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Faded, the gallery, an exhibition exploring the lineage of graphic t-shirts

Faded, the gallery
Faded, the gallery, at the WaterFire Arts Center

Faded, the gallery is a month-long exhibition exploring the lineage of graphic t-shirts from their earliest adaptations as a new medium for creative self expression in the 1930s to present day. On view in the WaterFire Arts Center gallery from Thursday, May 5 through Sunday, May 29, 2022. Opening night is Thursday, May 5, from 6-9 pm and Gallery Night Providence + TroopTop, a rooftop bar with neighborhood restaurant Troop PVD (third Thursday of the month), May 19, 5-9pm.

The exhibition showcases eight decades of explosive genre defining artwork while highlighting groundbreaking innovations in design and printing techniques. In addition to the historic survey of t-shirts, the exhibit will showcase the work and careers of three world renowned artists – Joey Mars, Joe Perez, and Sean Taggart, who’ve all played influential roles in shaping the medium and culture of t-shirt design over the past forty years and today.

The WaterFire Arts Center store + gallery hours are Wednesday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Thursday, 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. *

About the Exhibiting Artists

Sean Taggart
Sean Taggart

Sean Taggart

Sean Taggart began his career in the early 80s during a time when punk and hardcore solidified their stronghold in New York City. He has illustrated designs for influential artists of the genre such as Agnostic Front, Murphy’s Law, the Cromags and Napalm Death. One of his most recognizable illustrations was the character Frank Rizzo who appeared as the poster art for The Jerky Boys, a comedy act that became iconic through media and film. Sean’s art exhibit on the genre was featured in the 2006 documentary “American Hardcore” which delves deep into hardcore punk’s evolution and its rise of popularity in the 1980s. He is someone who still pushes the envelope and his subject matter is as relevant now as it was then.

seantaggart.com

Joey Mars
Joey Mars

Joey Mars

Joey Mars began his career in New England in the 1980s illustrating poster work for prolific rock bands including Lemonheads, Dinosaur Jr., Aerosmith, Grateful Dead, and Death Cab for Cutie. He is most recognizable globally for his work with Liquid Blue and for pioneering some of the most iconic print designs. Joey’s illustrations have been featured on subject matter that ranges from garments to his three story mural painting for the store Shop Therapy that is located in the center of the famed Commercial Street in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

joeymars.com

Joe Perez
Joe Perez

Joe Perez

Joe Perez has designed some of the most recognizable pieces of graphic art in modern culture today. He began his journey as a Providence native which led to taking a position for the creative company Donda. His resume speaks for itself, from working with artists like, Justin Beiber, Beyonce, Billie Eillish, and the Weeknd, to influential brands Adidas/Converse, Off-White, and Fear of God, to the White House of the United States. His influence in the digital world has changed the way we look at merchandising on a global scale.

joerperez.com

Digital Catalog of T-shirts

Collector and Faded organizer, Sam Kleiman, has curated this collection of eighty-five vintage t-shirts from several collectors nationally.

From 1930s to Y2K

The Flint Journal 1938 Soap Box Derby tee. Color flock graphics.
Collector: Brian Cohen, Vintage On Hollywood

1930s ‘All Star’ appliqué cotton tee.
Collector: Sam Kleiman, Faded

1940s Harvard Rowing tee.
Cotton tee with appliqué and satin embellishments.
Collector: Sam Kleiman, Faded

WWII era Camp Hale Colorado tee. Cotton tee flocked graphics.
Collector: Sam Kleiman, Faded

1940s Wolf Hollywood Beach with blonde girl tee.
Collector: Antonio Abrego, Dated Vintage

1950s school themed tee cut and sewn all over print.
Collector: Brian Cohen, Vintage On Hollywood

