Kevin Lyons

Your Mom’s In My Business Exhibition

May 10th - June 19th, 2007

Printed Ephemera and New Works
by Kevin Lyons

Opening Friday, May 9th, 6 – 10 pm,
Show runs May 10th – June 15th

HVW8 Art +Design Gallery
661 N. Spaulding Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Gallery open: Wed – Sat, 1- 5pm
Or by appointment:
323 655 4898

Kevin Lyons is a 1992 graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design where he received a degree in film. After working for Nickelodeon / MTV as an Associate Producer, he co-founded the NYC based design firm, stereo-type which for two years was responsible for much of the graphic look of the New York City underground Hip-Hop and Acid Jazz scene. This included the logo design for the long standing NYC based club, GIANT STEP. Stereo-type’s client list also included Soul Kitchen, 555 Soul and the LA-based, Brass Recordings. After receiving his masters degree from CalArts in 1998, Lyons has gone on to work for Nike, both in and out of house, was the former Art Director of Urban Outfitters on two separate occasions, and has been Art Director for filmmaker Spike Jonze’s Girl Skateboard Company. He was also the original US Art Director for TOKION Magazine and maintains long-standing freelance relationships with Nike, Jordan Brand, Adidas, Stussy and Stussy Japan, Beams Japan, HUF, Nieves Books, Stones Throw Records, Commonwealth Stacks, and long-time friend and collaborator NYC artist, SSUR.

A typographer, an Art Director, a designer, a teacher, and a father. In 2001, he was named as one of “The Top Forty Designers Under Thirty” by ID Magazine. His work has been published worldwide from Thrasher to The Face to Lowdown to Anthem and Refill. He has shown worldwide including solo shows in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Tokyo. He has written articles for the AIGA Journal, as well as addressing the AIGA on two occasions including once as a published recipient of its Fresh Dialogues Series. He has also held teaching assistant positions at both RISD and CalArts, and has been a visiting critic at the Yale Graduate School of Design. He was an Assistant Professor at the Pratt Institute teaching Typography from 2000 -2002. Most recently, Lyons was the Design Director of the legendary Stussy and then Creative Director for the alternative retail giant, Urban Outfitters from 2003 – 2007.

He is now the Design Director for New York City based Anomaly, a brand incubating, marketing juggernaut with plans on running the world. He also produces three clothing lines; one for 2K called Atlantis, We Free Kings, and the third under his personal namesake, NATURAL BORN. All are distributed globally. Currently, Lyons also maintains his own small experimental graphic project also under the namesake, Natural Born in Philadelphia , PA where he lives with his wife and two daughters drawing type and bumping Twin Hype.

please post this open letter as much as you can. new marketing approach from a new marketer.

I want to extend an invitation to you all to attend my opening at the HVW8 gallery on Spaulding in West hollywood here in LA on friday, May 9th. I also want to forewarn that in and of itself this is no literal art show. It is riddled with sketches, visual rants and pointless, aggressive dribble. it is unframed, unedited and purely self- indulgent. I am in all truth as you all know an Art Director/Creative Director, not an artist by any stretch, and I have never pretended to be as such and this show will fully reenforce this very reality. All of that having been said, even with lack of focus and in all seriousness a lack of actual work, it winds up ironically being the first show which i actually show any raw emotion. It is work that wound up personal and silly and not over thought. Recently I worked for a retail machine that kept me very busy methodically and very intentionally calculating exactly what “kids” want to see and purchase. I went through a fairly emotional roller coaster there which made me realize that I wanted to go in a very different direction. Along side this work, I was also experiencing total freedom in my personal freelance work and getting paid to simply be me. The less I thought and obsessed over the work the more people responded to it backwards George day. Now I am experiencing a very different ride in working for a pseudo ad agency trying to break out of the ad agency model. I commute for nearly 4 hours a day and in that time while riding bumpy trains, I find myself drawing for drawing’s sake. I put my laptop away and abandon fonts and grids and simply draw monsters, and ice creams and Stars of David riding skateboards. They are goofy, angry, and emotional. These are some of the treats that you will see at my show. Nothing fancy. Tape and tacks. wrinkled, non-archival, and devoid of color. Just sharing, warning, but not apologizing. I will carry all the art in a carry on bag on the plane and put it up in less than 24 hours. Please come out. One of my favorite dj’s will be there, Sureshot, an old reggae head who shares my love of early reggae soul seven inches.

nuff’said. sho’nuff. by any means necessary.


Kevin Lyons talks about designing t-shirts, collecting images, and not being a blogger while installing his May 2008 show at HVW8 Gallery in Los Angeles entitled ‘Your Mom’s in my Business.’
filmed by arkitip.