From the time he was a scribble-minded kid, Punchgut created provocative images, getting published in a national mainstream magazine, Seventeen, for the first time as a teenager. Finding any other career direction unimaginable, he’s worked exclusively in the field of art and design ever since. Art collectors around the world often find his contributions in The Art of Modern Rock, The Art of Electric Frankenstein, Rockin’ Down the Highway, and High Times, among a slew of other publications, magazines, and international art shows. He’s received mention in the Wall Street Journal and a Punchgut collaboration can be seen in the Walt Disney film, Sky High.
It is not uncommon for Punchgut to simultaneously have prints on display in a high-profile L.A. gallery, as well as a record-store bulletin board in nowhere, USA. Regardless of where they appear, his limited-edition, screen-printed “gigposters” routinely sell out. Collectors in the US, Europe, and South America commonly snatch up concert posters featuring Girl Talk, Melvins, The Killers, Audioslave, G Love & the Special Sauce, Damien Rice, and Kings of Leon, to name just a few.
Some of Punchgut’s most sought-after creations, however, are his evocative art prints, illustrating the small joys of prairie life. “Some New Town” gives a glimpse of the view from a midnight riverbank fishing trip. “Buckets of Rain” shares with the rest of the world the look of a sheet of rain advancing across a field in the Midwest.
It has been said that Punchgut is not a North Dakota artist. Rather, he is an international artist who happens to live in North Dakota. Inspiration for his work comes from stimuli as varied as firecracker packages, 80’s video games, and distorted photocopies. No imagery is safe from his artful eye. “Squish the Moon” shows the silhouette of his own small child with the glowing moon held between his thumb and forefinger. Godzilla, Jesus, and corndogs have all appeared in some of his well-known works.
If his inspiration is vast, so is his artistic style. From corporate logos to mixed-media found-object pieces, even an avid collector will be hard-pressed to identify his work in a line-up. Some might declare he is best known for his old-fashioned illustration skills with a #2 pencil, while newer works are created with spray paint over elaborately hand-cut stencils, often on ancient barn wood or rustic tin. The only similarity between any of his mediums is just the right amount of ambient creepiness to keep each piece sharp.
-by Jen Mastrud