Tuesday, November 3, 2015

your turn #8

this famous alan aldridge poster for chelsea girls has its surreal twang

We talked about Surrealism (within the context of graphic design), WWI and WWII posters, and the star émigrés of the New York School: Binder, Beall, Matter Brodovitch, Agha (more to come). For better or worse, they changed the direction of modern graphic design. 


Anonymous said...

The “Chelsea Girls” poster for Andy Warhol’s 3 1/2 hours movie is very interesting because of all the bizarre representations of each vignette. Every vignette is a narrative of each person’s life, we can see two males kissing, weird collages of faces, body parts in compromising positions, an skeleton in uniform, and the person with the leg outside the window, which looks like it came out of the Nuremberg Chronicles (IE: “The one foot pigmy”). The poster is very surreal, bizarre and erotic. It represented the underground life of the 1960s portrayed by the people that lived at the Chelsea. It gives me the idea of living in the closet, a lot of emotions that perhaps were not accepted at the time and needed to come out. It was like the shock effect that society had with the underground life. The movie which the poster was created for was heavily criticized for its obscenity, split screening and the lack of editing and direction. Perhaps the vignettes are the connection between the poster and the movie. For me, the poster is very surrealist; it messes with your mind -You must understand it to like it- It was a poster created for a cult and its followers, to kind of stir things up.It is also intriguing to the point that makes you want to know more about it. It is very graphical with lines and curves. On another note, the vignettes on the poster also reminded me of the works of Duane Michals whose interest was also to take photos of people in their own environment. (IE: “Things are Queer”, 1971); perhaps he may have gotten the idea from the Chelsea Girls’ poster, or maybe that was the method being used at the time, and each artist added their own style.

If you would like to see Michals’ work here is the link: http://www.reframingphotography.com/content/duane-michals
The one foot pigmy: http://bit.ly/1NOP1S8
Walleska Lacayo

Anonymous said...

For this week’s post I decided to talk about Surrealism, one of my favorite art movements. I have always found it so interesting for being so psychologically based, especially for the influence of Sigmund Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams (1899). There’s always a story behind any surrealist artwork, and shocking aspects of the human mind to be revealed. As defined by Andre Breton "psychic automatism in its pure state, by which one proposes to express - verbally, by means of the written word, or in any other manner - the actual functioning of thought." I find today’s art quite surreal actually, and so when you showed us graffiti and “3d make-believe” art it felt so right. I see that today’s artists are delivering strong messages sometimes not easy to fathom, and the visuals that they are using look dreamlike and imaginative, yet still easy to grasp as important enough to contemplate and be taken seriously.

Alejandra Jimenez.

Katie Luddy said...

Surrealism furniture captured my attention the most in our lecture and I decided to do some research about some of the designers we spoke about. The designer that caught my attention was Salvador Dalí. Salvador Dalí used extensive symbolism in his work and is most famous for his painting The Persistence of Memory or most commonly known as the “melting watches.” In this painting he used his theory of “softness” and “hardness” which many believe is a suggestion of Einstein’s theory that time is relative and not fixed. In the middle of the composition is a strange human-like or strange “monster” figure. This figure was frequently used in other works by Dalí as a way to represent himself. Also, the orange clock at the bottom left of the composition is covered in ants, which Dalí used to symbolize decay.
Salvador Dalí designed many pieces of furniture; Mae West Lips Sofa, Leda Low Table and Leda Chair...
Dalí also created a variety of 39 pieces of jewelry; many of these pieces were intricate and contained moving parts. Each piece of jewelry is unique and uses a variety of materials, dimensions, and shapes (lips, hearts, eyes, etc.). His most famous piece was The Royal heart that is made of gold and is encrusted with 46 rubies, 42 diamonds, and four emeralds, created in such a way that the center "beats" much like a real heart.
Dalí himself commented that "Without an audience, without the presence of spectators, these jewels would not fulfill the function for which they came into being. The viewer, then, is the ultimate artist."

- Katie Luddy

Anonymous said...

