Silliness prevails in the prolific screen prints by Chicago-based artist Keith Herzik. Curated by Chicago-based artists Paul Nudd and Chris Kerr, the exhibition aims to reveal the underrepresented talent of the local artist Herzik, whose odd sense of humor and color rival the strange sensibilities of the Hairy Who artists introduced by the Hyde Park Art Center in the 1960s.
The curators note that Herzik “ignores and willfully defies most of the recognizable tenants of screen printing,” as he pushes the medium and its materials to their limit. “Although he has made a substantial amount of these low-brow pieces of punk-rock Americana, I also feel that he has transcended the ‘poster-guy’ label pretty well. In fact, he's pretty much abandoned this mode of making. Most of Keith's peers have gone on to lucrative careers and have their own sustainable screen printing businesses, but Keith has held on tight to his artistic vision and has remained commercially nonviable, quite underground, and way outside of the screen printing AND fine art mainstreams.”
Early in his career Herzik studied with cartoonist Peter Saul at the University of Texas at Austin and since has created numerous punk-rock posters and is a prolific publisher of handmade artist books, zines, and other publications. His brazen approach to screen printing breaks all of the traditional rules of the medium, while still being well-crafted. Herzik’s day glow prints maintain an immediate approach to drawing; wavey, messy lines and jarring color schemes provide the unique, informal qualities that have become a hallmark of Herzik’s work.