Comic books & graphic design inspires printmakers Joe Tallman & Alison Weust in Kortman Gallery “Flat Planet” exhibition opening February 2nd

Flat Planet Press is the combined studio practice of Rockford artists Joe Tallman and Alison Weust. “Flat Planet” is also the title of their exhibition opening Friday, February 2nd in the Kortman Gallery, Downtown Rockford. The title is derived from the two-dimensional nature of Tallman and Weust’s work, as both artists concentrate on hand-drawn, hand-printed works on paper.

Tallman & Weust have found inspiration for their contemporary/retro imagery from comic books, pulp era science fiction, hand-illustrated typography, and even music all with a graphic design sensibility.

Weust is a designer and printmaker who specializes in screen printing and photo lithography.

“I’ve always worked closely with bands and musicians and look to artists like Ray Pettibon,” says Weust. “I also love the the illustrator Daniel Clowes who uses a lot of bright colors in his work and taught me that you don’t always have to use black as your darkest value. I started replacing black with dark blues or reds and I found that it makes my work much more vibrant.”

Joe Tallman is an illustrator and screen printer who creates his art using a hybrid of traditional drawing and inking methods along with digital coloring techniques more commonly seen in modern illustration.

“I’ve always been intrigued by man’s relationship with technology in an ever-changing digital landscape,” says Tallman. “Sci-fi illustrators like Virgil Finlay blew my mind early on, along with comic book illustrators like Dan Clowes, Charles Burns and Adrian Tomine.”

According to Kortman Gallery director Doc Slafkosky the exhibit should be an entertaining and engaging art experience. “Both Joe and Alison have a great sense of visual imagery that’s very well executed, imaginative, colorful and, most of all, fun!”

“Flat Planet” featuring art works by Joe Tallman and Alison Weust opens First Friday, February 2nd from 5:30 to 9pm and will be on display through March 31st. Kortman Gallery is located upstairs at J. R. Kortman Center for Design, 107 North Main Street in Downtown Rockford. For more information call 815-968-0123.