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David King (artist)

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David Anthony King was an English American artist, (graphic) designer, and musician, a "significant figure in design history"[1] best known as the designer of the symbol for the band Crass, "one of punk’s most recognizable and powerful designs".[2]

Life and career

King was born on 10 April 1948 in Ilford, Essex and grew up in Gants Hill and Chigwell, Essex. At sixteen he enrolled at South East Essex Technical College in Dagenham to study Graphic Design, where in 1964 he met Penny Rimbaud and Gee Vaucher, who went on to form the band Crass.[3][4]

After graduating from South East Essex Technical College in 1967, for the next ten years King worked for a succession of London advertising agencies,[5] first as a graphic designer and later as an art director,[6] including for the firms DDB Worldwide (Doyle Dane Bernbach) and Blackburn Daley.

In the 1970s King went to live at Dial House, Essex, the commune set up by Ratter and Vaucher on an isolated farm in the middle of an airfield in rural North Weald, Essex. There he designed the logo for their band Crass.[7] Originally a logo for Rimbaud's pamphlet ‘Christ’s Reality Asylum and Les Pommes de Printemps’,[8] the symbol was designed as a circular piece that seemed to include a Christian cross, a snake, the Union Jack, and a swastika. King has said the symbol was inspired by Japanese family crests and says it was created as “a reflection of Pen’s anger at what he felt were these destructive aspects of Christianity.”[9] During this time he also performed with EXIT at the International Carnival of Experimental Sound in 1972.[10]

In 1977 King moved to the SoHo neighborhood of New York, where he became part of the burgeoning Punk / No Wave scene, first as the drummer for The Gynecologists, leaving to form Arsenal (later known as Sleeping Dogs and Brain Rust) with Charlie Nash and Rhys Chatham in 1978. (When Chatham left to pursue solo efforts he was replaced by Howard A. Rodman.) King met his wife, Dione Hemberger, when she joined the band as the bassist that year. At the same time, King continued his graphic design practice, creating logos and posters for SoHo nightclubs such as Danceteria, Peppermint Lounge, Pop Front, and Pravda as well as flyers, logos, and album covers for bands such as Ut (band), Mrs. Machinery, Raining House, and Arsenal, as well as a series of Christmas cards for the Museum of Modern Art, New York.[11]

In 1982, King and the rest of Arsenal (now Charlie Nash and Dione King) moved to San Francisco and Arsenal changed their name to Sleeping Dogs, and then to Brain Rust in 1985 with King continuing to play drums and to design their flyers and album covers,[12] usually credited as 'Dirty Dog'.[13] In 1990 King enrolled at San Francisco Art Institute, where he studied drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, and poetry. He continued his graphic design work and expanded into photography, sculpture, and garden design.[14]

His work has been included in many shows, including ‘Art into Landscape’ at the Serpentine Galleries, ‘The Art of Punk’ at the MOCA LA, and ‘Punk Graphics’ at Hayward Gallery. Several collections of his work have been published by Colpa Press, &Pens Press, and Gingko Press.[15][16]

King was interviewed extensively in the 'Art of Punk' video series produced by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (MOCA), for the episode 'Crass - The Art of Dave King and Gee Vaucher' (MOCAtv 2013).[17]

David Anthony King died in San Francisco in 2019 at the age of 71 after a long battle with cancer.[18]

Discover more about Life and career related topics

Ilford

Ilford

Ilford is a large town in east London, England, 9 miles (14 km) north-east of Charing Cross. Part of the London Borough of Redbridge, Ilford is within the ceremonial county of Greater London. It had a population of 168,168 in 2011, compared to 303,858 for the entire borough.

Gants Hill

Gants Hill

Gants Hill is an area of Ilford in East London, England, within the borough of Redbridge. It is a suburb 9.5 miles (15.3 km) east northeast of Charing Cross. It lends its name to a central roundabout where five roads meet.

Chigwell

Chigwell

Chigwell is a town and civil parish in the Epping Forest District of Essex, England. It is part of the urban and metropolitan area of London, and is adjacent to the northern boundary of Greater London. It is on the Central line of the London Underground.

Gee Vaucher

Gee Vaucher

Gee Vaucher is a visual artist.

DDB Worldwide

DDB Worldwide

DDB Worldwide Communications Group LLC, known internationally as DDB, is a worldwide marketing communications network. It is owned by Omnicom Group, one of the world's largest advertising holding companies. The international advertising networks Doyle Dane Bernbach and Needham Harper merged their worldwide agency operations to become DDB Needham in 1986. At that same time the owners of Doyle Dane Bernbach, Needham Harper and BBDO merged their shareholdings to form the US listed holding company Omnicom. In 1996, DDB Needham became known as DDB Worldwide.

Dial House, Essex

Dial House, Essex

Dial House is a farm cottage situated in south-west Essex, England that has been a self-sustaining anarcho-pacifist open house since 1967. The house is located in the countryside of Epping Forest in Ongar Great Park. It has been used as a base for a number of cultural, artistic, and political projects ranging from avant-garde jazz events to helping found the free festival movement.

North Weald Airfield

North Weald Airfield

North Weald Airfield is an operational general aviation aerodrome, in the civil parish of North Weald Bassett in Epping Forest, Essex, England. It was an important fighter station during the Battle of Britain, when it was known as the RAF Station RAF North Weald. It is the home of North Weald Airfield Museum. It is home to many private aircraft and historic types, Essex & Herts Air Ambulance helicopter and is an active flight training airfield.

