I was flipping through the latest issue of Juxtapoz and nearly laughed out loud when I came to their coverage of For the Kids, a recent Salon 94 exhibition of the infamous late-1980s sports posters of brothers John and Tock Costacos. To refresh your memory, the posters took various basketball, baseball and football stars of the day, dressed them up as street toughs, security guards, urban cowboys and superheroes and placed them against dramatic yet slightly low budget ‘sets.’ The images played off existing personas, like the classic version of Karl “The Mailman” Malone dressed up like a mailman, somewhat violently stuffing a basketball into a mailbox labeled The Boston’s. Others spun off the decades’s greatest pop culture hits – films like The Terminator and Mad Max…TV shows like LA Law and Miami Vice. They were kitschy, but they were unique. And they sold like hotcakes.
As a young girl I was obsessed with basketball and the New York Knicks. At age 10 I purchased and hung this poster directly over my headboard in the bedroom I shared with my sister.
My mom complained about having to stare down a 7-foot stranger as she bent in for a goodnight kiss. My sister rolled her eyes and hung a Degas print, or something equally sophisticated, over on her side of the room. But I was unfazed. Patrick Ewing was my guardian.
As an adult I can laugh and appreciate the campy ridiculousness of these posters, but as a tiny-limbed, extremely passionate Knicks fan, I thought mine was the coolest, most badass image ever created.
The Costacos retrospective closed on August 7th – SO bummed I missed a chance to see Patrick framed and hung in a place of honor again. Full-circle life moment, missed. Oh well.
For a great look at all the posters, Lob Shots posted up an amazing collection.
Below are another few personal favorites, most of which have been chosen for the ‘best use of most silly prop.’
John Elway as “The Rifleman.” The football holster! Amazing.
Eric Davis as “Magnum.” Giant gun with baseballs in the chamber instead of bullets? Check. Plus this one is pretty much the visual equivalent of a local network tv infomercial. So good.
I have no idea who these guys are but the shorts and the tagline are winners.
James Worthy in LA LAW. So serious, yet so silly. Love his ‘sexy assistant’ and the office mini hoop.