1956 Elvis Presley tee.
“Arguably one of the first mass produced music t-shirts ever made.”
Collector: Stephen Voland

1940s pinup boy tee.
Collector: Antonio Abrego, Dated Vintage

Early 50s blonde pinup fishing tee.
Collector: Antonio Abrego, Dated Vintage

Pinup girl Cape Vince, NY tee.
Collector: Antonio Abrego, Dated Vintage

1950s surfing couple tee.
Collector: Brian Cohen, Vintage On Hollywood

1950s Hawaiian luau picture.
Knit tee.
Collector: Brian Cohen, Vintage On Hollywood

1950s Deadstock with original sticker summer themed picture.
Knit tee.
Collector: Brian Cohen, Vintage On Hollywood

1950s Dick Tracy kids tee.
Collector: Sam Kleiman, Faded

1964 hot rod rat fink tee by Ed Roth with hand embellishments.
Collector: Antonio Abrego, Dated Vintage

1965 National Drags Indianapolis, IN tee by Roach.
Collector: Brian Cohen, Vintage On Hollywood

1969 Woodstock stage crew tee.
“Worn by stage crew during the concert. Each color had a different meaning.”
Collector: Stephen Voland

1969/1970 Fillmore West jersey.
“Jersey given to venue staff and bands/artists who preformed.”
Collector: Stephen Voland

1968/1969 Fillmore East jersey. “Jersey was given out to staff that worked at the Fillmore and also given to touring bands. The higher the number in the back the more ‘important’ they were.”
Collector: Stephen Voland

1972 Afro duck singlet.
“Designed by Tinker Hatfield, who later designed Air Jordan for Nike, the Afro ducks are believed to be the first representation of an NCAA division 1 school mascot as an African American. Worn by Dave Wieker.”
Collector: Gary Hashimoto

1977 1st edition team issued Athletics West singlet.
“Original 1977 singlet handmade by friend of the club Mary Decker for the first 30 members of the team. Athletics West (frequently abbreviated in results as AW) was an American running team formed in 1977 by Bill Bowerman, Phil Knight and Geoff Hollister. Extremely rare.”
Collector: Gary Hashimoto

1977 OTC tee with iconic graphic of a Nike pinwheel sunrise over mountains.
Collector: Gary Hashimoto

1974 Oregon tee.
“Multi-hued logo with OREGON in middle and partial OREGON logos radiating up and down.”
Collector: Gary Hashimoto

1973 Herbie Hancock tee. “Promotional only t-shirt distributed by Colombia Records.”
Collector: Stephen Voland

1973 Kelley Mouse Studios test print tee.
Collector: Brian Cohen, Vintage On Hollywood

1973 Bob Dylan tee.
“Unofficial Bootleg t-shirt by Our Front.”
Collector: Stephen Voland

1970s Better Living Thru Chemistry cocaine tee.
Collector: Sam Kleiman, Faded

1970s Patti Smith bootleg tee.
Collector: Richard Colligan, Metropolis Vintage NYC

1970s New York Dolls deadstock tee.
Collector: Sam Kleiman, Faded

70s/80s The Slits tee by Fifth Column, London.
Collector: Sam Kleiman, Faded

1976 Modzart ‘Face no.1’ tee by John Dove and Molly White of Kitsch-22, London.
Collector: Sam Kleiman, Faded

1970s Sex Pistols tee. Vivienne Westwood Malcolm McLaren Personal Collection tag.
Collector: Richard Colligan, Metropolis Vintage NYC

1970s Seditionaries ‘Piss Marilyn’ t-shirt dress. For Soldiers Prostitutes Dykes + Punks label.
Collector: Sam Kleiman, Faded

1970s Seditionaries ‘Vive Le Rock’ tee. Vivienne Westwood Malcom McLaren Seditionaries, black label.
Collector: Kelly Cole, Kelly Cole USA

1970s Savage Skulls, 13 Div NYC street gang tee. Iron on flock lettering on front and iron on biker graphic on back.
Collector: Sam Kleiman, Faded

