For the past twenty years of Pearl Jam’s tours, a collection of artists including The Ames Bros and Brad Klausen have designed highly stylized posters that celebrated their tours in around the world. Throughout this body of work one thing remains consistent – the constant merging of ideas and personalities between the designers and the band to create an image. This exhibit presents twelve designs and discusses the motivations and inspirations that created the imagery to accompany Pearl Jam’s music.
*Descriptions and poster images excerpted from the book: Pearl Jam vs. Ames Bros
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Washington, DC. July 1st 2003
As a grade-schooler I was convinced that the end of the world was coming by way of nuclear disaster or by killer bee invasion from South America. We didn’t have a TV and my folks did a great job of not talking about the former apocalyptic scenario. Somehow I still managed to hear and see enough to know the threat existed and have vivid memories of the nightmares that ensue. Now, thanks to FOX News, there’s enough nightmare material in five minutes to last five childhoods. They’ve developed what I like to call the “shifty” screen, or in laymen’s terms, a screen split with simultaneously running video feeds. On one section On one section rolls a tank of firing missiles, on another a child abduction in Nebraska, while other bits give you the option of viewing stock prices or live hurricane coverage. Four sets of eyeballs and we’d all be set.
As a dad, I couldn’t help but think of the effect this information might have on a child’s mind and this poster was my attempt to put it all on paper. Rows of fighter jets, warships, stars and B-52s moving left and right like the shooting gallery at the country fair. Adding the text was tricky because I had such a central and bold image. It was the Jello font that solved all my problems. I recall creating the image but being too timid to use it, as the band was facing pretty harsh criticism and even threats against their lives. To credit them, they didn’t back down, which was a huge boost to us, and with that momentum we created some really amazing stuff. I think my respect for those guys grew tenfold during the Riot Act tour. – Coby Schultz