Toby Mott’s ‘Oh So Pretty: Punk in Print’ is out now!
A compelling visual portrait of a time, place, and subculture that raised a middle finger to modern society. Toby Mott’s ‘Oh So Pretty: Punk in Print’ is the killer compendium of the punk movement.
If youth is often characterized as embodying opposition and aversion to the status quo, then arguably no single subculture has more energetically epitomized the spirit of “fuck you” rebellion than punk. In style terms, punk was the progenitor and propagator of DIY fashion as a mode of self-expression and sublimation. The DIY approach imbued everything from music and style to graphic design, literature and publishing, engendering a whole new abrasive aesthetic that has been rippling through pop culture since its inception. The graphics, gig flyers, zines and throwaways of the 70s and 80s are as brazen, crude and chaotic as the rogues and ruffians who invented it.
Aggregating imagery and material from 1967-1980, ‘Oh So Pretty: Punk in Print‘ (published by Phaidon) showcases a stunning and subversive range of original artwork from artist, creative chronicler and collector Toby Mott. Hailing from Pimlico, London, Toby was a perfect exponent, exemplar and aficionado of the punk epoch, immersing himself deep in the anarchic ecosystem throughout the 70s and 80s, attending countless gigs and perverse pow-wows, and stockpiling heaps of patches, pins, posters, fanzines and fashion.Featuring photocopied images, ransom-note typeface, crusty edges and transgressive spectacles, artists like Jamie Reid took a disorderly approach to design. Art school creds weren’t required as much as a yearning for creative freedom and raucous self-expression. From vintage Sex Pistols gig flyers and Malcolm McLaren’s Let it Rock/Sex shop, to Linder Sterling’s iconic collage for the Buzzcocks’ single ‘Orgasm Addict’ – ‘Oh So Pretty: Punk in Print‘ gives a commanding and compelling insight into the visual style and ideology of that original and obstreperous era. Peep the pics below and buy the book here.
VIVISXN – Art + Culture