Jon Langford - Don't Be Afraid Octopus Print
10" x 10" print mounted on wood and hand finished by the artist.
Jon Langford's work in visual art and contemporary music have run in parallel since the Welsh-born artist moved from the north of England to Chicago in 1992. Originally the drummer for the punk band The Mekons, formed at Leeds University in 1977, Langford later took up the guitar as other band members left. Since the mid-1980s he has been one of the leaders in incorporating folk and country music into punk rock.
His love of American roots music, particularly the hardcore honky-tonk of Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, and George Jones, was apparent in his paintings from the start. As a music producer, Langford recorded critically acclaimed tributes to Johnny Cash and Bob Wills in the 1990s before embarking on The Executioner's Last Songs, a three-album exploration of the classic American murder ballad. Working with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and Hatch Show Print throughout the development of the exhibition Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City has only intensified the relationship between these two art forms in Langford’s recent work, which incorporates themes of time, place, and history.
"Summarizing Jon Langford’s contributions to punk rock and all of its permutations, as well as his career-long obsession with American roots music, is liable to overwhelm anyone."
— LA Times