Archives for posts with tag: political

Graphic design is a key tool in activism, no matter the cause. Arresting (designed) visuals have historically been a cornerstone of social and political change. As time marches on, and we become more connected, original ideas seem harder to come by. Visuals become derivative over time, not necessarily intentionally but often subconsciously. So when we see something that stands out, we take notice. As is the case with this Greenpeace campaign by powerhouse ad agency Young & Rubicam. Not only are we taken with the straightforward and impactful concept, but also the execution. It appears to be a masterclass in 3D modeling in our estimation, with stunning details that truly blur the lines between CGI and reality. Simply put, it’s a terrific use of modern design technology that really communicates an important message effectively.

Via Behance

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As designers we are all too familiar with the Pantone Matching System… the industry standard for classifying colors with an alphanumeric code, allowing for accurate recreation across media. We literally refer to it daily, and many designers can often rattle off Pantone numbers with great excitement and precision (we are guilty as charged). Brazilian-born, Madrid-based photographer Angélica Dass capitalizes on the familiarity of the Pantone system in her ongoing Humanæ Project, in an effort to “record and catalog all possible human skin tones.” This “chromatic inventory” is certainly a tall order, but Dass’s approach is a terrifically visually engaging way to broach the subject of social, cultural and racial identity, which is close to her heart. To date, Dass has indexed over 3,000 different shades from volunteers around the world (22 cities and 14 different countries on five continents, to be exact). Dass’s project has taken on a life of its own, even spawning educational and outreach programs developed by Dass herself. Not only do we love the concept, but Dass’s execution and philanthropic spirit really take it to the next level. Be sure to check out Dass’s TED Talk (here) to learn more about the origins and goal of this laudable project.

Via humanae.tumblr.com and Instagram

Okay, we’re gonna take some liberties and very loosely classify this as art in honor of the upcoming President’s Day holiday. No one can deny it’s fun, though. And, what the heck? It’s Friday…. You may or may not have heard of the growing popularity of “face-swapping” apps (like the aptly named FaceApp), used to engage in all sorts of shenanigans (swapping faces of Disney characters, babies, etc.). But Reddit user known simply as “ygdrssl” decided to rewrite history and imagine past U.S. Presidents as women. And the results are, well, funny. From Helen Hoover to Joan F. Kennedy to Lynda B Johnson, we are laughing out loud about this alternate universe. Rest assured the underlying gender dialogue is not lost on ygdrssl, who commented: “It’s strange to think that these people would never have been elected president because of that pesky troll X chromosome.” Art? Maybe, maybe not. But most certainly creative and thought-provoking.

Via Reddit

French artist/industrial designer known only as Parse/Error recently created an object that is both beautiful and troubling all at the same time. At face value, the Political Lamp is an aesthetically appealing decor piece… a lovely cylindrical dome housing a curious cloud. But behind this facade is a much darker reality, an intentional and well-conceived parallel to the current political climate. The lamp is actually connected to the internet and designed to react to tweets by President Donald Trump (and other political events) by triggering a storm beneath the dome, complete with lightning rolling in the cloud and disturbing the otherwise peaceful glow of the lamp itself. We are utterly intrigued by this piece, and hope for a day when we can look back in relief that the forecasted storm did not do as much damage as predicted. In his own words, the artist explains the project: “The choice of setting the Political Lamp to follow the tweets of Donald Trump is explained by the fact that he perfectly embodies a dangerous era. A world where the words of one man, released without reflection and with spontaneity on a global social network, can endanger the fate of millions by spreading the ghost of nuclear war on the planet…. the idea of the Political Lamp is to hide its true nature behind a beautiful object, which immediately modifies the observer’s behavior when its purpose is revealed, causing anxiety and fascination.”

Via parseerror.ufunk.net

It is said that art is often an honest reflection of societal issues at large. History shows that for centuries art has been a sort of barometer, documenting larger issues through the lens of the artist. This certainly holds true for the work of Italian artist Alessandro Rabatti. His series Facebank serves as commentary for the very uncertain financial state of the world today, with a humorous bent, of course. Rabatti alters iconic faces on currency (related posts here and here and here) from around the world, “disguising” them as fictional superheroes. Despite the seemingly fun nature of these pieces, Rabatti’s intent and message is likely much deeper. For one, by altering the faces of these historical figures to look like familiar comic book characters with a rich (albeit fictional) history of their own, Rabatti remarks on their economic and political status, looking to them as possible “saviors” of the global economic crisis. There is an implied trust in these figures, both real and fictional, so the dialogue Rabatti initiates with this series could really go on and on. Oh, and these works are just plain cool looking. From conception to execution, we’d say Rabatti has creative super powers of his own.

Via alessandrorabatti.com

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On the heals of a dark and bizarre U.S. presidential debate the other night, and the seemingly endless campaign (thankfully) coming to a close in exactly four weeks, we thought it fitting to take a look at artwork with world leaders as subject matter. This is, of course, not regal portraiture hung in the Smithsonian in gilded frames. Israeli illustrator/designer/artist Amit Shimoni’s Hipstory series reimagines world leaders (wanna-be and actual), past and present, is hipsters from all walks of life, complete with piercings, facial hair, and all sorts of hairdos. We appreciate that Simoni’s work (for sale here) is free of political agenda, but rather casts these larger-than-life figures in a new, fresh light. Simply fun and a bit thought-provoking.

Via shimoni-illustration.com

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Given the somber mood surrounding all things politics and money in Europe, particularly Greece, this installation street art, fittingly titled “Crisis”, is especially relevant. Conceived and created by Madrid-based artist SpY, and installed in a central neighborhood in the city of Bilbao, the piece consists of 1000€ (almost $2,000) in 2 cent coins making up the word “CRISIS” on an outdoor wall. Not totally surprising, passersby helped themselves to the money, and all the coins disappeared in less than 24 hours. In some ways, that feels like blatant defacing of public art, but in other ways, that was likely expected and part of the point to begin with. SpY seems very much in touch with the political climate around him, and we love his out-of-the-box creativity. There’s good reason he’s been making such relevant urban art since the mid-eighties. In his own words, his work “involves the appropriation of urban elements through transformation or replication, commentary on urban reality, and the interference in its communicative codes…. a parenthesis in the automated inertia of the urban dweller. They are pinches of intention, hidden in a corner for whoever wants to let himself be surprised. Filled with equal parts of irony and positive humor, they appear to raise a smile, incite reflection, and to favor an enlightened conscience.”

Via spy-urbanart.com

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Some of the best, most thought-provoking art and design is best viewed from a variety of angles. In fact, the work of Brooklyn-based artist Michael Murphy relies on varying vantage points. Murphy’s large-scale, complex structures are profoundly awe-inspiring (these photos surely don’t do them justice, they are best viewed in person). His multi-layered, multi-dimensional sculptures consist of suspended objects that, when viewed from different perspectives, reveal something more. Murphy explains, “[my] large-scale works seek to dominate the viewer’s physical and mental space, captivating the critical thought process as one circles around the various entities that form a cohesive whole. Pieces initially experienced on a visually flat plane resonate with meaning upon closer inspection, opening up cerebral capacities to perpetual reconsideration. The mesmerizing effect of the varied angles and ingredients of [my] sculptures provoke thought, using aesthetic titillation as their gateway.” Murphy’s conceptual approach, paired with his calculated orchestration of these phenomenal installations, is a true marvel on a many levels. Wow.

Via mmike.com

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