Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Emek "Don't Vote and Don't Vote 2"

Emek (full name Emek Golan) is a illustrator born in Israel, went to school in San Francisco and now lives in Portland, Oregon. I discovered his work through a Portland DIY music and art festival that picks a new artist each year to create the graphic art and overall look (his was the 2007 festival). He has also done artwork for bands/musicians like the Decemberists, Pearl Jam, Neil Young, Ben Harper, The Grateful Dead, the Pixies, and a lot more. He does a lot of editorial magazine and poster art that are very bold and often controversial. He is known as the "Thinking mans Poster artist." Every poster I've seen of his is genius. He was born a decade after the 1960s but was heavily influenced by the counter-culture of the times and questioning everything him. He combines psychedelic imagery with '90s post industrial iconography in most of his works. Most, if not all, of his works are hand-drawn and then hand-silk screened. There are just some things that can't be mimicked digitally.
One of the most powerful things about his illustrations are the fact that they really hit hard with the message they are trying to get out. Just look at these two illustrations. They are titled "Don't Vote" and "Don't Vote 2." They are morbid and portray the grim reaper speaking to a crowd of mindless voters all wearing the same clothes with a grey American flag waving behind him. That's pretty powerful imagery. What's great about these illustrations is that the type isn't necessarily the most informative part. The picture tells the story and that's what makes a good illustration. The color choices, the dark lines, and just the overall dark imagery says it all. Notice the money symbols on the back of his skull as well as on the podium.

To see some more of his posters go here---http://www.emek.net/posters/main.html


  1. i love to see this kind of work being implemented into album art and the music industry. that is a direction i hope to head and it's helpful to see successful artist executing it now. nice post!

  2. I like this piece, and not because of the context of it but the precision and detail of the illustration. I also can appreciate this because of the color palette. It looks like he limits the use of color to 2 colors, not counting black and makes a very good use of it. I sometimes struggle with this in my own design/art projects. It is sometimes hard to use a limited color palette like that to your advantage. Nice piece