Informed by everything from art nouveau to ukiyo-e woodblock printing, from the full-throttle art of SoCal’s “kustom” car culture to the dynamism and self-assured lines of comics, Brian Ewing’s work fuses his own creative explorations of perspective, color and space with classic, beloved imagery from rebellious American youth culture: hot punk girls, totally rad skulls, and fields of color aflame. In this way, his work embraces a particular playful naïveté, which he then continues to champion even as his style refines itself and as his technique develops. Ewing reminds us we never have to give up the imagery that fired our imaginations as teenagers; his own success is a signifier for how dearly we hold our own trappings of rebellion, and how they can become a vehicle through which one can mature. With a roster of clients ranging from Metallica and the Warped Tour, to The Strokes and Death Cab For Cutie, and even The New Yorker and a number of advertising agencies, Ewing’s resume is a testament to what we love most about music, art, the allure of drama, lust, danger and darkness.
With his first monograph, “Don’t Hold Your Breath: The Art Of Brian Ewing,” which publisher Dark Horse allowed him to design himself, the reader can see the progression and maturation of his imagery, from power-packed and densely composed rock posters to the nuanced, deceptively simple and subversive works of more recent vintage. What’s next? Only Ewing knows, but no matter what, it will be unmistakably his.