1970s Punk Magazine logo tee.
Collector: Richard Colligan, Metropolis Vintage, NYC

1970s Dead Boys tee by Arturo Vega.
Collector: Richard Colligan, Metropolis Vintage, NYC

1970s Ramones tee. The second Ramones t-shirt design.
Collector: Richard Colligan, Metropolis Vintage, NYC

1977 Ramones In The UK tee.
Collector: Sam Kleiman, Faded

1986 Cro-Mags Age Of Quarrel tee. The first Cro-Mags t-shirt design.
Gifted to Sean Taggart by Harley Flanagan of the Cro-Mags
Collector: Sean Taggart

1970s The Clash Take The 5th tee by Fifth Column, London.
Collector: Richard Colligan, Metropolis Vintage, NYC

1970s Cramps bootleg.
Collector: Richard Colligan, Metropolis Vintage, NYC

1970s Cramps bootleg.
Collector: Richard Colligan, Metropolis Vintage, NYC

1970s/80s Siouxsie Sioux tee from Artistique Et Sentimental, London.
Collector: Sam Kleiman, Faded

1981 Bow Wow Wow See Jungle! Jungle Boy tee. Creative Direction by Malcolm McLaren.
Collector: Sam Kleiman, Faded

1980 ‘WAR IS OVER! If You Want It – Happy Christmas from John & Yoko’ tee.
“Released by Yoko Ono the Christmas following the death of John Lennon.”
Collector: Sam Kleiman, Faded

1984 Black Flag My War tee with artwork by Raymond Pettibon.
Collector: Sam Kleiman, Faded

1984 Beat Street movie tee.
Collector: Sam Kleiman, Faded

1984 Hike Nike tri blend tee.
“The Hike Nike movement was the legacy of 70’s and 80’s hiking gear that led to the galvanization of the ACG Franchise which includes iconic models such as the Lava Dome, Air Approach, and Air Wildwood.”
Collector: Gary Hashimoto

1981 Miles Davis tee.
“Sold at Miles Davis concerts through 1981.”
Collector: Stephen Voland

1981 Stevie Wonder European tour. “Sold at concerts during Stevie’s 1981 European tour.”
Collector: Stephen Voland

1986 Santa Cruz Skateboards Rob Roskopp Designs ‘Face” tee.
Collector: Drew Heifetz, F As In Frank Vintage

1988 Santa Cruz Skateboards Jason Jessee ‘Sun God’ tee.
Collector: Drew Heifetz, F As In Frank Vintage

1987 Powell Peralta Steve Caballero ‘Dragon’ tee.
Collector: Drew Heifetz, F As In Frank Vintage

Late 1980s UK Acid House tee.
Collector: Sam Kleiman, Faded

back shown here
1993 Redd Kross Jimmy’s Fantasy tee. Printed by Tannis Root.
Collector: Sam Kleiman, Faded

1980s Don Rock ABCs Of Terror, U, U.S. Out Of My Uterus tee.
Collector: Matthew Karlin, Old Manse Vintage

1992 Sonic Youth with Sun Ra in Central Park Bomb Pop tee.
Printed by Tannis Root.
Collector: Sam Kleiman, Faded

front shown here
1990s Joey Mars’ Charlotte Hornets tee. Unreleased sample by Salem Sportswear.
Collector: Joey Mars

1991-92 Shepard Fairey ‘Andre The Giant’ tee. Signed 2019, Shepard Fairey.
Collector: Longston, Faded/Bad Taste

1990s early Peyote Mexican bootleg Venom tee.
“Peyotes ran from early to late 90s these being the early versions. They didn’t have a tag yet and were only using minimal colors. The venom is a personal favorite because one side is Todd McFarlane art and the other is from a great story arc spirts of venom which was a cross over comic with Ghost Rider.”
Collector: Joshua Martinez, Future Past, NYC

