What Not To Wear on Your Walls
Dress your dorm room right with Austin Purveyors of poster art
By Marc Savlov, Fri., Aug. 24, 2012
Welcome back to school! Why are your walls so naked? Seriously, you have a problem. You're in college now, but just as when you were a toddler, if there isn't shit on your walls it means nobody loves you and you have already failed everything, epically. If stone-age Frenchmen can get Werner Herzog to make a documentary about their fab interior design (see: Cave of Forgotten Dreams), then you, certainly, can do better than that faux-grainy Hipstamoronic hard copy of your long-distance boyfriend/girlfriend/non-gender-specific-significant-other currently usurping precious wall space. (College Station is not "long distance," by the way.)
The Chronicle is, as ever, here to help guide you out of the absence of cool crap on your walls and into a realm where every square inch of wall space in your dorm/duplex/East Campus rathole reflects back your awesome self to a degree that the neighbors will think you're some genius engineering student who's perfected cold fusion, somehow, in a toaster oven.
Austin, being the hipster vortex from which all trending coolness is birthed, has enough poster-oriented outlets than you necessarily require. The trick is finding the wall hangings that speak your soul the best and boldest. (This is more important than ever before, as no one actually speaks to their peers all that much since the advent of the Internet, as you may have noticed, or not, because you were too busy lulzing it up on 4chan.) Ready? Here we go.
What Not To Put on Your Wall: This is too easy. If I never see another John Belushi/Animal House "College" poster in my life, it will be too soon. The same goes for Richard Avedon's "Nastassja Kinski and the Serpent" (are we dating ourselves here?), that Bob Marley shot in which he looks stunningly un-high, anything Che Guevara-ized (including the Misfits riff), and – sorry, herb-ivores – posters as dated and lost-Austin-y as Mr. Natural, the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, or gratefully dead and/or Phishy "Keep On Truckin'"-esque stoner iconography. (Note: Black light posters are still kickass and will be so long as Bastrop's fabled magic mushrooms are plentiful. The same goes for black velvet Elvises and the like.)
Posters for Film Geeks: Steer clear of the obvious (James Dean, À bout de souffle, glow-in-the-dark Nosferatu pop-up posters) unless you plan on being glued to your laptop and Netflix all semester, in which case no one's going to see your room anyway. One of three fine places to find new, exciting, and relevant film-related one-sheets and the like is Alamo Drafthouse offshoot Mondo. Their new-ish gallery at 4115 Guadalupe is open Tuesday through Saturday, noon-6pm, and by appointment, but you can check out some of their poster wares of the ne plus ultra of film cool at www.mondotees.com. Also spectacularly great is the underappreciated stock of vintage Mexican film posters – ¡Vive El Santo! – to be found at Tesoros Trading Company (1500 S. Congress Ave.). Tons of fiery lucha libre action to make manly and enticing even the dullest of households. Art on 5th (1501 W. Fifth) has just announced the impending arrival of their classic film poster side-store, Film on 5th, which celebrates their grand opening on Friday, Sept. 14. Looks to be pricey, but then, you are what's on your walls, and you get what you pay for.
Posters for Everyone Else: Well, there's always that age-old, collegiate party emporium, Spencer's Gifts, with retail fronts at both Barton Creek Mall and Lakeline Mall. Their selection of incipient alcoholism-related imagery remains as popular as ever, as does their fine collection of the aforementioned UV-freakout posters. Want a Hooters Girls pinup? We're almost positive they still carry them. Finally, two longtime local purveyors of all manner of weird stuff for your walls – the inestimable Planet K (five locations around Austin, www.planetktexas.com) and the Gas Pipe (two Austin locations, www.thegaspipe.net) – offer more stoney, music-related, and general poster chaos than you'll find anywhere else. Essential shopping after those first few bong hits of the day.