This week we talk to Cynthia Connolly about her early punk days in LA and Washington DC, publishing books, photography, working with Maximum Rock ‘n Roll, meeting the Mackaye family, growing up with a single mom, and continuing to create rad things.
Cynthia Connolly is an American photographer, curator, graphic designer, and artist. She graduated from Corcoran College of Art and Designand worked for Dischord Records and d.c. space. In 1988 she published Banned in DC: Photos and Anecdotes From the DC Punk Underground (79–85) through her small press Sun Dog Propaganda.
One of Cynthia Connolly’s most well known works, ironically, is one of her first works of commercial art. It is the image drawn for the band Minor Threat, in 1983, when she was 19 years old, for the 12″ LP entitled, “Out of Step” on Dischord Records. This drawing, showing a black sheep with his eyes wide open, drawn in crayon, leaping away from a group of white sheep rendered in watercolor is used, particularly the black sheep, as tattoo art for many around the world and represents an entire movement and idea from a generation of people who find the band Minor Threat and that entire hardcore (music) movement influential in their lives. Many of the artists in the “Beautiful Losers’ exhibit were influenced by the work and music, and the record album was exhibited in this show.
Cynthia Connolly continues to exhibit her photography, create ephemeral objects using her letterpress and photographs, and is Special Projects Curator for Arlington County, Virginia.