Column: A serious poster-related problemI have something of a poster problem. I’ll admit, as problems go, this falls somewhere on the low end of the scale. It’s not a serious illness. It’s not a family tragedy. It’s not even as bad as being strapped into one of those Clockwork Orange machines and forced to watch reruns of Mike and Molly.
By: Nathan Hansen, The Farmington Independent
I have something of a poster problem.
I’ll admit, as problems go, this falls somewhere on the low end of the scale. It’s not a serious illness. It’s not a family tragedy. It’s not even as bad as being strapped into one of those Clockwork Orange machines and forced to watch reruns of Mike and Molly.
Well, not quite.
Still, it’s a lot of posters. And I’m not quite sure what to do with them.
This is not a new problem. It started maybe eight years ago, when I went through a bit of a concert-poster phase. I bought them at concerts. I bought so many on ebay I had to stop logging in for a while in the interest of preserving my bank account. I even bought a deck of cards decorated with concert posters.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Even high-end posters are still pretty cheap, as home decor goes. Put them in a decent frame and they can be a pretty nice addition to a room.
We’re talking art here, not some dorm-room bikini poster.
So, sure. Posters are great. Only, in all the time I’ve been buying them I’ve only ever gotten three of them framed. And even then, it’s only because they happened to be the right size for those frames you can buy cheap at Target.
That’s the problem with collecting posters. Very few come in standard frame sizes. I suspect the poster artists and the framers are in cahoots. Some kind of sneaky, screen-printing cabal.
I can see many of the rest of my concert-poster collection from where I sit at my desk, still rolled up in cardboard tubes or plastic bags. I know what many of them are, but I’m sure there are some I’ve forgotten altogether.
(Update: There totally were. The first two rolled-up things I picked up were a family tree I had forgotten about and a Gopher basketball poster featuring Travis Busch and Jamal Abu-Shamala. That poster is so old it has a picture of Tubby Smith from when nobody thought he should be fired. Actually, it appears I’ve got several. Do you want one?)
I don’t buy nearly as many concert posters anymore. My ebay obsession has mostly faded. But that doesn’t mean the problem is gone. It’s just shifted, mostly because of something called Artcrank, a bike-themed poster show that launched in 2007 in Minneapolis and has since spread to locations around the world. The idea is simple: A collection of artists makes limited-edition posters featuring bikes or other bike-related items. People come view them, then buy the ones they like.
I like bikes. I like posters. I never really had a chance.
I’ve been to Artcrank every year since it started. I’ve bought posters on most of those visits. Those posters aren’t in the collection near my desk. Apparently, somewhere in all this, I’ve come to believe bike posters and concert posters don’t mix. So the bike posters are all upstairs. Not a single one has been framed.
I’m not sure where all this leads. I could start getting posters framed, I suppose, but that could get expensive. At this point, I’m not sure I have enough wall space for them all.
I could stop buying posters, I guess. But, you know, then I couldn’t buy any more posters.
The problem might be worse than I realized.