OSAYCANYOUSEE is a new solo exhibition by Nolen Strals and Bruce Willen of Post Typography, featuring prints and objects inspired by the War of 1812
. Though lesser-known today, this first truly American war shaped our national identity and set the tone for the country’s westward expansion and the development of the American psyche over the next two centuries.
The artwork in the exhibition touches on themes of baseball, capitalism, and violence with visual wit, dark humor, and a potent graphic aesthetic, deftly drawing from iconic imagery of pop culture, patriotism, and American history. Each piece in the show takes its title from lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner”—appropriately referencing the song penned two hundred years ago in the Baltimore harbor. The work ranges from austere, graphic images to intense, illustrative work inspired by pop psychedelia. True to form, Post Typography layers each piece with innuendo and symbolism, inviting the viewer to look more closely.
Commissioned by Art in the Age, all of the editions in OSAYCANYOUSEE were hand-printed in Baltimore. Post Typography produced the serigraphs with printers Kim Bentley and Kyle Van Horn at their artist-run printing space, Baltimore Print Studios
, located next door to The Windup Space’s gallery. A set of four letterpress prints—which reconceive The Star-Spangled Banner
in fields of abstract typography (with a special nod to the Baltimore Orioles)—were printed by Post Typography with Mary Mashburn
of the Globe Poster Collection
using the same antique wood type used for decades by Globe to print their legendary concert posters.