Archives for the month of: September, 2013

As well as going to the Saatchi Gallery on Wednesday, I insisted we (me and my friends) went to the Exposure Gallery, which was very close to Oxford Street, where we intended to spend the late afternoon shopping. The reason I wanted to attend the gallery, was because one of my close friends had his work exhibited there. Jack Stocker, who I know from our passion for trainers, is an 18 (soon to be 19) year old creative from Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex. I have known Jack for over a year, and we have many many things in common, such as our love for all areas of design and the sneaker and streetwear culture. I first saw Jack on Instagram, under the name ‘Freshlystocked’, where we both appreciated each other’s collection of shoes and the design work we chose to put on Instagram. A few months ago, Jack decided to start a series of Sneaker Illustrations for his college his course. Each design he uploaded onto Instagram, and he had a huge sea of amazement from all of his followers and the wider community. Web blogs started to see his work, and featured him on their sites, such as Hypebeast, Highsnobiety, The Daily Street, Size? blog, iLL Sessions and many more!

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DSC_0180At first, Jack created six illustrations, based on six of the original Nike Air release – the Air Max 1, the Air Max 90, Air 180, Air Max Light, Air Huarache and the Air Flow, all in one of their signature colourways, and went on to print an exclusive range of 30 prints for each design, which can all be brought online. As a huge fan of these shoes, his minimalistic style just made the pieces even better. Using no curvature on a shoe made purely out of curved lines and making it easily recognisable was probably such a hard task, and I’m so proud for Jack that his work has been given the credit it deserves.

This exhibition is up for the rest of September, so I advise anyone reading this to go to Oxford street and check it out!

On Wednesday 11th September, me and two friends from Uni travelled down to London once again. Our main intention was to head to the Saatchi Gallery, as I had heard (and seen) many great things from friends. I researched into the exhibition online before I went, and saw many of the pieces photographed online that were in the exhibition – which ruined the excitement a little, but there were also many I hadn’t seen online! The exhibition was titled ‘Paper’ and I thought that this could come in very hand with us as designers as it could easily inspire us to use some of the techniques we saw in our own work. We walked through the gallery chronologically – one of the many good points about the Saatchi (design wise) was that each room was labelled and the position of each room and the signs guiding you around, made it so easy to seamlessly walk through the whole gallery. Gallery 3 saw my favourite artist of the entire day; one which I hadn’t seen online, and their work amazed me and both of my friends.  Yuken Teruya (the featured artist) was born 1973 and is based in New York City. Teruya was born in Okinawa, Japan, and he works in a variety of media and often references consumer culture alongside traditional craft techniques. Featured in the Saatchi Gallery, were his series of McDonalds and high-end designer store bags, into which Yuken Teruya cut intricate tree shapes that are then pushed through into the interior of the bag, creating an enclosed environment. The pieces were so stunning to see – we spent a good fifteen minutes in that room (more than any other artist). The level of detail put was incredible – and the way each tree sits perfectly in the bag was just absolutely mind blowing.

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DSC_0044The second artist I am going to show you is Marcelo Jácome. After looking at the Saatchi Website, I had already seen the piece of work being exhibited by Marcelo Jácome. It was really unmissable, and I’m sure you will understand why when you seen the pictures after the break. The piece, titled Planos-pipas n17, was used as the main ‘imagery’ for the exhibition, and took up an entire room (Gallery 7) of the Saatchi. Made from Tissue paper, bamboo, fibreglass and cotton thread, probably measured over 50ft in diameter, and probably 15ft in height.

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DSC_0083Like you can see, the piece was stunning. I was speechless when I saw it in person. The shapes created combined with the variety of colours is incredible. Each different angle you stand you see something different – a different composition. Thousands of paintings could be created from this object of beauty. The object is so photographic, much like the work by Yuken Teruya, as you can see above in both sets of images (which I took myself).

I thoroughly loved the Saatchi Gallery, and I would not hesitate on going to see it again – whether or not it was the exhibition on paper. The Gallery was so well designed and set out that it was so lovely to go around. The fact we went in midweek after all the schools and colleges went back helped a lot, giving us many opportunities for photography without people getting in the way.

I would suggest the Saatchi Gallery to absolutely anyone. My favourite exhibition I have ever been to.

On Saturday, me and a couple of Uni friends travelled down to London to visit the British Library to see an exhibition called Propaganda: Power and Persuasion. As a huge fan of Propaganda Art, I was looking forward to our trip very much in the weeks approaching our trip. The imagery for the exhibition was the iconic ‘Uncle Sam’ from the famous ‘I want you’ posters that were used in both the first and second world war. After talking about Alfred Leete & James Montgomery Flagg in a previous ITAP blog post, I was intrigued to see which other pieces of Propaganda art were being exhibited.

