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Doug Minkler (born 1940)
Get a Life, Get a Bike, 1993
silkscreen print
33 x 48.3 cm (13 x 19 in.)
Doug Minkler

For Doug Minkler, making posters "was not about money, making a living, nor beauty, it was for survival . . . a self-defense mechanism." Like many postermakers, Minkler's dissatisfaction with the world around him led him to look for ways to make changes. Though he was trained as a sculptor, he could not find an application for his work in that form that would affect people to the extent he wished. Minkler works on commissioned projects in cooperation with the client or sponsor. In many of his posters he encourages the viewer to take action. To make involvement easy, he usually includes a phone number on the poster itself.

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Biography of Doug Minkler

An active force in the San Francisco area, Doug Minkler has been making posters focused on a variety of social issues since the 1960s, when he was deeply involved with the Bay Area movement protesting American involvement in the Vietnam War. Since then, his posters have used an illustrative style—at times witty and playful, at times direct and brutally honest—to address a range of concerns, from promoting pacifism and education to protesting pollution, corporate misdeeds, and gender inequity. "My posters are a form of self-defense against the inequality, poverty, and violence we're forced to live under," he states. "The lies, the waste, the hate—these are my enemies."

In addition to his graphics work, Minkler is committed to innovative education in the Bay Area. "My motivation for teaching is the same as that of a union organizer. The more of us there are, organized and clear-thinking, the harder it is for us to be manipulated," he says.

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