Poster Art by Robert Burczy

May 2006

If you travel Hoboken by foot, you no doubt have seen those eyecatching posters on telephone poles and empty storefronts around town promoting local artist Robert Burczy. An art form of their own, these promotional posters have become a fixture of the local cityscape, which will be celebrated in an exhibit, Cascade/Proving his Mettle…The Poster Art of Robert Burczy, in the Museum’s Upper Gallery from May 7 through June 11. You are invited to the artist’s reception on Sunday, May 7, from 4 to 6 p.m. The artist will also give a talk on the last day of the exhibit at 4 p.m. Free to all.

A Hoboken resident since 1989, Robert Burczy grew up in the northwestern Pennsylvania town of Hazelton, but says he “became an artist in Hoboken.” He is self-taught, and greatly influenced by local artists he met here through the Hoboken Creative Alliance, an arts group that flourished in the 1990s.

Burczy cites a variety of influences, including fellow artist Paul Divone, who created brightly colored wood sculptures and affixed them to telephone poles throughout the city. Burczy also acknowledges the influence of the lively music culture that thrived in Hoboken, manifesting itself in flyers tacked onto any blank surface promoting a band’s gigs, as well as the omnipresent gate-sale posters often fringed with a ruffle of pull tabs to help passersby take note of the date and details. It was out of this ephemera tradition that the “Burczy’s” were born. He prides himself on creating his own “Burczy” posters for each exhibit, most of which use clever wordplay in the name, displayed in the bold “Interstate Highway” type face, along with the opening date and location.

The exhibition will display most of the “Burczy’s” created over the past 12 years, and will include documentation on how and where they could be seen then and how some have survived over time. The exhibition and lecture are supported by a grant from the Office of Hudson County Cultural Affairs and the New Jersey Council for the Arts.