Like all good stories, it began with punk rock.
Working on a nightclub door in the early ’80s, Frank Kozik began his career creating black and white posters for his friend’s bands. Before long these became large, colour-filled concert posters, and his eye-catching creations were recognised the world over.
Hailing the revival of rock concert art, he has created artwork for some of the best in the era of punk rock and grunge, including Pearl Jam, The White Stripes, The Ramones, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Nine Inch Nails, The Beastie Boys, Green Day, and Nirvana just to name a few.
His ‘graphically compelling and culturally gripping’ works would eventually see him recognised by Rolling Stone as one of the rock worlds best poster artists.
His rock posters are packed with this contradiction between images — sometimes bright, engaging, and aesthetically pleasing, and other times dark, standoffish, and piercing to the eye.
In 1992, Frank held his first solo exhibit in LA, with shows across the US as well as Sydney, Zurich and Tokyo. His posters were also featured at the opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, and in 1995, Last Gasp Publications also issued a collection of his most popular work, titled Man’s Ruin: The Posters and Art of Frank Kozik.
From the mid-’90s to the early 2000s Frank expanded his work into commercial design, commissioned by brands like Nike, Gatorade and Harley Davidson, and also managed his own record label- Man’s Ruin Records. Not only did the label release more than 200 singles and LP’s, but Man’s Ruin Records also released a record by the Sex Pistols and the first Queens of the Stone Age single.
When he closed the label in 2001 Kozik took his creative talents into the emerging vinyl art toy world and has since created more than 500 limited edition figures. He is the Chief Creative Officer at Kidrobot and strives to create designer toys that appeal to the masses.
“I’m just trying to design really good toys that can be manufactured. I want to appeal to the most amount of people that I can.”
The most recognisable of Kozik’s designer toys- the Smorkin’ Labbit (AKA the Smoking Rabbit) is one of his first releases on VeVe. Making its first appearance in some of his 90’s artworks, the Labbit has since been immortalised as one of the most successful vinyl art figures, with hundreds of designs, colours and collabs making them one of the most desirable and collectible items in the designer toy world.
Whilst all Labbits have the same curvy aesthetic and signature butthole, there have been hundreds of different versions of the Labbit created in vinyl, plush and printed on apparel. They vary with different facial expressions and colourways, and of course a few accessories like the oversized cigarette, the classic ‘stache and occasionally a full beard.
VeVe is incredibly excited to welcome Frank Kozik to the platform and will be releasing the first appearance of the Labbit series on July 1 in premium digital format.
If you don’t already, you can follow Frank on Twitter, and if you look in the right places might also catch him on the Clubhouse app chatting all things collectibles, vinyl art and designer toys.
VeVe brings the world of collectibles into the digital realm and right into the palm of your hand. Collect limited edition high-quality 2D and 3D artworks and sculptures of your favorite heroes, characters and icons, in premium digital format.