I had always liked Surrealism in Fine Arts since I think the exploration of the unconscious mind is so weirdly funny. With artists like Salvador Dalí and Luis Brunel, this chapter of Modern Art has so many subjects to portray because everyone's mind is different. However, what really amazed me this Monday was the effects Surrealism had in furniture and interior design. Specially the chair and sofa designed by Lila Jang. The 18th Century, or Rococo, style serve as the base or of the furniture, while the use of only one color (normally they are white or black) is exceptionally modern. This conflation of styles that are so aesthetically different is actual along the principles of surrealism, which loves to challenge the status quo. Another point I began to think about is how although Surrealism was created in the being of the 20th Century, contemporary artists - like Lila Jang - are still making use of Surrealist visual language and distortion of reality. And so, I researched why Jang produces chairs and other furnitures in this style. In this website http://www.buymedesign.com/blog/lila-jang-surreal-18th-century-french-furniture/ Jang explains that she started making these furnitures when she moved to Paris and so she had to create furniture that would fit her cramped apartment. In the website above the author explains "Jang intended to create a furniture collection that would surpass our conception of normality, by inventing shapes that were awkward but still fully practical." No where the author suggests she was influenced by Surrealism, but for any art connoisseur the influence of such an epic movement. I guess Surrealism brought the tools for 20th century artists and beyond, and so some artists today do not realize the Surrealist effect on their art.

-Anne De Souza

Anonymous said...

The Chelsea Girls design by Alan Aldridge stood out to me the most. I love the boldness, complexity and the structure of the design. I did more research on it. It was the year of 1966 when the poster was created. I found that interesting considering how things were at that time. Like I mentioned last week, I took an intro to mass media class at my previous school. I remember us watching a TV aired Elvis performance. The cameras never showed any below his waist. He was known for his pelvic dance moves, but they were censored on TV. The Chelsea Girls design definitely wasn't appropriate during those times. When the poster was released, a warrant was issued for his Alan Aldridge's arrest for the accusation of pornography. I look at that poster now and think nothing negative about it. Graphic design certainly has been used to push buttons and to create a change. Back then, the line between appropriate and offensive was pretty straightforward. Today, that same line still exists, it's just a bit more blurred. If that poster were to be made today, would it still be offensive? Would it be considered pornography? It's always the artists that try to express themselves the most, that are the ones not really given the chance to.

Alicia Veasy

Becca Magrino said...

I really liked a lot of what we looked at on Monday. It was interesting to look at surrealist graphic design instead of just surrealist paintings which are normally what is thought of when the term comes to mind. Looking at different forms of surrealist art like furniture, photography, and interior design was very interesting. I particularly liked the different posters from WWII. Herbert Matter’s posters for the Container Corporation of America were very striking to me. I love how his style looks collage-like. Some elements look hand-drawn while others look like photos. I believe this was innovative for this time period. The transparency he uses with elements overlapping with others catches the viewers’ eye and leads them around to the important elements of the poster. He has a consistent use of red in all of his posters which really catches the eye and helped to create a look that is distinctly his.

Becca Magrino

Anonymous said...

What really stood out to me the most this week were the Joseph binder posters. Although I do not like his later abstract art works, his posters really pop and catch my attention. From a purely graphic standpoint, Binder's balance of space, and placement of text I find very appealing and pleasing to the eye. Personally though, my favorite parts of his posters has to be his use of bright colors to emphasize his attention to color contrasts and the psychological impact of colors. Also, when I look at art or when i work on something myself, I always see things in a more grid like, geometric way. Thus Binder's use of geometric shapes and a very structured composition really appeals to me. I also really like how Binder incorporates depth perception and a sort of 3D effect into his posters. I feel that this effect adds an interesting element to the posters, which tend to be very geometric, blocky and contain deep, rich colors.
-Alejandra Madrid

Willa Deeley said...

While Alexey Brodovitch was not specifically a Surrealist artist, he had the unique position of working with Surrealist artists as well as curating a space (in this case, Harper’s Bazaar) where design and Surrealism were presented to an American audience. During his time as art director at Harper’s Bazaar, Brodovitch not only featured the work of surreal artists like Salvador Dali, but he implied Surrealism throughout his own designs and his graphic alterations to the magazine. Brodovitch brought Surrealism to design by creating an ethereal space within the magazine by emphasizing white space and focusing on simplicity. This “simplistic white” design transformed a once catalogue-like fashion magazine to the first, true art book by creating “an illusion of elegance,” and depicting “signs of fashionable life” (AIGA.com). While Alan Aldridge was active in design after Brodovitch had already switched his focus to painting and fine art, he shared the idea of creating illusions and capturing essences that was a staple of Brodovitch while at Harper’s Bazaar. Aldridge’s Poster for Andy Warhol’s art-house, Chelsea Girls creatively captures the essence of the film, from interview location to pure eroticism (Tate.org.uk).

