Published Issue 120, December 2023

Mark reflects on his new work and how his inspiration from Beat-style stream-of-conscious expression evolved: 

“When I was a single digit-aged human back in the 1950s, I remember seeing human wreckage sprawled on the sidewalks of downtown Akron. My mom would hold my hand and try to hurry me past a mumbling, shouting man as I was entranced trying to decipher the meaning of what he was saying. I felt like he might know something the rest of us didn’t and he was trying to share it. 

“Because of my early-age eyesight impairments, I knew there were things happening all around us that vision kept us from seeing. Maybe there were things we weren’t hearing as well. Later on, I drew comparisons of these raw emotional forms of expression to the work of beats, free form jazz, and artists like Captain Beefheart, all of which heavily influenced DEVO’s curiosity in pushing the boundaries of what was considered normal.”

Inside Apotropaic Beatnik Graffiti by Mark Mothersbaugh. 

Released by Blank Industries, APOTROPAIC BEATNIK GRAFFITI features a bespoke black die cut hardcover book with embossed, spot varnished 3D eye relief plaque, debossed gold foil stamped lettering and gold gilded edge 115gsm matte art paper. A beauty for anyone’s coffee table or collection. 

The first round of signed copies has sold out but you can still pre-order a copy of APOTROPAIC BEATNIK GRAFFITI complete with a free flexi disc that will ship out January 2024.

See more of Mark’s work on his newly designed website and on Instagram.

Mark wearing a postcard under his Mothersbaugh Eyewear glasses from his new book, Apotropaic Beatnik Graffiti. Photo courtesy of Mark Mothersbaugh.


Deeply aware of the ability of precise, multi-faceted artistic expression to deliver vital social commentary, Mark Mothersbaugh has perpetually challenged and redefined musical and visual boundaries. He co-founded the influential rock group DEVO and parlayed his avant-garde musical background into a leading role in scoring for filmed and animated entertainment, interactive media and commercials.

Mark has scored 150 films, television shows, video games, and hundreds of commercials through his multimedia company, Mutato Muzika. He has had 165 visual and audio art shows, including his retrospective traveling museum exhibition Myopia. 

He has received a doctorate in Humane Letters at Kent State University, his alma mater.

Check out Mark’s November Postcard Diaries install, the companion art to Brian Polk’s Joining Cults, Drinking Too Much & Other Things To Do While You’re Bored, or head to our Explore section to see more by this talented creative.