The first piece I noticed on display that I really liked was an Occupy poster titled ‘Fightback Worldwide’.

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http://www.robertlpeters.com/news/wp-content/uploads/Fight_Back_World_Wide.jpg.

With many pieces of Propaganda Art being created by Governments and Organisations, it is hard to find any real solid Information about the pieces, so I will have to give my opinion and delve in to what my thoughts mean. I really like the above piece; my attention was drawn to it because of it’s comic-illustrative style, which I very much like and one of the reasons I love Propaganda Art. The way in which the artist has drawn the hands overlapping the main title really gives the piece a element of power – with the female figures being central and very bold, and the strong two lines of title type, which our eye is immediately drawn to. The subtle lines of type, such as ‘Capitalism is the crisis’ and ‘The 99% have no borders’ give the reader more information. The colours of the shapes and background in the piece also contribute an awful lot to the feel, such as the warm, subtle changes from orange to yellow in the detail and the yellow swirling circle – that could represent the sun.

Moving around the exhibition and into the third section, I saw the pieces of artwork by James Montgomery Flagg. Being the head image of the whole exhibition, I was expecting to see this piece somewhere in the exhibition, and I wasn’t shock to see it as a huge metre long canvas.

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http://rlv.zcache.com/america_needs_poster-r6a123d82902241028da55b0c4125575d_w4ot_8byvr_512.jpg.

One of the most powerful pieces of Propaganda Art ever, this piece is probably known by most of the people in the world – I know upon telling my non-design friends about my trip and when I told them about ‘I want you’ they all immediately knew what I was talking about. This artwork (as I have previously talked about) used the piece ‘Your Country Needs You’ (by Alfred Leete) as huge inspiration, and this only adds to the story of it’s use in propaganda. The above piece (in my opinion) is a better poster for recruitment as it more powerful due to its colour and composition. This probably is because the original by Alfred Leete was first printed on a Newspaper colour and was single tone, and was then developed into a poster by the print company using a second single colour. These were obviously printed in multiple colour – and the use of the bold red on the cream/white background really makes it stand out and eye-catching to the viewer. Again, the use of the strong figure, in this case Uncle Sam, engages with the reader and pushes the point a lot harder than if it was a random model.

The third piece I wish to describe is an ad for the US Government titeld’ U.S. Needs US Strong’, which is advertising ‘food’.

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http://www.dpvintageposters.com/cgi-local/db_images/posters/cache/5853-image-450-550-fit.jpg.

Originally, this piece and a single colour piece in the American Weekly, 1943. The image features Uncle Sam once again, which with the last piece of artwork, shows how highly the US people thought of him and what a huge figure he is in terms of the Propaganda. The poster was remade using the patriotic colours of the US flag (Blue, white and red). The piece also features a family of the two parents and a small child; another effect from the US Government to play on the readers heartstrings to engage them to listen and take in the advice of the poster. Something else I noticed on the original, was a line of type in Futura Italic – which has now become a greatly-used typeface in Propaganda, by names such as Barbara Kruger and Shepard Fairey (Every day, eat this way).

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http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/media/jpg/adaccess/med/W0061.jpg.

This again shows how the current day and past years propaganda is hugely influenced by the older piece of Propaganda by Government organisations nearly 70 years prior.

The fourth and final piece of Propaganda art I wish to show you is a piece titled ‘Road Accident deaths to Children and Teenagers in 1960’.

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http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/.a/6a00d8341c464853ef019102bb60fa970c-500wi.

The hard-hitting infographic shows the amount of deaths of children aged 0-15 (which was 747) and then the amount of Teenagers ages between 15 and 19 (which was 787), is hugely informative poster that would really make the reader think about what they can do to stop and prevent deaths of Children and Teenagers. After recently doing Infographics for an Australian Steel Company as Freelance work, I was intrigued to find out what elements the designer has used to give this strong, bold impression. The answer to that is as I thought; nothing! He has kept the general design so simple and clean – that the viewer can gather all the relevant information without having to even look for it – it is all really important, easy to understand information. The use of colours, such as the bold yellow/orange as the fill on the graph shows the peaks of the graph and helps to emphasise the difference when the graph gets to the age 15. The red line on the graph also gives this bold, strong feel, and people will always class the colour red with death and blood in topics like this. The designer also keeps the type very clear by giving each block it’s own clean, white background for easy reading and navigation.

After looking back at the British Library and my visit around the exhibition, I can safely say I really enjoyed looking at the many different types of Propaganda Art and would definitely go back to another Propaganda exhibition. My only negative remark about the whole day was the amount of people in the actual space. It was very cramped in certain areas, and this made people feel uncomfortable and left people stranded to look at a small paragraph of informative text if was person was in the way. I am looking forward to my next gallery visit next week, and it’s blog post will be up in good time.