alibi online

Free Will AstrologyAlibi's Personals
 
 V.19 No.13 | April 1 - 7, 2010 

Gallery Preview

Poster Posse

The art of rock

Jeremy Montoya
Jeremy Montoya

Murder By Death was coming to Albuquerque in May 2008, and Jeremy Montoya, a graphic designer and loyal fan of the band, wanted to take part. He decided to print up some posters.

Montoya and a friend, Jon “Jonito” Sanchez, outfitted his Rio Rancho garage with homemade printing equipment. Montoya sketched out a squinting, orange, ugly buzzard he thought suited the occasion, and the partners stayed up late silk-screening the image onto 40 sheets of fine art paper.

Jeremy Montoya
Jeremy Montoya

Until the night of the show, though, Murder By Death wasn’t in on the project. The Albuquerque artists just went to the venue, hoping the touring band would include their art with the official merchandise.

“We did it wrong,” says Montoya. “We just did it and showed up with these posters hoping for the best. But they were nice about it,” he adds.

Jeremy Montoya
Jeremy Montoya

Over the last few years, this impetuous dive into rock art has turned into a small industry for Montoya and Sanchez. They have since gone on to make many more posters, now working with the consent and collaboration of musical artists like Animal Collective, Neko Case, The Dandy Warhols and Calexico.

Montoya’s and Sanchez’ posters will be on display at the Blackbird Buvette through the month of April, with an opening reception on Easter Sunday from 7 to 10 p.m.

Sanchez and Montoya work as equal partners, taking turns selecting the band and doing the illustrations while the other serves as assistant in the printing process.

Jonito Sanchez, who earned his BFA at New Mexico State University, says the music is his muse.

“I’ll just listen to their songs and sketch a few ideas, come up with something that the music inspires.”

“I’ll just listen to their songs and sketch a few ideas, come up with something that the music inspires.”

Jonito Sanchez

The posters Sanchez created for the brooding indie band Cursive are similarly surreal and forlorn: Hollow-eyed creatures walk in forests of twigs and dry leaves. Meanwhile, his poster for Igor & Red Elvises features airplanes in cheery kamikaze chaos.

Jeremy Montoya
Jeremy Montoya

Montoya takes a different approach. “I love to draw birds,” he says. “I love to draw weird animals in general.”

His poster for mewithoutYou presents alien-looking hairless cats. Owls of various breeds and designs make their way into much of Montoya’s artwork.

Though the two alternate the illustrating, they say they still influence each other by fueling friendly competition.

Jeremy Montoya
Jeremy Montoya

“When I saw [Jonito’s] first poster,” Montoya says, “I was like, Shit, man; I got to pick it up!”

The printing takes place in Montoya’s garage with a setup they built themselves. The vacuum table, where the paper is sucked firmly into place for printing, is hooked up to a Shop-Vac, and the printed papers are hung to dry on a clothesline. But even with their rudimentary apparati, Sanchez and Montoya manage to produce intricate four-color series of the highest quality.

Besides the challenges of a homegrown operation, working in a market like Albuquerque offers some unique obstacles.

“I think the way it works in a big city, the promoter hires the artist,” Montoya explains. “But here, because we’re a small city, they don’t have to advertise as much. They don’t need us to do a fancy-pants poster.”

Jeremy Montoya
Jeremy Montoya

It takes a lot of hustle to connect with national bands and secure gigs. But, with the same spirit that motivated their first poster project, the artists are finding success. There are some local resources from which they draw strength. The two give respect to Albuquerque poster artists Delano Garcia and Jesse Philips as inspiration.

And they get support from the local music industry, as well. The night Montoya and Sanchez showed up at the Launchpad with that first poster for Murder By Death, Joe Anderson—the impresario behind Sunshine Theater, the Launchpad and Low Spirits—bought one as they walked in the door. “At the time, I didn’t even know who he was,” says Montoya. “But later, for the next show, I went to go meet with him ... and he was like, Yeah! I was your first customer.”

Jonito Sanchez
Jonito Sanchez

Even though the duo is working to turn their art into a viable business, they’re still in it for the music as much as anything.

Says Sanchez, “A lot of it is, we just like the bands.”

Jonito Sanchez
Jonito Sanchez
Jeremy Montoya
Jeremy Montoya
Jeremy Montoya
Jeremy Montoya
Jonito Sanchez
Jonito Sanchez
Jonito Sanchez
Jonito Sanchez
Gig Poster Art Show

Opening reception Sunday, April 4, with music by Billy Bellmont, Chan Avery and Albert Vasquez
7 to 10 p.m.
Blackbird Buvette
509 Central NW
Show runs through April 25
Public Comments
     
    Join our mailing list for exclusive info, the week's events and free stuff!
     

    • Select sidebar boxes to add below. You can also click and drag to rearrange the boxes; close using the little X icons on each box. To re-add a box you closed, return to this menu.
    • Because you are not logged in, any changes you make to these boxes will vanish as soon as you click to another page. If you log in, the boxes will stick.
    • alibi.com
    • Latest Posts
    • Web Exclusives
    • Recent Rocksquawk Discussions
    • Recent Classifieds
    • Latest User Posts
    • Most Active Stories
    • Most Active Users
    • Latest Chowtown Reviews
    • Highest-Rated Posts
    • Latest User Blogs
    • Calendar Comments
    • This Week's Alibi Picks
    • Albuquerque
    • Duke City Fix
    • Albuquerque Beer Scene
    • What's Wrong With This Picture?
    • Reddit Albuquerque
    • ABQ Journal Metro
    • ABQrising
    • ABQ Journal Latest News
    • Del.icio.us Albuquerque
    • NM and the West
    • New Mexico FBIHOP
    • Democracy for New Mexico
    • Only in New Mexico
    • Mario Burgos
    • Democracy for New Mexico
    • High Country News
    • El Grito
    • NM Politics with Joe Monahan
    • Stephen W. Terrell's Web Log
    • The Net Is Vast and Infinite
    • Slashdot
    • Freedom to Tinker
    • Is there a feed that should be on this list? Tell us about it.