How the SXSW Cancellation Has Impacted Poster Artists

With gallery shows and Flatstock shuttered, artists look to online to get their posters seen

How the SXSW Cancellation Has Impacted Poster Artists

Much of the Austin art scene goes on hiatus during SXSW, but it's historically been a pivotal time for the print and poster industry. Now those firms and artists are dealing with cancelled events and a massive stockpile.

Mondo, the art wing of the Alamo Drafthouse, was the first to pull the plug. Their brick-and-mortar gallery on Guadalupe has always been linked with SXSW: It opened on the first weekend of SXSW 2012, and has held a major themed show every year since. This year it was supposed to be the launch for their new Godzilla line on March 13, but that show has been canceled. So was their annual House Party event, where their regular artists produce original works and sell them for $200. This year, which had been announced as the final chapter, 75 artists had already created works. Now those, as well as the Godzilla prints and merch, will be released online via www.mondoshop.com, starting March 19.

But the Mondo shows are dwarfed by the annual Flatstock show at the Austin Convention Center. It's become one of the biggest poster shows in America, attracting artists from around the world, and many make tens of thousands of dollars across its three-day run, often from limited prints specifically designed for the event. Organizers have announced a stripped-down, one-day Flatstock at Native Hostel on March 21. Before the larger version was canceled, Austin-based Nakatomi, Inc. had special releases and events lined up, including a signing with Eisner-winning comic artist Paul Pope. In a statement, Nakatomi manager Alex Fugazi wrote, "SXSW is an important part of our yearly budget, and without the show we're looking at a bumpy ride." The firm has announced a special sale of the exclusives and other rare stock in the next week at www.nakatomiinc.com.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

coronavirus, COVID-19, Flatstock, Mondo Gallery, Nakatomi Inc., Paul Pope, Alex Fugazi, SXSW 2020

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