Chuck Sperry has honed the craft of designing and hand screen printing for over 15 years to become recognized throughout the world as one of the foremost rock poster artists. Elevating the craft to fine art, Sperry creates socio-political artwork beyond rock. He adheres to the ideal that beauty strengthens his message. Sperry works in San Francisco, but exhibits internationally from Bristol to Belgrade. He has been featured in documentaries for film and television in the US, Europe and Australia.
Varnish Interview with Chuck Sperry - May 2012
Chuck Sperry artist talk during de Young Museum, Masters of Venice VIP event Feb 1, '12
Chuck Sperry lives in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, where he’s made his particular style of rock poster designs for over 15 years. He operates Hangar 18, a silkscreen print studio, located in Oakland.
Sperry works in San Francisco, but exhibits internationally from Athens to Argentina, Bristol to Belgrade (visited Belgrade at the invitation of The Cultural Minster of Serbia).
By conducting workshops and lectures all over the planet, Sperry’s tutelage has inspired a new generation of rock poster and silkscreen artists worldwide.
His artwork has been exhibited at leading San Francisco art institutions including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; his prints have been archived by the Achenbach Graphics Arts Council, The Oakland Museum of California, San Francisco Public Library (Main Branch), the United States Library of Congress, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
He has brought his rock artistry to projects for Goldenvoice, Live Nation, Virgin Megastore, Guitar Center, Random House, Harper Collins, Harvard University Press, Nylon, and Wired.
Released in early 2009, the documentary film “American Artifact” prominently features Chuck Sperry. He has been featured in documentaries for film and television in the US, Europe and Australia.
One can find his art featured in many books, most notably The Art of Modern Rock, Peace Signs, The Anti-War Movement Illustrated, and Street Art San Francisco: Mission Muralismo.
NBC News Feature on Chuck Sperry:
Arte France 2006 interview with Chuck Sperry:
1980-84 University of Missouri, School of Journalism (Dual Major: Art and Journalism)
2012-present Owner Hangar 18 Print Studio San Francisco, CA
2011-present Dean-School of Art Free University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
2008-present Art Director Firehouse/Goldenvoice Poster Series San Francisco, CA
1997-2012 Co-Owner Firehouse Kustom Rockart Co. San Francisco CA
1995-1996 Poster Artist/Printer Psychic Sparkplug San Francisco CA
1994-Present Poster Artist The Fillmore & Bill Graham Presents San Francisco CA
1991-1995 Art Editor Filth Weekly Weird News San Francisco, CA
1991 Curator WW3 Illustrated: Retrospective San Francisco, CA
1989-Present Contributor World War 3 Illustrated (WW3) New York, NY
1985-1988 Co-Editor World War 3 Illustrated (WW3) New York, NY
1984 Political Cartoonist Columbia Daily Tribune Columbia, MO
1980-1984 Political Cartoonist “the maneater”, Columbia Missourian Columbia, MO
Mind Spring, group show with Chuck Sperry, Chris Shaw and Ron Donovan, Varnish Fine Art Gallery, San Francisco, January 14 to February 18.
Masters of Venice, Patrons Party, discussion of “Mind Spring” by Chuck Sperry, Varnish Fine Art Gallery, San Francisco, February 1.
Dead Rockstars, group show, Blunt Graffix, Eugene, Oregon, February 2 to February 24.
The Free University School of Art, “Occupy Art, Five Week Seminar with Jon-Paul Bail and Chuck Sperry,” February 5 to March 4.
The Roots, group show, Firehouse, Chris Hopewell, Chase Marshall, Jorge Gamboa The Original Firehouse 1648 Pacific Avenue, San Francisco, March 8.
It’s Only Rock & Roll, Chuck Sperry & Chris Hopewell, Mr. Musichead, Los Angeles, March 10.
Flatstock 33, SXSW, Austin, Texas, March 14-17.
The Art of Moonalice, group show, Wes Wilson, Stanley Mouse, David Singer, Brooklyn Bowl, New York, New York, April 8.
The Class of ’72, group show, Jeff Wood, Glenn Barr, Jermaine Rogers, Justin Hampton, Alan Forbes, The Flood Gallery, London, May 3.
ArtPadSF, group show, Varnish Fine Art Gallery, with Jennybird Alcantara, Mike Davis, Jessica Joslin, Chris Mars, Ransom & Mitchell, Isabel Samaras, Phoenix Hotel, SF, May 17-20.
Occupy Bay Area, group show, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, July 7 – October 14.
Varnish Fine Artists Benefit Visual Aid, group show, Varnish Fine Art Gallery, San Francisco, August 16 to August 18.
TRPS Rock Art By The Bay 2012, group show, The Cannery, San Francisco, August 18.
Required Reading, group show, Gallery 1988, Melrose, Los Angeles, April 15.
Make Tacos Not War, group show, Wildcat Loft, Napa, May 6.
Firehouse & Les Editions Pénibles, Sésame, Paris, June 6 to July 10.
SFMOMA Artists Gallery Windows, San Francisco, June 11 to January, 12, 2012.
I Poster Dimenticati di Chuck Sperry, Centro Sociale Leoncavallo, Milan, July 30.
