John Giorno | Through the Years

1991 – 2007
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    Giorno produced his first Poem Painting in 1989 and soon after, in 1991, began collaborating on Poem Prints with Durham Press, eventually completing thirty screenprint editions. Giorno's prints with Durham Press all feature the same format: excerpts from his poetry are adapted into bold screenprinted text that is permeated with humor, an acerbic wit, eroticism, and tenderness. The text is paired with strong color combinations to reflect Giorno's words - "We gave a party for the gods and the gods all came" from Poem Prints shimmers in metallic gold and silver, while the assertive Du Musst Brennen Um Zu Strahlen (you must burn to shine) is matched in severity through blocky letters and stark colors. The portfolio of eighteen prints , titled Welcoming the Flowers, is turned into a bouquet with its range of pastel and rich colors paired to evoke each flower it is representing. Characteristic of his work, Giorno combines poetry and art in a way that is direct and unabashed: JUST SAY NO TO FAMILY VALUES, the print screams in yellow and red almost as bold as its words. In his world, "Cherry Blossoms are Razor Blades," "Snow Dahlias Sharp as Cat Piss," and "Orchids are the Tongues That Lied." Like Giorno, these prints are frenetic, fearless, and full of humor.