Category: In Memoriam Page 1 of 2

Poster given to VO on his 60th birthday, with tributes from Warren Defever, Tanya Donelly, Simon Larbalestier & others. Design: Timothy O'Donnell

Vaughan Oliver, 1957-2019

Vaughan Oliver (4AD/v23)

Graphic design legend Vaughan Oliver (4AD/v23) passed away on December 29, 2019 at the age of 62.

Early on Sunday, December 29, Adrian Shaughnessy of Unit Editions announced, “My friend and design hero Vaughan Oliver died peacefully today, with his partner Lee by his side. Vaughan Oliver, 1957-2019.”

I had a moment of intense disbelief, followed by the ludicrous hope that it was a sick joke of some kind. As the news sank in, I still couldn’t believe it — intense, profane, puckish Vaughan, one of if not THE iconic designer of the 1990s (sorry, Carson, it ain’t you) — was gone far too soon.

Suicide flyer, 1972.

Alan Vega, 1938-2016

Few bands fused dream and nightmare as succinctly, brutally and, yes, elegantly as Suicide, the stripped-down synth duo widely considered pioneers of No Wave and punk. (The band used the term “punk music” to describe their sound on a flyer for a 1970 gig at OK Harris gallery; it marked the first known use of “punk” to describe a burgeoning creative movement.)

Alan Vega, the band’s singer, died peacefully in his sleep yesterday. He was 78.

1970 flyer for Suicide show at OK Harris Gallery, NYC.

Punk music by Suicide: Flyer or 1970 show at OK Harris Gallery. Via From the Archives.

#DavidBowieIs signage, Chicago (2015).

#DavidBowieIs (1947-2016)

It’s safe to say that we are all gutted by the untimely passing of David Bowie. Rather than write an obituary of some stripe (so many have been written, and so much more eloquently than I could ever do), I am posting my Bull Tongue Review #2 piece about Bowie’s many shape-shifts and refractions.

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