LA vs. WAR, The Vortex, Los Angeles, September 9 to September 11.
Varnish Relaunch (Part 1), Varnish Fine Art Gallery, San Francisco, September 24 to November 5.
High Volume: Rock Art From The Chuck Sperry Archive and Firehouse Goldenvoice Poster Series, San Francisco Public Library, Main Branch, October 7 to January 6, 2012.
TRPS Festival of Rock Posters 2011, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, October 8.
Chuck Sperry Rock Art, Sésame, Paris, October 13.
Chuck Sperry Rock Art, Salon Claire du Preville, Marseille, October 16.
High Volume, reception and presentation of “Chuck Sperry Archive”, San Francisco Public Library, Main Branch, October 20.
The Art of Moonalice, Fairfax Pavilion, November 4 and 5.
SCOPE Miami Art Fair 2011, Varnish Fine Art Gallery, Miami, November 29 to December 4.
30 Years of the Art of World War 3 Illustrated: America’s Longest Running Political Comic Book,
The Sanctuary of Independent Media, Troy, NY, February 22 – June 26.
Spring Forward, with Jacknife, Artrock, San Francisco, March 11-12.
Flatstock 24, SXSW, Austin, March 17-19.
The Decade With No Name, Jack London Square, Oakland, August 6 to September 12.
Hangar 18 Poster Show & BBQ, Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco, August 22.
Faya Gallery with Chuck Sperry, Chris Shaw & Peter LeCompte, New York, NY, September 8.
TRPS Festival of Rock Posters 2010, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, October 10.
Bad Dads, A Tribute to the Films of Wes Anderson, LoPo Gallery, San Francisco, October 30 to November 20.
The Bridge Is Over, LoPo Gallery, San Francisco, November 27 to December 18.
Graphic Radicals: 30 Years of World War 3 Illustrated, Exit Art, New York, NY, December 7 to February 7.
Signs of Change, Varnish Fine Art, San Francisco, January 16 – February 13.
Eyesore Anniversary, 540 Club, San Francisco, March.
Wordless Worlds: World War 3 Illustrated, Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, New York, April 30.
Stop The Armed Forces: Exhibition Against Police Brutality, Los Angeles, May 15 – 16.
Rock The Streets: The Rise of American Rock Poster Art, Ogilvy Advertising Agency, San Francisco, June 4 – February 26, 2010.
Eminent Domain Awareness, Varnish Fine Art, San Francisco, June 5.
Lucky 13 Art Show, Lucky 13, Alameda, July 17.
Best of The East Bay, Oakland Museum of California, August 7.
TRPS Festival of Posters 2009, Hall of Flowers, San Francisco, October 10.
Dark Nouveau, with Malleus and Alan Forbes, Artrock, San Francisco, October 10.
Dark Nouveau, with Malleus, Dave Hunter, and Alan Forbes, Varnish Fine Art, San Francisco, October 23 – 24.
Mission Muralismo, de Young Museum, San Francisco, November 6.
Art of Musical Maintenance VI, Goodfoot, Portland, December 3 – January 25, 2010.
Art of Musical Maintenance V, Goodfoot, Portland, December 4 – January 26. 2009. 2007
Flatstock 12, Austin, TX, March 16 – 18.
British Rock Artists Group Workshop, San Francisco, August 24 – September 2.
Flatstock 10, Seattle, September
Babel Festival, with Jeff Smith creator of Bone, Athens, October 12 – 15.
Coffix Café, Thessaloniki, October 17.
Viva Dolor, Lyon, October 19 – 21
Flatstock 4, Austin, March 19 – 20.
Flatstock 2, SXSW, Austin, March 14 – 15.
Sci-Fi Western, 111 Minna Street Gallery, San Francisco, January 23 – March 29.
Top Fuel, with Chris Shaw, Dirty Donny, and Lucky Mule, Lo-Fi Customs Gallery, San Francisco, July 5 – August 15.
Eyesore & Lowlife Paradise Book Release, with Glen Barr, Varnish Fine Art, San Francisco, September 13.
Happening Internationale Underground 8, Centro Sociale Leoncavallo, Milan, May.
Meat Fest, Chris Shaw Studio, Oakland, July.
Porca Madonna 2, Chris Shaw Studio, Oakland, August 26.
Knight of the Wrong Table, with Alan Forbes, Lucky 13, San Francisco, August.
Flatstock 1, Cellspace, San Francisco, September.
Cover The Earth, Flatstock Party, Balazo Gallery, San Francisco, September.
Flatstock Closing Party, Thee Parkside, San Francisco, September.
Vino Is Keeno, Hotel Biron, San Francisco, October.
All Quiet on the Western Front, with Winston Smith, Chase Marshall, Alan Forbes, and Frank Kozik, Max Fish New York, April.
The San Francisco Pop Art Poster Show, with Chris Shaw and Winston Smith, Usine, Geneva, April.
Happening Internationale Underground 7, Centro Sociale Leoncavallo, Milan, May.
Bikini Biker Festival, with Chris Shaw, Café Degli Artisti, Cessinanatico, June.
Eyesore Yugoslavia, with Chris Shaw, Apollo Theater, Pancevo, June.
