From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"Unusual hair coloring and styles such as spikes, mohawks, dreadlocks, and other uncommon styles designed to look as far from 'normal' hairstyles as possible, are still associated with punk, although those styles were not popular at the time of punk rock's emergence in the 1970s."--Sholem Stein
The punk subculture, which centres on punk rock music, includes a diverse array of ideologies, fashions and forms of expression, including visual art, dance, literature and film. The subculture is largely characterized by anti-establishment views and the promotion of individual freedom. The punk subculture is centered on a loud, aggressive genre of rock music called punk rock. It is usually played by small bands consisting of a vocalist, one or two electric guitarists, an electric bassist and a drummer.
Although punks are frequently categorised as having left-wing or progressive views, punk politics cover the entire political spectrum. Punk-related ideologies are mostly concerned with individual freedom and anti-establishment views. Common punk viewpoints include anti-authoritarianism, a DIY ethic, non-conformity, direct action and not selling out.
There is a wide range of punk fashion, in terms of clothing, hairstyles, cosmetics, tattoos, jewellery and body modification. Early punk fashion adapted everyday objects for aesthetic effect, such as T-shirts, leather jackets (which are often decorated with painted band logos, pins and buttons, and metal studs or spikes), and footwear such as Converse sneakers, skate shoes, brothel creepers, or Dr. Martens boots. Hardcore punk fans adopted a dressed-down style of T-shirts, jeans, combat boots or sneakers and crewcut-style haircuts. Women in the hardcore scene typically wore army pants, band T-shirts, and hooded sweatshirts.
One of the biggest parts of punk was a creating explicitly outward identities of sexuality. Everything that was normally supposed to be hidden was brought to the front, both literally and figuratively.
Punk aesthetics determine the type of art punks enjoy, usually with underground, minimalistic, iconoclastic and satirical sensibilities. Punk artwork graces album covers, flyers for concerts, and punk zines. Punk has generated a considerable amount of poetry and prose. Punk has its own underground press in the form of punk zines, which feature news, gossip, cultural criticism, and interviews. Some zines take the form of perzines. Important punk zines include Maximum RocknRoll, Punk Planet, No Cure, Cometbus, Flipside,and Search & Destroy . Many punk-themed films have been made, as have punk rock music videos and punk-oriented skateboarding videos. Some punk films intercut stock footage with news clips and amateur videos of concerts.
Punks can come from any and all walks of life and economic classes. Compared to some alternative cultures, punk is much closer to being gender equalist in terms of its ideology.
- Punk fashion
- Punk rock
- List of subcultures
- History of subcultures in the 20th century
- List of punk bands
- Punk rock subgenres
- Art punk
- Timeline of punk rock