Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Pt. 1- I know what I like...

Last Thursday July 3rd, The Wolfsonian-Florida International University opened an exhibition "comprised of posters created by sixty leading contemporary artists and designers, invited by The Wolfsonian to create a new graphic design inspired by American illustrator Norman Rockwell’s “Four Freedoms” posters of 1943, which were recently gifted to the museum by Leonard A. Lauder."

Phew... I wonder what Lauder knew what he was getting into when he donated these classic Rockwell posters.

Anyhoos, the exhibition, entitled "Thoughts on Democracy" has some amazing artistic riffs1 on what Rockwell created, with the current state of these freedoms as a jumping off point. Some of my favorites are the ones done by graphic artist extraordinaire Chip Kidd.

Let's take a gander at each, shall we?

Being a parent, I love how Rockwell nails what feeling truly at peace, either as the child or as the parent is... this to me isn't dated, but, instead, is a universal goal worth fighting for. Rockwell originally created these illustrations as an idea of what everyone in America would be fighting for during World War II, but as I said before, who would think that this was a justifiable cause today?

Whereas Kidd jumps right to the heart of everyone's most urban, individual fear- a gun in the face. And when I say "individual", I don't mean it as a put down. You live in a city, you live with this fear. Just ask Bernard Goetz, or the people on the subway who witnessed him pulling the gun. Or the guys on the other end of the gun.

When I say "individual" it feels to me that Rockwell is more optimistic? maybe? in his consideration of what the fears could be and includes parents- he is thinking of generations to come. Kidd is very much present tense- accent on both words- and makes his statement about what you fear, this very second.

1. Hey, I'm jazzy!

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