1994 Mad Lion bootleg tee.
Collector: Sam Kleiman, Faded

1994 Biggie Smalls Ready To Die/Big Poppa bootleg tee.
Collector: Sam Kleiman, Faded

1995 Wutang Clan GZA Shadowboxin’ bootleg tee.
Collector: Sam Kleiman, Faded

1993/94 Snoop Doggy Dogg Murder Was The Case/”Popcorn Snoop” bootleg tee.
Collector: Sam Kleiman, Faded

1994 Craig Mack Get Down/Flava In Ya Ear bootleg tee.
Collector: Sam Kleiman, Faded

Featured Four and ‘Highlights’ Selection

1960s Stanley Mouse Twigers airbrushed sweatshirt, signed “Mouse”.
Collector: Antonio Abrego, Dated Vintage

1990 Joey Mars airbrushed tee, signed “Joey Mars, ’90”.
Collector: Joey Mars

1980s Andy Warhol Factory hand-pulled screen print Mao tee, signed “Andy Warhol” in felt tipped pen.
Collector: Sam Kleiman, Faded

2000s hand painted Joey Ramone memorial tee by Shepard Fairey, signed “Obey”.
Collector: Richard Colligan, Metropolis Vintage, NYC

1942 University of Pennsylvania rowing team tee. Hand stenciled with paint.
Collector: Sam Kleiman, Faded

1978 Ramones Rock ‘N Roll High School ringer tee. Artwork by Arturo Vega.
Collector: Richard Colligan, Metropolis Vintage, NYC

1960s Rebel Corvair Rat Fink. Screen printed with airbrushed hand embellishments by Ed Roth.
Collector: Antonio Abrego, Dated Vintage

1970s ‘The Clash’ self titled album art tee.
Collector: Richard Colligan, Metropolis Vintage, NYC

1963 Beatles made by Nemco “Sold by the Beatles fan club during the 60s. Rare t-shirt version, more common to see this print on a pullover crew neck.”
Collector: Stephen Voland

1983 Iron Maiden trooper muscle tee “Sold on tour during the Piece of Mind tour. Also available via fan club and other merchandise dealers after the tour.”
Collector: Stephen Voland

1970s first design Cramps tee.
Collector: Richard Colligan, Metropolis Vintage, NYC

1980s-90s Cramps by Mosquitohead.
Collector: Richard Colligan, Metropolis Vintage, NYC

1980s-90s John Lennon by Mosquitohead.
Collector: Sam Kleiman, Faded

1987 Powell Peralta Bones Brigade The Search For Animal Chin, ‘Have You Seen Him’ tee. Rare blue colorway.
Collector: Drew Heifetz, F As In Frank Vintage

1986 Slayer Show No Mercy tee. “Made during the Reign in Blood era – Show No Mercy originally released 1983.”
Collector: Stephen Voland

Early 90s Shepard Fairey Obey Andre/Gene Simmons tee.
Collector: Richard Colligan, Metropolis Vintage, NYC

1980 Cascade Run Off Nike “Geisha” tee. Original Nike Pinwheel tag.
Collector: Sam Kleiman, Faded

1970s Lou Reed bootleg tee.
Collector: Richard Colligan, Metropolis Vintage, NYC

1972 I Heard The Grateful Dead At The Lyceum ’72 tee “Concert shirt for the legendary run of shows at Lyceum in London at the end of the 72 European tour. Made by Marshall Lester, flock printed (which has worn away from wearing).”
Collector: Stephen Voland

*The WaterFire Arts Center will be closed on Friday, May 20 for a private event.

About the author

+ posts by author

Over the last 10+ years, alongside some incredible co-workers and volunteers, I've worked to build the organization that WaterFire Providence is today. As Director of Creative Services, my team and I work on visual communications, graphic design, the visitor experience, merchandising as well as project management for programming at the WaterFire Arts Center. Being a part of the 'Rhode Island' experience for tens of thousands of people is incredible and I have an intense pride in place for both Downtown Providence and the Valley neighborhood.

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