Cover Art Jean-Michel Basquiat
The Offs First Record 1984
Artist:Venice Modern Art
Substrate: Saunder’s Waterford watercolor long-fibre cotton and deckled edges
Size: 40" x 40"
Signed and Numbered Edition: 85
A Brief History of the Work
A year after the release of “Beat Bop” (Rammellzee, K-Rob) in 1983, Basquiat was involved in another record cover, this time for seminal punk rock band The Offs.
Basquiat illustrated the work for the album cover for his friends, The Offs, a Punk/ Ska band originally from San Francisco. The band moved to New York and soon became a regular act at underground venues such as The Mudd Club and Max’s Kansas City, which were popular with artists in the East Village scene.
With the help of their friend Andy Warhol, the band was signed by San Francisco punk label, CD PRESENTS, and their first record was released in 1984. David Ferguson, President of CD PRESENTS, chose to reverse the original image done in blue and black oilstick, to white on black, keeping more in line with the punk sensibility of the times.
In Basquiat’s typical Neo-Expressionist, primitive, instructions-infused style, the artist repeats the bands name three times in the composition, placing the album’s simple title at the bottom. Using images and symbols found throughout his work during the 1981-1983 period, in The Offs First Record, raw oilstick lines delineating the
body extend to form a crown of thorns above the skull. This same imagery is also found in a cycle of totemic figures realized during this early period perhaps emphasizing
the bands role as hero or martyr caught in the travails of the then shifting
cultural landscape, as Basquiat too saw his career experiencing this same shifting landscape.
Venice Modern Art is pleased to offer this Limited Edition screen print of the image drawn by Jean-Michel Basquiat for The Offs First Record.