35th Anniversary edition of the original record release, 1984-2019
Limited Edition of 500
Marbled Emerald Green Vinyl
The Offs First Record
Cover by: Jean-Michel Basquiat
A Brief History of the Work
A year after the release of “Beat Bop” (Rammellzee, K-Rob) in 1983, Basquiat was involved in another record cover, this time for seminal punk rock outfit The Offs.
Basquiat illustrated the work for the album cover for his friends, The Offs, a Punk/ Ska band originally from San Francisco. The band moved to New York and soon became a regular act at underground venues such as The Mudd Club and Max’s Kansas City, which were popular with artists in the East Village scene.
With the help of their friend Andy Warhol, the band was signed by San Francisco punk label, CD PRESENTS, and their first record was released in 1984. David Ferguson, President of CD PRESENTS, chose to reverse the original image done in blue and black oil stick, to white on black, keeping more in line with the punk sensibility of the times.
In Basquiat’s typical Neo-Expressionist, primitive, instructions-infused style, the artist repeats the band’s name three times in the composition, placing the album’s simple title at the bottom. Using images and symbols found throughout his work during the 1981-1983 period, in The Offs First Record, raw oil stick lines delineating the body extend to form a crown of thorns above the skull. This same imagery is also found in a cycle of totemic figures realized during this early period: perhaps emphasizing the band’s role as hero or martyr caught in the travails of the then shifting cultural landscape, as Basquiat too saw his career experiencing this same shifting landscape.
Venice Modern Art is pleased to exclusively present large format Limited Edition screen prints of the image illustrated by Jean-Michel Basquiat for The Offs First Record. Available in two sizes, editions of 85.
The San Fransisco Chronicle referred to Ferguson as the "godfather of the unorthodox", adding that Ferguson "...not only thinks outside the box — he crushes it, dances on top of it, reinvents it and calls it whatever he likes. He has spent his life making trouble." The East Bay Express wrote, "David Ferguson's life story reads like an encyclopedia of the underground."
In 2007, David Ferguson and CD PRESENTS were preparing a 1000 copy Limited Edition reissue for 2009 in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the original record released in 1984. Due to the financial crisis of 2008 which devastated many businesses, including CD PRESENTS, the release was cancelled and the records remained in storage.
For more information on David Ferguson, please click on the link below: