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For the cinema in Istanbul, see Emek (movie theater).
Emek Golan holds his gig poster for "High On Fire" ©2006
Born Emek Golan
1970 March 27
Nationality American (United States)
Education California State University at Northridge
Known for Posters, Art, Flyers, Painting, Rock concerts
Notable work(s) Mirror Ball (Neil Young album), Water on the Road, New Amerykah
Movement Gig Posters, Movie Posters, Printmaking, Lowbrow art, Punk Rock, Political, Post Neo Explosionism Indie rock, Psychedelic art
Spouse(s) Ronni Kobrin
emek.net (gallery) emekstudios.com (store)

Emek x is a designer, illustrator and fine art painter. Famously penned “The Thinking Man’s Poster Artist” by punk- rock singer Henry Rollins while working on his album cover for A Rollins in the Wry, amongst other Rollins' album covers and gig poster commissions.[1] Emeks' art has appeared in films, galleries, and walls of fans and venues worldwide. His prints are often signed and numbered where the limited quantity of the edition increases the rarity of the product. Emek's work is highly sought after by collectors of his work, as well, as fans of the performer(s). Emek regularly attends the annual "Hall of Flowers" (poster show) in San Francisco, California hosted by TRPS (The Rock Poster Society).[2] The largest collection of Emek art and merchandise to browse and purchase is at The Peoples Art of Portland Gallery in Portland, Oregon’s Pioneer Square Mall. As resident artist, Emek releases new and rare works to the gallery with frequency.[3] New release gig posters, prints and merchandise are available for purchase through his online store at: https://www.emekstudios.com


Emek's style, known for its attention to detail and layers of meaning, infuses socio-political commentary into pop culture imagery. All of Emek's artwork is originally hand-drawn and then hand-silkscreened for each actual concert or event, usually in limited editions of around 300. In recent years Emeks’ file separations are digital, favoring the time saving method over the traditional hand- cut rubilith separations he would make to produce posters like The Black Crowes 2001 show at the Santa Barbara Bowl & Greek Theater.[4] Over the last decade, Emek's work has been shown in galleries across the United States, in Berlin, London and Tokyo.[5]

He has painted album covers for Neil Young and Pearl Jam as well as for many popular musicians and alternative bands, notably for singer/ songwriter Erykah Badu. Their creative partnership has developed several stunning works, like “New Amerykah” voted #12 of the Top 20 Album Covers of All Time.[6] In 2008 Emek completed the art and packaging for Erykah Badu's album, New Amerykah. In addition to a gig poster for Badus’ 2 February 2008 concert in Israel, he created album art for Honey (Erykah Badu song) also featured in her video for the song “Honey”. In similar fashion, the video for "Annihilation Blues"” by Moe (band) features Emeks’ artwork from the album cover “No Guts, No Glory” released 27 May 2014 by Sugar Hill Records.[7]

Emek's unique visual style has graced music posters on a diverse musical spectrum, from blues legend B.B. King to Queens of the Stone Age, Coachella Music & Arts Festival and most recently for astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. He was invited to exhibit at the opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum "History of Rock Posters" exhibition in Cleveland, Ohio. The museum cites Emek as an "internationally recognized poster artist" and has a collection of 37 Emek posters for various concerts and festivals from 2004–2012 in its "Library and Archives".[8]


Pen & ink WIP of PJ Harvey Poster
Eagles of Death Metal 2007; Printed on Denim

Emek’s first major cover appearance was for Cal Mag in 1996 (now out of circulation.) where the magazine introduced California to the artist with a three page article. Since, his art has appeared in several other magazines including Juxtapoz, Pollstar, Rolling Stone, Wired (magazine), and High Times.

During the September 17, 2014 program of Jimmy Kimmel Live! the talk show host introduced Emeks' album cover art for “Top of the World” by Slightly Stoopid to his audience. Emek was interviewed for the televised programs Oregon Public Broadcasting, Last Call with Carson Daly, and CNN. Similarly his gig posters were used as set decorations on the syndicated shows New Girl, Justified and That 70’s Show. Emek art also appears in scenes of blockbuster movies, such as, 22 Jump Street, Dude, Where’s My Car, Small Soldiers, and Get Shorty Part Two with John Travolta.

He has illustrated several movie posters for Spike and Mike's Festival of Animation. Also for The Hangover and Reservoir Dogs “Mr. Blonde” 10th Anniversary poster.

Emek Collected Works of Aaarght[edit]

In November 2010, Emek released his first book, a 300-page retrospective of his career as a rock poster artist. The eponymous volume (published by Gingko Press) features hundreds of full-color posters and a glow in the dark hard cover. Gingko Press released a secondary collector's edition of "Emek Collected Works of Aaarght" with a laser cut alien hard cover. A book signing at Mr. Music Head Gallery in Los Angeles attracted a crowd of hundreds that stretched around the block for hours. In an article on the book before the event, Shelley Leopold of LA Weekly wrote, "Emek helped usher back the popularity of rock poster art and perhaps reminded us of its cultural importance right on the heels of iTunes and the impending disappearance of 'the album cover.'" [9]

Career Beginnings[edit]

His first poster commission was in 1992 for a unity rally and concert after the Rodney King verdict on Martin Luther King Day in Los Angeles. The poster was part of a grassroots effort and benefit to acknowledge the acquittal of the Rodney King verdict, and also bring healing to the riots that followed. The image—a scratchboard visage of Martin Luther King Jr. rising above a concert crowd—was stapled to the city's burnt-out buildings.[10] It is speculated that no copies of this poster exist today.

Early on, he had difficulty getting record stores to sell leftover posters from a Pearl Jam show. The poster was only $12.50. Today, when the poster is auctioned on eBay, the same Pearl Jam poster sells for upwards of $1,500.[11] Similarly, a gig poster made for the band Phish December 8, 1995 concert at Cleveland State has sold for $2,500, a large sum for a living gig poster artist.[12]

Emek's poster-making career accelerated in the late 1990s with art for alternative rock acts from Europe and North America, including Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Queens of the Stone Age, Tool, and Marilyn Manson. Some earlier works were painted acrylic art on canvas from which limited edition litho posters were made. One such example is the 1998 litho for the Beastie Boys Portland Rose Garden (2 August) and Oakland Coliseum (13, 14 September 1998) shows.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Emek was born on a kibbutz in Israel to Lynda (Jikai) Golan and Yuval Golan. There was no TV in the home, just a radio and a well-equipped art studio. As a youth his family moved to the Los Angeles, California area, where Emek’s father worked as a muralist/ kinetic sculptor and caretaker, his mother a psychologist/ fine art painter, respectively.[14] After relocating to America, his brother Gan Golan The New York Times Best Seller list book writer/ illustrator The Adventures of Unemployed Man, Goodnight Bush and Yasmin a culinary artist/ illustrator were born. His parents remained active in political causes from social justice and the peace movements to environmentalism.[15] All together Emek was raised within a family of five artists. Emek continues familial traditions, marrying an art teacher/ sculptor and raising their children with similar artistic influence.[16]


Emek has cited Rick Griffin, R. Crumb as inspiration to his work.

"Great design and impeccable political sentiments, what more could you ask for on a poster?"

— R. Crumb on Emek's work[17]


Following the Tuesday, 12 January 2010 Haiti earthquake, Emek released a limited-edition, 7-color silkscreen print with hand-illustrated type that reads simply, “Haiti”. All profits, totaling $24,000, from the poster sale were donated to the Partners in Health for the Haiti Earthquake Relief on February 3, 2010.

Emek donated artwork and posters for the Saturday, 24 August 2013 “Third Annual Rock and Roll Carnival” benefiting Musack, a 501(c)3 charity that provides musical instruments, scholarships and cultural exchanges for children.[18] He also made a special limited-edition silkscreen poster for the The Rock Poster Society (TRPS). The poster raised $15,000 towards Artist Relief Trust. The art fund benefits working artists in need.


December 2007 Billboard named the top 25 rock posters of all time. Emek garnered three spots on the list #4 Coachella April 27–29, 2007 Empire Polo Field, Indio, California #19 Paul Simon October 7, 2006 Santa Barbara Bowl, Santa Barbara, California and #23 Ben Harper May 26–28, 2006 Sasquatch Music Festival, The Gorge Amphitheatre, George, Washington, the most nods to any single artist.[19]

Again, his work was widely celebrated February 7, when Emek's 2007 posters for the Coachella and 10,000 Lakes festivals won 1st and 3rd place, respectively, for the annual Pollstar poll of the years' best rock posters. It was the third year in a row that Emek swept the awards.

Pollstar Awards 2013: First, Radiohead at Santa Barbara Bowl. Submitted by Nederlander Concerts. 2011: First – Coachella Music and Arts Festival poster submitted by Goldenvoice. Second – Van Morrison Live at the Santa Barbara Bowl submitted by Nederlander. 2009: Second place – Sigur Ros at Red Rock Amphitheatre. 2008: First place – Coachella Music and Arts Festival for their submission of their festival poster. Third place – 10,000 Lakes Festival for the festival poster. 2007: First place – House of Blues Concerts for their submission of Ben Harper at the Sasquatch Music Festival. Third place – Nederlander Presents for Paul Simon at The Santa Barbara Bowl. 2006: First place was awarded to Nederlander Presents for their submission of Velvet Revolver at the Santa Barbara Bowl. House of Blues Concerts was awarded second place for it's submitted poster, The Pixies at Sasquatch! Music Festival. Nederlander Presents' The Mars Volta at The Greek Theatre poster took third place honors. Please note: In a first for the [Pollstar] Poster Contest [2005], all three award-winning posters were created by one designer – Emek, "The Thinking Man's Poster Artist." 2005: First place – and a full-page, four-color advertisement in Pollstar magazine – was awarded to Nederlander of California for their submission of The Pixies at the Santa Barbara Bowl. 2004: Third – Queens of the Stone Age was submitted by Nederlander Concerts [20]

Expresso Beans Awards: 2014: Art of the Week 09/03/14 Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden – Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon; 1st Coachella Indio; 1st QOTSA San Francisco Gan/ Emek. 2013: Show, for Pearl Jam Portland; 1st QOTSA Brooklyn; Show, for Pearl Jam Chicago. 2012: 1st Primus Orlando. 2011: 1st Widespread Panic Chicago. 2010: Show, for Pearl Jam Kansas City. 2007: 1st Coachella; 1st 10,000 Lakes Festival. 2006: 1st Pearl Jam Santa Barbara; 1st Paul Simon Santa Barbara; Grey Sky- Ben Harper Sasquatch!; 1st Nick Cave Manchester; Grey, for Tool Denver; OG Sketch – Gravetown, Nick Cave Manchester. 2005: Velvet Revolver Santa Barbara. 2004: 1st Pixies Santa Barbara. 2003: 1st Built to Spill Englewood Colorado; 1st Unnatural Resources 1 (The Wave); 1st Endangered Bees; 1st White Stripes. 1999: Poster, for NIN Berlin. 1996: 1st Pearl Jam Charlotte; 1st Rage Against the Machine Mesa Arizona. 1995: 1st Phish Cleveland.[21]


  1. ^ "Emek Poster's "R"". Emek Studios, Inc. Emek.net. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  2. ^ Gingko Press (2010). ""Foreword" by Frank Kozik". Emek Collected Works of Aaarght. First Edition. p. 22. 
  3. ^ Kristi Turnquist (27 September 2013), The Hot List, The Oregonian 
  4. ^ "Black Crowes + Oasis". Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  5. ^ Gingko Press (2010). Emek Collected Works of Aaarght. First Edition. p. 22. 
  6. ^ "Top 20 Album Covers of All Time". Virgin Media. 
  7. ^ "moe. – "Annihilation Blues" Lyric Video". YouTube. 
  8. ^ "Emek Posters". Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Library & Archives. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  9. ^ Shelley Leopold (3 December 2010), EMEK: An Interview with the Iconic '90s LA Music Poster Artist, Signing Tomorrow at Mr. Musichead, LA Weekly 
  10. ^ Gingko Press (2010). ""Emek Beginnings"". Emek Collected Works of Aaarght. First Edition. p. 24. 
  11. ^ more than $1,500 "Emek Pearl Jam". Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  12. ^ over $2,500 "Emek Phish Poster". Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  13. ^ "Beastie Boys "Alien Madonna"". Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  14. ^ Gingko Press (2010). ""Emek Beginnings"". Emek Collected Works of Aaarght. First Edition. pp. 24–25. 
  15. ^ Artist's Gig Posters Rock His Fans' World, The Oregonian, 27 November 2006 
  16. ^ "Family of Artists". Retrieved 3 October 2014. 
  17. ^ Emek Collected Works of Art. United States: Gingko Press Inc. 2006. 
  18. ^ "Carnival Tiger". Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  19. ^ "25 Best Rock Posters of All Time". Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  20. ^ "Pollstar Awards Archive". Retrieved 9 August 2014. 
  21. ^ "Award Winners". Espresso Beans. Retrieved 16 September 2014.