Thursday, May 16, 2013

Poster Art for the New Rock Stars of the Kitchen

After a recent write up on his posters for chefs in the New York Times Diner’s Journal led to an invitation to draw quirky murals on the walls of Lafayette Restaurant, Andrew Carmellini's new temple to French Cuisine in Manhattan, Silverlake-based artist Eric Junker has created a new category of culinary art that celebrates the distinct artistic vision of the chef and their restaurants. Since the idea was conceived, Junker has been cranking-out inspired, hand-printed limited-edition posters and murals for some of New York and Los Angeles� most respected and forward-thinking chefs. In addition to the Lafayette murals, Junker has also created posters for Suzanne Goin (AOC), David Lentz (Hungry Cat), Eric Greenspan (The Foundry), Corina Wiebel (Canale), and the Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, Southern California's premier culinary benefit for pediatric cancer.

Projects in the works include poster editions for Eric Park and Jonathan Kim’s Black Hogg, Daniel Shemtob (TLT), and the foodie fundraiser, Concern Foundation. Interest in Junker’s culinary posters recently took off after a New York Times Diner’s Journal article called chefs the new rock stars, and highlighted the connection between Junker’s graphics and the classic rock-inspired posters of The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Superchunk, and Soundgarden. (

Now referred to as “the artist that makes those rock-style posters for chefs and restaurants,” dining has proven a fertile breeding ground for Junker’s graphic work. “Eating out is one of my absolute favorite things to do,” says Junker. ��I have so much respect for what these chefs are doing, and this is a way for me to honor their craft. I think that the chefs appreciate that these posters are hand-made in very small editions; it’s a connection with their way of thinking and working.”

The editions are hand-printed in collaboration with master fine-art printer Tim Dickson, and the chefs are usually given about 30-40 signed and numbered posters. Junker creates the posters for chefs he admires. “It’s been about having fun and connecting with the chef and their culture. Making these posters combines my love of food and art, and puts me back in touch with a passion for making posters that I’ve had since I was a kid.” After his recent gig at Lafayette, Junker also admits that there are other fringe benefits to this pursuit, “Four days in Manhattan eating decadently, drinking great wine and drawing on the walls of Chef Carmellini’s epic new restaurant, was an amazing experience.”

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