The Fussy Eye: Carved Away

Posters for imaginary events.

Also gracing the cover of Seattle Weekly this week, printmaker and poster artist Chris Rollins is showing 20 recent works in L'Affiche, though some are for events that haven't actually happened. He's hoping to launch a series of sci-fi movies at the Hiawatha Lofts (where he lives and works), so, he explains, "I created the posters first." Though the iconography is borrowed, Rollins has a great eye for removing the visual clutter around a familiar face or shape. Woodblock printing is often a process of elimination. Thus, Star Wars gets condensed to the Death Star and R2D2's dome, the two orbs doubling and opposing each other, good and evil—just as George Lucas intended. The kitsch of Logan's Run becomes more ominous when reduced to that claw-like hand with the glowing red jewel at its center. In another poster series, he commemorates his friends' 30th birthdays this year. Another opposing pair, Pacer vs. Gremlin, takes us back to the '70s, when oranges and greens were part of the suburban palette. "TARP" is just a made-up venue for his friend's birthday party, Rollins tells me (not the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which might be more controversial). But that's the inviting and slightly mysterious appeal of his work: These are posters that make you want to attend imaginary events. 

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