I am familiar with the musical Cabaret and have seen it performed in community theatre but I had no idea that the inspiration for the poster came from Wiktor Gorka. I’ve noticed this theme with last week’s work and how they have to do with distorting the body or the blending of the body with animals. Also, like in Jerzy Flisak’s photos where the face is half skeleton and the other half is the muscles of the face shows the human body in a new grotesque way. I really enjoyed Starowieski’s “superrealism” works. Its amazing how eerie he can make the human body look while also capturing the shape in a unique and alluring way. I love Cieslewicz’s poster and the idea behind it. I think its so interesting how this poster represents ideas that are hard to articulate verbally. I think art in general is an outlet for so many people to express ideas or emotions that they cannot express through their words. I love the way the pink circular object in the poster might represent the mind and the way the subject is thinking and feeling.
One of the things that stuck out to me last week was the design era of the 1960s-70s; from looking at the images provided it seems as though a lot stemmed from this era. The posters being created weren’t only being created for consumer purposes, some were created to bring awareness. The way they were done was so straight forward and slightly uncomforting and to me this is interesting because there’s always a notion of censorship that comes with everything. For example, the Family Planning campaign has a pregnant man on the front which then asks the viewer if he/she would be more careful if he/she would be the one getting pregnant but the ad was mainly directed at guys. It’s an interesting perspective because not too long prior to this, women were fighting for basic human rights and now there’s awareness being brought into topics that affect them. Aside from this, the development of the psychedelic style was interesting because to me it’s something that has always stuck to music or things that are heavily influenced by music and even still to this day people create in that style.
The images this week that had the biggest impact on me were the posters created by the Polish artists. The depiction of the monsters in their world and placed in posters as a form of silent protest were ingenious and reflects the human spirit's ultimate desire to be free. Although the monsters are frightening and grotesque in their own right, I could still see a sense of hope in the images. The hope that I see lying beneath the ideas behind these monsters is a sense of confrontation and in defeating them. The use of these images in commercial posters deliberately created to protest their oppression reminds me of the use of negro spirituals by slaves to pass along hope of better days, clues to escape to the north and strength for those in need. As a black woman who understands some of the history of these spirituals, I can appreciate the underlying meaning behind these posters.
The most interesting thing I took from last week was the Polish artists. It seems the best art is drawn from the most oppressed people. That’s one thing that always fascinated me was the fact that artists always find a way. It’s a fundamental human act to rebel and the most meaningful way is through the arts. Whenever dictators try to oppress the public, they usually take away the arts first. They ban books, ban pictures, and anything that could be used to express freedom. But people never stay down for long. The urge to express feeling and emotion is far too strong.They developed their own way of expressing American ideals. I especially enjoyed the Cabaret poster. The Nazi symbolism with the women’s legs made for a striking and meaningful composition. For those who have seen the movie, it’s brilliant. For those who haven’t, it’s so intriguing that it invites people to see it. It’s clever and memorable. I just loved the simplicity, yet it was so well thought out that it was complicated. Like the Vertigo poster, for example, was interesting how it was just a skull with the circles on the forehead. It puts to shame the dramatic Hollywood posters of the same time with actors making dramatic poses and looking beautiful. It makes me wonder why more designers don’t take the Polish approach to their work.
The polish artists looked at from last week made a lasting impact. The monsters of Wiesław Wałkuski were particularly impactful. The images, the hand reaching into the eyeballs and the phallic bird beak really were incredible images, and the chosen typography blended flawlessly with the imagery. Similarly, Franciszek Starowieyski's hyperrealism was equally moving and unique. The female bodies entangled as trees was a particular standout as well as the female body completed by the wing and bird head. The combination of beauty and violence, anatomy and fantasy really creates an other worldly experience. The dimensions and proportions of the bodies are expertly executed and made alien through the animal distortion, like the tiny bird head tilted upwards. I also appreciated the work of Hanna Bodnar as a successful female designer. Her mixed media work with abstraction and water colors I really enjoyed as well as her typographic use of only lower case letters, adding a more feminine touch.
I was extremely intrigued by observing the logos and I had no idea there was a logo master, like Paul Rand. When someone thinks of a brand or buys a product, I don’t think the logo is something that they put a lot of thought into. When I see articles online like, “What is the hidden message in these logos?” I usually click through it. All of these tips makes me realize the smart ‘mark’ logo designers make. For example, the Fed Ex logo has an arrow pointing towards the right. In addition, the master in creating logos that are easily remembered is difficult. In addition, seeing that logos were worth $500,000 in the early 1960s, I am sure that these logos are worth millions now. Saul Bass is equally as impressive and I have thoroughly enjoyed looking at the transformation of logos as well as the creation of them. The key elements of worth, veracity, management, novelty and permanence are not always seen, but a true logo master would definitely achieve these elements.
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