Z Bar, Berlin, June.
Razzle Dazzle, Berlin, June.
Meat Fest, Chris Shaw Studio, Oakland, July.
Porca Madonna, Chris Shaw Studio, Oakland, August.
Happening Internationale Underground 6, Centro Sociale Leoncavallo, Milan, May.
Firehouse Spacedocks with La Station Obitale, La Station Orbitale, Geneva, June.
XPO, with Chris Shaw, Milan, June.
Hazmat, Crocodile, Seattle, April.
San Francisco Rock Poster Revival, Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, October.
Chrome, Grober Unfug, Berlin, November.
Bellevue Punx Show, Usine, Geneva, November.
ComicCon, San Diego, August.
Visual Feast, Spectrum Gallery, San Francisco.
The Devil Made Me Do It, Transmission Theatre, San Francisco.
Stalker.com, MNO Gallery, Los Angeles, February.
No Love, Balazo Gallery, San Francisco, February.
First Strike, Balazo Gallery, San Francisco, May.
Warriors Come Out and Play, Noiseville Gallery, New York, August.
Eyesore, Max Fish, New York, October.
Comtemporary Mexican and American Poster Artists, Panaderia, Mexico City, November.
Temporary Insanity 2, Off The Wall, San Francisco, June.
Temporary Insanity, Off The Wall, San Francisco, June.
Cyber Spider, Artrock, San Francisco, June.
Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Opening, Powerhouse, Cleveland, September.
Two Rad Dudes With Big Dental Instruments, Off The Wall, San Francisco, September.
Rock Art Expo, Hall of Flowers, San Francisco, October.
Ignition, Nitebreak, San Francisco, December.
2009 Book Cover: “Beautiful Children” by Charles Bock (Random House)
2009 Book Cover: “Lipstick Traces” 20th Anniv. Ed. by Greil Marcus (Harvard University Press)
2008 Book Cover: “Get Up” by Bucky Sinister (Conari)
2008- Present Goldenvoice Poster Series: The Warfield Theatre, The Regency Theatre
2006-Present Eric Clapton concert posters
2006 Book Cover: “Redemption Song: The Definitive Biograohy of Joe Strummer” by Chris Salewicz (Harper Collins)
Harvard University Press
The Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington DC
California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco CA
San Francisco Public Library Archives: San Francisco Art, Music and Recreation Archive, San Francisco CA
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland OH
SELECTED PRESS (Media)
2011, Oct. 07 Marks, Ben “Where Hard Rock Meets Pop Art” New York Times
2011, May 09 Majerol, Veronica “The Art of Dissent” New York Times Upfront
2011, Feb. 19 Harmanci, Reyhan “At the Free University, in a Store Basement, the Tuition Price is Right” New York Times
2010, Sept. 17 Harman, Ken “On the Road with Chuck Sperry and Chris Shaw”
2010, July/August Vecchiato, David “Firehouse” La Repubblica “XL”
2009 “American Artifact: The Rise of American Rock Poster Art” (DVD)
2008, Feb. 10 Holt, Karen “Engineering a Bestseller: The crafty marketing of ‘Beautiful Children’” New York Post
2006, Oct. 31 Kolvos, Yiannis “Angered By The Sad State Of The World, Maverick Artist Fires Up His Potent Work” Herald Tribune
1991 NEA/NAAO Grant to organize a retrospective of “World War 3 Illustrated” magazine.
1996 Haas Foundation Grant: Collaboration on two murals with the Clarion Alley Mural Project which included Mission School artists Barry McGee, Rigo 23, Ruby Neri, Aaron Noble, Scott Williams and Susan Greene.
HONORS 2010 Invited to Belgrade by the Cultural Minister of Serbia
2003 "EYESORE: Recent Litter From The Firehouse Kustom Rockart Company” (Last Gasp)
2004 “The Art of Modern Rock: The Poster Explosion” (Chronicle Books)
2009 “Gig Posters Volume I: Rock Show Art of The 21st Century” (Quirk Books)
2009 “Street Art San Francisco: Mission Muralismo (Abrams)
2004 “Electric Frankenstein: High-Energy Punk Rock & Roll Poster Art” (Dark Horse)
2004 “Peace Signs: The Anti-War Movement Illustrated” (Edition Olms)
2004 “Tiki Art Now! A Volcanic Eruption of Art” (Last Gasp)
Chuck Sperry uses silkscreen to forge intricate textures and energetic color to create iconographic images that transform ephemeral events and experiences by creating a lexicon of shared cultural visual memory. In his piece Mind Spring, Sperry creates an icon of the Worldwide Occupy Movement and it's antecedent in the Arab Spring. The figure wreathed in blooming spring flowers is a representation of the surprising enlightened humanism, the opening mind, the broadened socio-political possibilities which has swept the world in 2011.
Fog_City_Journal_Arts_Review__Oc120727113330_.pdf SFBG_Sperry_Occupy_Interview_2012.pdf NewYorkPost_Chuck_Sperry.pdf
Birthplace: Dayton, OH
16 Jessie Street, #C120, San Francisco, CA 94105 (415)433-4400