Mon (emblem)

Mon (emblem)

Mon (紋), also called monshō (紋章), mondokoro (紋所), and kamon (家紋), are Japanese emblems used to decorate and identify an individual, a family, or an institution or business entity. While mon is an encompassing term that may refer to any such device, kamon and mondokoro refer specifically to emblems that are used to identify a family. An authoritative mon reference compiles Japan's 241 general categories of mon based on structural resemblance, with 5,116 distinct individual mon. However, it is well acknowledged that there are a number of lost or obscure mon.

EXIT (performance art group)

EXIT (performance art group)

EXIT were a performance art group during the mid-1970s. EXIT members Penny Rimbaud and Gee Vaucher later founded anarchist punk rock band Crass, adopting many of EXIT's experimental/multi media techniques into Crass' presentation.

Howard A. Rodman

Howard A. Rodman

Howard A. Rodman is a screenwriter, author and professor. He is the former President of the Writers Guild of America, West, professor and former chair of the writing division at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, alumnus of Telluride Association Summer Program and an artistic director of the Sundance Institute Screenwriting Labs.

Danceteria

Danceteria

Danceteria was a nightclub that operated in New York City from 1979 until 1986 and in the Hamptons until 1995. The club operated in various locations over the years, a total of three in New York City and four in the Hamptons. The most famous location was likely the second, a four-floor venue at 30 West 21st Street in Manhattan that served as the location for the disco scene in the film Desperately Seeking Susan.

Museum of Modern Art

Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is an art museum located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, on 53rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues.

Publications

  • Secret Origins of the Crass Symbol, &Pens Press, 2013
  • Scrapbook, Colpa Press, Edition of 50, 2017
  • Still, Colpa Press, 2018
  • The Journey, Colpa Press, 2019
  • David King Stencils: Past, Present, and Crass!, Gingko Press/Kill Your Idols, 2020
  • Walking Photos, Colpa Press with forward by Glen Helfand, 2020
  • Happy, Colpa Press, 2020

Source: "David King (artist)", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_King_(artist).

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References
  1. ^ Heller, Steven (2019-10-31). "Dave King (RIP)". Design Observer. Archived from the original on 2019-12-23. Retrieved 2021-09-28.
  2. ^ Lefebvre, Sam (2013-09-12). "Not Just Another Cheap Logo: The Story of Crass and David King". Consequence. Archived from the original on 2021-04-21. Retrieved 2021-09-28.
  3. ^ Lefebvre, Sam (2013-09-12). "Not Just Another Cheap Logo: The Story of Crass and David King". Consequence. Archived from the original on 2021-04-21. Retrieved 2021-09-28.
  4. ^ Cummings, Keturah (2012-01-18). "Radical Access and Obscurity: San Francisco's Zine Culture". Art Practical. Archived from the original on 2015-10-01. Retrieved 2021-09-23.
  5. ^ The Art Of Punk - Crass - The Art of Dave King and Gee Vaucher - Art + Music - MOCAtv June 18, 2013
  6. ^ Cross, Rich (2019-10-23). "Dave King, designer of the "Crass symbol", 1948-2019". The Hippies Now Wear Black. Archived from the original on 2019-11-22. Retrieved 2021-09-28.
  7. ^ Berger, George (2006). The Story of Crass. Omnibus Press. p. 41.
  8. ^ "Penny Rimbaud on Crass and the Poets of Transcendentalism and Modernism". The Quietus. 10 November 2010.
  9. ^ Berger, George (2006). The Story of Crass. Omnibus Press. p. 73.
  10. ^ Binns, Rebecca (2022). Gee Vaucher: Beyond Punk, Feminism, and the Avant Garde. Manchester University Press. p. 98.
  11. ^ Lefebvre, Sam (2019-10-22). "David King, San Francisco Artist Who Designed Iconic Crass Emblem, Dies at 71, 1948-2019". KQED. Archived from the original on 2019-10-23. Retrieved 2021-09-28.
  12. ^ Turcotte, Bryan Ray (2007). Punk is Dead, Punk is Everything. US: Gingko Press. p. 131. ISBN 978-1-58423-108-0. OCLC 1197763637.
  13. ^ "Dirty Dog: Artist". Discogs. Archived from the original on 2021-02-18. Retrieved 2021-09-28.
  14. ^ Lefebvre, Sam (2019-10-22). "David King, San Francisco Artist Who Designed Iconic Crass Emblem, Dies at 71, 1948-2019". KQED. Archived from the original on 2019-10-23. Retrieved 2021-09-28.
  15. ^ "David King's "Happy" Is a Posthumous Look at His Last Projects, on View at Park Life Gallery, San Francisco". Juxtapoz. 2020-02-21. Archived from the original on 2020-04-11. Retrieved 2021-09-28.
  16. ^ Lefebvre, Sam (2020-02-11). "David King Revisits Formative Childhood Imagery in Posthumous Book, Exhibition". KQED. Archived from the original on 2020-02-14. Retrieved 2021-09-28.
  17. ^ "The Art of Punk - Crass - the Art of Dave King and Gee Vaucher - Art + Music - MOCAtv". YouTube.
  18. ^ Minsker, Evan (2019-10-24). "Crass Logo Designer Dave King Dead at 71". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 2019-10-25. Retrieved 2021-09-28.

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