Sunday, February 17, 2008

Cool and Unusual Campaign Posters

The New York Times "Campaign Stop" blog had an interesting enough post about unique campaign posters that go beyond the tried and true "red white and blue"
And when I saw it is interesting enough just keep in mind this girl wants to go on one of these wonky cruises (though I wouldn't speak to Ralph Nader either)
Anyway from the post

Poster designs for political campaigns are usually laden with patriotic clichés — red, white and blue, stars, stripes, eagles — which given their turgid redundancy have a numbing rather than rousing effect.

The reason for this design rut is simple: conventional campaign imagery is usually produced by mainstream advertising agencies slavishly following old formulas lest they make a truly novel statement that might offend a single voter.

Indeed, artists have been inspired by particular candidates for years and have designed posters that break the mold not only in terms of color and style but also in message and tone. These posters are memorable because they reject bland tropes while making novel graphic statements that reflect the times in which their candidates are running

Take a 1968 poster for Eugene McCarthy by Ben Shahn, [Ed. Note: which I really really like] rendered in his signature loose linear style. Instead of a ham-fisted patriotic message, it exudes an image of hope — of change.

the poster that Andy Warhol produced in 1972: an impressionistic image, based on an official portrait of Richard Nixon under which Warhol roughly scrawled “Vote McGovern.” It was the height of irony in a campaign that later became known for its dirty tricks.

In 1984, vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro was depicted as Lady Liberty in a convincing send-up of Eugène Delacroix’s 1830 painting “Liberty Leading the People.”

In 1996 Peter Max, who gave signed copies of his Statue of Liberty prints to whichever president was in office, created a poster for Bill Clinton and Al Gore’s re-election campaign. Mr. Max’s post-psychedelic poster was a welcome alternative

It probably should be pointed out that besides Clinton/Gore who were the incumbents, none of those other really cool posters produced or aided a competitive candidate.
Outsider art inside the Beltway

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