The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) MuseumStore is pleased to feature a special product series designed by local artist Martin Venezky. Venezky kicks off the second series of artist-designed products with an array of items that highlight his intricate and surprising collage, typography, and illustration.
Products include tee shirts, tote bags, journals, mugs, and letterpress prints. The custom limited-edition Moleskine® notebook features an embossed metallic design by Venezky on the cover; acid-free paper; blank and tabbed pages; a San Francisco city map for tracing your itinerary; BART and Muni maps and station index; an expandable inner pocket; and an elastic closure. Also for sale are two limited-edition letterpress prints (100 of each) designed exclusively for SFMOMA, each numbered and signed by Venezky and printed in the Bay Area on 100 percent cotton paper with soy-based inks. The tote bag features a cotton canvas construction, contrast stitching, three internal pockets, and a printed liner, and highlights the artist's unique design style. Also available is It Is Beautiful...Then Gone, a monograph of Venezky's work.
A highlight of the product series is Diaspora, a limited-edition, two-deck set of playing cards designed by Venezky with text by Pulitzer Prize–winning author Michael Cunningham. The cards chart a unique moment of collaboration between the two, who had not met before beginning this project. The decks are housed in a handsome embossed-linen display box and feature the tale of a double movement: humans fleeing the city and animals taking over what remains.
Venezky's work has been collected and honored in magazines and books worldwide, and in 1997 he was listed among I.D. magazine's "ID40" list of influential designers. In 2001 SFMOMA honored the artist with an exhibition of his design work. Since 1997 Venezky has been the mastermind behind San Francisco–based Appetite Engineers, a small, internationally recognized design firm. His work explores intricacy and complexity, and his process allows projects to flow in and out of different media—drawing, collage, photography, sculpture.
Appetite Engineers has worked with such esteemed clients as the Sundance Film Festival, SFMOMA, Reebok, and publishers such as Harry Abrams, Simon & Schuster, Princeton Architectural Press, and Chronicle Books. Venezky was also art director of the late Speak, a magazine of popular culture, literature, music, and art. He received an MFA in design from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1993 and a BFA in visual studies from Dartmouth College. He currently teaches in the graduate and undergraduate design program at California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco.