICES.
Register and Login to receive full member benefits, including members-only special offers, commenting privileges on Flog! The Fantagraphics Blog, newsletters and special announcements via email, and stuff we haven't even thought of yet. Membership is free and spam-free, so Sign Up Today!