• Artist Editions: Dale Dreiling X UO

    Designed exclusively for Urban Outfitters, Artist Editions is an ongoing series of limited edition graphic t-shirts created by a rotating roster of artists from around the globe. 

    Dale Dreiling is a painter, illustrator, sculptor, pin maker and graphic artist. His inspiration comes from Expressionism along with Pop, Funk and Punk Art movements. He’s an art director for Studio Number One and co-founder and creative director for Last Call Co., and works between Ventura and Los Angeles, CA. 
    Photos by Joe Perri 
    Words by Anthony Pappalardo

    What specifically spoke to you about the iconography of punk rock? 
    Honestly, I don’t know. It just spoke to me. It felt and looked important. I could give a longer, more philosophical reason as to why and how, but that would only be a heady rationalization. Really, it simply happened one day and I never questioned it or looked back. 

    What is it that attracted you to t-shirt design and why does the t-shirt endure while so many other things come and go in pop culture and fashion? 
    T-shirt graphics are the closest to being in or seeing a band that visual art can honestly come. Most visual art is something you observe and then reflect your thoughts onto. Music is something you experience. That you can put on a graphic t-shirt, merge it with your own self-image and take it wherever you want, that’s what I think is most powerful with the medium. 

    Favorite t-shirt designs of all time? 
    The Black Flag “Everything Went Black” shears. Such a simple illustration, but so honestly brutal at the same time. Nothing comes close. 

    Raymond Pettibon’s work is such an anomaly, yet it completely defines an era of punk—what is it about those shears and his illustrative style in general that’s so compelling to you? 
    Raymond Pettibon can’t be duplicated or outdone. Everyone who’s inspired by him can only either pay homage to him, or take inspiration from him as they set out to do their own thing. His draftsmanship is superb, but he never caters to it. One character might be stronger being just two or three brush strokes. For another, he might show you every wrinkle and drop of blood or sweat on someone’s face. Everything with him is intense. Everything with him is deep. He never dumbs down his work. He doesn’t make work for lazy people. When it comes to his text, this is especially true. His juxtaposition of text and imagery, get out of here. He makes you seek meaning. The more layers you can peel back, the more you’re rewarded. 

    What makes a t-shirt design work? 
    A perfect apparel graphic doesn’t try too hard or give too much away. It’s a gateway invitation to a new cultural experience for those who don’t know. For those who do know, it’s a wink and nod—it’s a secret handshake. Ideally, that design should elevate and expand upon whatever concept, aesthetic or scene it’s in conversation with in the first place. 

    Did anything in particular influence your designs for Artist Editions? 
    I don’t like to limit the meaning my work can have for people too much, but, two things I was thinking over while making these pieces were The Art of War by Sun Tzu and “Mongoloid” by Devo. 

    What do you think of the rise of the mash-up shirt and appropriated design in general? 
    I’m definitely into appropriation, but I think it’s always been a part of popular culture, folk art, and art history in general. It’s never not been there and everything comes from somewhere. Take something, add to it or turn it around, and let whatever comes from that experience become your new thing. 

    Jeremy Dean’s “TWOBF” work was and still is very inspiring to me. The way I see it is that he knows the history of what he’s working with and pushes it together and forward in a very sincere way. Greg Ginn LOVED the Dead. The Dead WERE punk. A lot of punk comes from Hippie/Freak culture and ideals. Punk isn’t how you look or sound, it’s how you think. 

    “Punk is whatever we made it to be” 
    - D. Boon (The Minutemen)

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