Anonymous said...

The piece I would like to discuss is Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí’s Un Chien Andalou. While I understand the innovation behind the film, it illustrates a personality flaw that I personally see numerous artists portray. While randomness and disorder for a purpose, however disguised it may seem to a lay person, can be used as a technique and have real value to it, I myself was unable to find it in the trailer we watched. It truly seemed to be a film that relied on shock value and disorientation with no real message or meaning behind it purely to be one of the first films of its kind. While art for the sake of art is an acceptable ideal to share, this film seemed to almost mock that mindset by doing something not just for the enjoyment but to basically create something that no one else had done just for the sake of being able to say you did it. It's an attitude that I personally believe undermines years of hard work others in that same field have devoted to the art form. Take abstract art for example. While I personally do not share a deep connection to abstraction, I can still see the intent and meaning behind various pieces and understand the importance and significance each piece can hold and the time an artist devoted to labor over each piece. This film took time and training to complete but it didn't seem to hold any greater meaning or message. Buñuel himself even made it clear throughout his writings that, between Dalí and himself, the only rule for the writing of the script was: "No idea or image that might lend itself to a rational explanation of any kind would be accepted." He also says that "Nothing, in the film, symbolizes anything. The only method of investigation of the symbols would be, perhaps, psychoanalysis."

Sam Richard

Sabrina Tomlinson said...

I really liked the discussion we have been recently having in class. Particularly, I enjoyed Dr. Mehemed Fehmy Agha's artistic direction at Vogue. I think I was particularly drawn to this because i have always taken a keen interest in high fashion, going as far as to collect Vogue's from around the world, and I have been collecting Vogue and Teen Vogue for more than four years now. It's interesting to see that now the design for vogue is so streamlined, the issues don't differ very much from month to month or even country to country. I loved Agha's more artistic approach to the cover because it feels more like I am viewing fashion as an art rather than a consumer good. I think it was important that he pushed the boundaries of cover design, because this magazine in particular, sets the standard for what is new and trendy, and I think these covers helped establish Vogue as a more avant-garde identity, something that to this day, sets it above the rest. His clean art deco meets constructivism style is still even a little reminiscent in the less artistic vogue cover designs of today which are above all clean, fresh, and simple. Simplicity with a twist never goes out of style, much like the often reinvented "little black dress." Agha knew this and capitalized on this fact, making a bold statement for Vogue and its influence for years to come.

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of Surrealist furniture simply because of its impracticality and randomness. The whole idea behind that style of furniture is an oxymoron to me. When you think of furniture you think functionality, comfort, and homey; but that’s not what you get with Surrealist furniture. Yet somehow, it still works. It is made for the comfort of the eye, not the body. It is about pleasing the unconscious senses, not your everyday ones. The work of Salvador Dali is particularly inspiring to me as it taps into the unconscious mind and brings forth repressed thoughts and feelings. I find it fascinating that he can transform inanimate objects into the human form, and that is how he is able to get the viewer to relate to his work. Carl Jung, a psychologist of the early 1900’s, said that all humans share a collective unconscious mind that represents our shared ancestral past. This theory explains how all humans are connected and can be reached through certain common images and symbols called archetypes. He said that the success to any story comes from tapping into the collective unconscious of the audience. I believe that that is what Salvador Dali does with his work, connecting his audience in a way that makes sense of the world and brings comfort to our repressed unconscious thoughts.

-Jamie Port

Anonymous said...

This week I am choosing to speak about Lester Beall. I had never heard of him until Monday’s class but I was instantly attracted to his work. The simplicity yet directness of each of his illustration reminded me of graphic design today. He uses the power of type, form, and color to convey not merely a static commercial message, but an emotional reaction as well. The illustrations he made for The Rural Electrification Administration about the benefits of electrification, to me, are the perfect examples to reveal his influence in modern day design. One of the biggest movements in graphic design now is flat design which is a minimalist design genre, or design language, currently used in various graphical user interfaces such as computers, tablets, and cellphones. I am very excited to see his minimalist style make a comeback in modern day design.

-Silvana Arguello