A new web series on the MOCAtv YouTube Original Channel is bringing viewers the stories behind iconic pieces of punk rock art. The Art of Punk, created by filmmaker Bryan Ray Turcotte, is a three-part documentary series that explores the logos of three famous punk bands.
The first of three 20-minute docs has been released; it discusses Black Flag and shows how the band’s four-bar logo is part of its identity. The episode shine light on the band and its titular symbol via interviews with band members (including the always-eloquent Henry Rollins), artist Raymond Pettibon (brother of Black Flag founding member Greg Ginn and creator of the four-bar logo), and Flea, who was inspired by Black Flag as a youngster and is so punk that he gives his interview while sitting on the toilet.
Two more docs will arrive over the next couple of weeks, one on Dead Kennedys and another on Crass. “I wanted to explore how art and punk influence each other and always have,” said Turcotte. “Working at Slash Records for so many years, I was always inspired. The No. 1 goal, first with the book [Fucked Up + Photocopied, about punk art], then with films, was to give the medium its respect, as well as the individual artists, while at the same time trying to inspire a whole new crew of artists, musicians, photographers, writers. … Spreading the ‘If we can do it, then you can do it’ sort of message.”
Despite his intentions, Turcotte seems more infatuated with the music than the art. As one commenter noted, the actual Black Flag logo only appears for a few short seconds in the doc. Still, if you’re a punk fan (which, admittedly, I am not), The Art of Punk serves as an incredibly thorough exploration of some of your favorite bands.