Ibiza Clubs Poster Art
They fly around on mopeds plastering every square inch of available wall-space with their promo-posters for Ibiza’s clubs and parties. Next week they’ll rip them down to be replaced with another line up desperately seeking attention amid the uber-competitive world that is the Ibiza Clubbing season.
Though some consider them an eyesore, their use is so prolific that they have become as much of the Ibiza view as a whitewashed house or drunken tourist. Chances are we’d all have been taking rather more interest in them had we known their potential future value. Ibiza’s old club posters are considered collectable art by their fans, and the best designs are worth considerable amounts of money
But before you run off down to the nearest poster wall with a bin bag and ideas of a comfortable retirement to come, it is important to understand that values, where there is a value at all, are still relatively modest.
An unsuccessful boat party in 2013 is unlikely to ever have a value beyond it’s lesson that the streets and seas of Ibiza are not paved with gold. But many people reading this will have walked by hundreds, thousands, of posters that are now fetching 25-50€ a piece.
Many in this price range are from the late nineties and very early noughties. Names such as Manumission, Cream and Renaissance are all sought after. How many of their posters could you have kept at 25€ each?
Next up in the poster pecking order are early Club posters, Amnesia, Privilege, Space and Pacha etc. Take care what you are buying as some of the iconic designs have been reproduced for decoration and it is only the originals that have a collector’s value.
At the top of the tree financially, in part due to it’s legendary status but also because the designs were often works by recognised artists, are the Posters of Ku.
For those unaware of Ibiza’s clubbing heritage Ku was the predecessor of Privilege and hosted such music luminaries as Grace Jones, Spandau Ballet, Divine, Freddie Mercury, Sigue Sigue Sputnik (they seem to have liked them a lot more here than in the UK) and the one and only James Brown. Read our article on the history of Ku here.
Their posters were designed by 3 main artists, Yves Uro, Jean Giraud and Nasel.
Yves Uro is the name most synonymous with Ku art. Yves was born in paris in 1954 and came to Ibiza in 1976, he wasted no time in immersing himself in the island’s hedonistic excess. Yves started designs for Ku in 1978 and over a 10 year relationship he designed some of the clubs most recognisable works – including the devine and baylonia posters on this page. As a true example of one who burnt bright but very quickly, Yves died aged just 40 years old. See more of Yves work in this gallery on Ibiza Best Years.
Interest is such that an exhibition of Vintage Ibiza club art was held in January 2014 at the London Museum of Contemporary Art. Read about the LCA exhibit here on thump here.
It is hard to place values on specific Ku posters as so few are available for sale—as with all posters the value depends on factors including condition, rarity, subject etc.
The facebook page Ku Ibiza Best Years posts many designs, and regardless of posters it is worth a visit for anybody interested in Clubbing history.
There is not one dominant go-to market place for Ibiza club posters that we know of. You will sometimes find them listed on ebay, sometimes specialist art auction sites such as Catawiki (where we obtained the values given of the posters on this page from their completed sales). Or who knows, you might be lucky like me and find a load of Ku discarded in the back of a souvenir shop in Figueretes. You just need to keep your ears and eyes open.
It would be a shame to focus entirely on their value, there are some great designs and I’ve framed up a few including a couple of Ku, Manumission etc from my own stashed collection. Some of them are in pretty ropey condition, but to my eye that ripped off the wall look, complete with tape on the corners, adds to their appeal as being of the moment.
Among my own favourites are ones that have very little commercial value, but huge personal relevance to me – a couple from El Divino are perfect examples. And perhaps that is the best way to approach a collection. There is no need to pay to get it going at all. Just start to get hold of a poster for the nights you go to and enjoy. They might not seem special now, but a few years down the line you’ll be very pleased to have them.