Arts preview: Joey Knuckles: Grown up, but still a punk

Jim Fischer

Joey Knuckles makes art. And not just on people's bodies.

In fact, the High Street Tattoo owner started making all sorts of art before he started tattooing. As a teenager, he began making poster art for punk rock shows the way many poster artists get their start - for his own band first.

"I've been real involved in that music for a long time," Knuckles said. "I did posters in Columbus when I was younger but I never got paid for it. I started doing art for bigger shows around 2011 while I was living in Philly. It's cool to be able to be involved with my favorite bands."

Knuckles has also designed album covers, T-shirts, fliers and more for punk acts over the past 20 years. Along the way, he's also played with and tattooed most of those bands as well. (Yesterday's Youth is Knuckles' longtime hardcore punk outfit.)

But it's the rest of this work accumulated over 20 years or so that Knuckles wanted to share in "Growing up a punk: A lifetime of art, music and mayhem in American hardcore." Knuckles said it hit home how much work he had done - and for how long - the last time he moved.

"A lot of it is just amassed from a lifetime of doing it," he said of the art featured in his Vanderelli Room exhibition. "I do so much with tattoo art. This is something I do outside of that."

"Growing up a punk" will feature framed concert posters, about 20 T-shirts, a few album covers and a bunch of fliers. Knuckles said his work's DIY ethic not only represents punk culture but also his own lack of formal art training.

"Everything I know about art I learned from tattoos, the bottom of skateboards and comic books," Knuckles said. "My stuff has a folk-art feeling. I try not to think too much artistically, but just try to capture the essence of a band or a show. I don't live within any sort of box."

The July 9 event will include old-school punk spun by DJ Scott Niemet as well as a set from Yesterday's Youth.

The Vanderelli Room

7-11 p.m. Saturday,

July 9

218 McDowell St.,

Franklinton

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