Eyegasm: The Art of Thai Movie Posters on Exhibit in Palm Springs, California

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Beautiful, rare and eye-popping movie posters from Thailand on exhibit January 6 - February 5, 2012, coinciding with the annual Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Exuberant, lurid, and coveted by film and graphic arts collectors, the dying art of hand-painted Thai movie posters is celebrated in a landmark pop culture exhibition, Eyegasm: The Art of Thai Movie Posters. Showing concurrently with the annual Palm Springs International Film Festival, the Swank Modern Design gallery has collected together some of the most beautiful, rare and eye-popping movie posters ever created.

Up to the end of the last century, Thai movie distributors chose to have their posters and billboards hand-painted by local artists rather than reproducing standard studio publicity materials.

"Thai illustrators used still photos as source materials," explains curator John Goss, photographer for the book, Very Thai: Everyday Popular Culture. "They arranged those disembodied characters and scenes into a seething galaxy of graphic invention that stand alone as works of art, independent of the quality of the actual films."

The posters are jam-packed with action, saturated with color and highlight often bizarre imagery designed to sell tickets for films ranging from international hits like Apocalypse Now, Tron and Dr. No, to home grown Asian ghost epics and Kung Fu action flicks.

"Being twice removed from the movies they depict," adds Goss, "Thai movie posters always look like they are trying to explode out of the frame and into your dreams."

The show features work by some of Thailand's master graphic artists, like Tongdee and Piak Poster, whose rainbow hues and dynamic visual compositions owe more to the world of comic art than they do to Hollywood publicity factories.

Film editor and collector, Mike Wright, lent prized pieces of his collection to the exhibition.

"Colorful, imaginative, and always in motion...nothing beats the lure of a Thai movie poster," Wright enthuses.

There will be a public reception on Saturday, January 7 from 6-8pm. Open viewings will be held from 1pm-5pm on Saturday, January 14, 21, 28 and Feb 4, 2012. The gallery is also open by appointment on other dates and times during the exhibition by calling 760-699-8992.

Swank Modern Design's studio/gallery specializes in mid-century, Asian and desert modern, vintage pop, space age, tiki, Hawaiiana, fine art, furnishings and decor.

Swank Modern Design is located at 1887 N Whitewater Club Drive, Palm Springs, adjacent to the historic El Rancho Vista Estates featuring classic mid-century modern homes designed by modernist architect Donald Wexler.

For exhibition details and images, visit Swank Modern Design online at http://www.SwankModernDesign.com, or email info(at)swankmoderndesign(dot)com for more information.

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