The South Austin Museum of Popular Culture treats Austin to a long, loving look at Armadillo Art Squad graphics master Guy Juke in a new solo exhibition
Blocky, sharp-edged figures on angular, geometric settings. Meticulously detailed photorealist faces. Haunting Western landscapes with luxurious, sensuous flora in the foreground. Iconic pop culture faces and forms incongruously beside blue-feathered macaws, green-scaled fish, or other fauna. Loopy cartoon heads atop jolly abstract shapes. Scanning the portfolio of Guy Juke, one sees all these and more a startling eclecticism that distinguished the graphics master among his equally gifted peers in the Armadillo Art Squad of World Headquarters days and among local artists ever since. As Nels Jacobson wrote, "More than any other Austin poster artist, his work exhibits a strikingly broad cross-section of styles from realistic portraits to Merrie Melodies takeoffs, from old-style ersatz woodcuts to New Wave minimalism." Now, the South Austin Museum of Popular Culture is treating us to a long, loving look at this artist for all seasons in a new solo exhibition. Naturally, it will draw heavily from the AWHQ era, when Juke's artistic career took off. (He already had a musical career in the works, as his musician alter ego Blackie White can tell you.) Following his move to Austin in late 1972, the San Angelo native fell in with the likes of Jim Franklin, Micael Priest, Kerry Awn, Danny Garrett, Bill Narum, and Sam Yeates, and was soon producing concert posters for Frank Zappa, Rickie Lee Jones, Talking Heads, and local musicians from Asleep at the Wheel to Townes Van Zandt. His posters from that era are now coveted as collector's items, as are the memorable silkscreened posters he created for Carnaval and The Austin Chronicle Music Awards in the years since. Check 'em all out, along with his illustration work and paintings, starting this Saturday.
Guy Juke's career retrospective will be on display May 21-June 11 at the South Austin Museum of Popular Culture, 1516 S. Lamar. A reception will be held Saturday, May 21, starting at 7:09pm. For more information, visit www.samopc.com.