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New Graphic Design

Issue — 001

Summer

May 2013


“The basic starting point of Graphic Design Criticism as a Spectator Sport is “I could have done better.” And of course you could! But simply having the idea is not enough. Crafting a beautiful solution is not enough. Doing a dramatic presentation is not enough. Convincing all your peers is not enough. Even if you’ve done all that, you still have to go through the hard work of selling it to the client.” - Michael Bierut


Contents 003 - Yinka shonibare - space textiles 005 - Book Review - Post-modernism 007 - What’s Going on this Summer


Yinka Shonibare The Banksy of sculpture on his split personality

Stephen Friedman Gallery, London Space Walk shows astronauts in African dress PIcture: Yinka Shonibare/Stephen Friedman Gallery

African or English? Establishment or rebel? Just who is Yinka Shonibare? We meet the man who put Nelson’s Ship In

While Yinka Shonibare’s Nelson’s Ship In A Bottle was perched on the fourth plinth at Trafalgar Square, looking for all the world as though it had just been disgorged by the Thames, cabbies, shopkeepers, anyone, would stop him in the street

His pieces, which often turn colonial history on its head (the sails of HMS Victory were cast from Dutch cotton with an African print) are invariably cheeky, theatrical, provocative – and to the point.

‘The most common question was: “How did the ship get there?”’ says Shonibare with a twinkle, for the secret of how his HMS Victory rose intact inside a giant, cork-stopped bottle is as closely guarded as the Coca-Cola recipe.

He’s a bit like the Banksy of sculpture, using strong visual motifs, wry political comment and a subversive sense of humour: one of his early pieces, Space Walk, depicts two astronauts hovering above a space capsule. That piece will be on display at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park next month as part of his first retrospective

Shonibare’s work feels ready-made for the great outdoors – for street corners, public squares and city parks.


ʻThe reach of public art is enormous,ʼ he says. ʻPeople are not shy about coming forward. Unlike in galleries.ʼ

Work from 2002, including film, photography and painting, will sit alongside new pieces such as Wind Sculptures – ebulliently coloured, 6m-tall flags made from the same cloth used in Nelson’s Ship. At the same time, an exhibition of new work inspired by the financial crisis opens at the Stephen Friedman Gallery in London. It’s a busy time but Shonibare just shrugs. ‘To be honest, I haven’t stopped working since 1992,’ he says. Shonibare cuts an intriguing figure in British art. He’s part of the Sensation generation that came of age after the infamous1997 Royal Academy exhibition but is rarely popularly associated with the likes of Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin. His work can share a similar in-yer-face attitude but is also full of heartfelt contradiction, a consequence of what he calls his hyphenated identity. He’s the son of a middle-class Nigerian family who has lived in England for 20 years and, following his 2004 MBE, is now a paid-up member of the establishment.

But the joke is, they are in African dress,’ says Shonibare. ‘It’s another kind of oxymoron.’ ‘It’s very moving, looking back at earlier work,’ he says, pointing to New York Toy Painting, a wall sculpture featuring his now grownup son’s discarded toys.

He grew up in Lagos but was born in London in 1962 and was determined from childhood to be an artist. It was partly a rebellion – his family is vocational and the expectation was that he too would become a lawyer.

Fake Death, his sequence of reworked old Masters depicting characters wearing his trademark cloth, will share gallery space with his kooky Alien Child sculptures and headless figurines from his 2010 Earth, Wind, Fire And Water series. Films include Addio Del Passato, which depicts Nelson’s estranged wife (played by a black woman) singing an aria from La Traviata.

‘In fairness, my parents didn’t know many artists who weren’t struggling,’ he says.

For me it’s about finding a staged space of freedom,’ says Shonibare of the way his work plays with historical narratives, providing a parallel theatre for African identity. ‘In the West Indies, there used to be holidays where slaves changed places with the aristocracy. For me, the stage is like that. It’s a poetic fantasy.’ For Shonibare, the stage has become real: he is now who he wanted to be.

‘I admire tradition but I also hate it,’ he says. ‘I want to subvert the establishment but I’m also dying to be part of it. It’s a constant tension. ’In his East End studio, Shonibare is leafing through images of the creative expressionsof that tension, many of which will be on display at YSP.

At Wimbledon School of Art he was struck down by a virus and left partially paralysed – he still uses a wheelchair. At that point his determination crystallised. ‘As an artist, people only see the art,’ he says. ‘They don’t see the immigrant, the disability.’ If much of his work to date has upended racial stereotypes and colonial history, his new pieces are preoccupied more with the global climate. Revolution Kids at YSP, featuring taxidermy figures carrying BlackBerrys and replicas of Colonel Gaddafi’s golden gun, is a response to the Arab Spring and the London riots, while the Stephen Friedman show includes an orgiastic riff on Leonardo’s Last Supper and satirical sculptures of bankers and City whizz kids. Yet Shonibare rejects the idea that his work is moralistic. ‘If I wanted to be political I would have become a politician,’ he points out. ‘My role is to document, not pass judgement.’

By Claire Allfree

Fabric-ation is at Yorkshire Sculpture Park from Sat to Sep 1. www.ysp.co.uk


Book Review

‘What is Post Modernism Classic Post - modernist Graphics The Misfits, Bullet, Plan 9, 1978 American Hardcore 19781990 runs from 11 April - 4 May at The Vinyl Factory, Chelsea, 91 Walton Street,

The general field of writing was based on explaining the different areas of postmodernism and how they affected society, economy and the arts. The reference, diagrams and imagery in the margins of this book helped to create a visual understanding of the postmodern context. This created a clear view of how postmodernism was translated in to the words economic, social and artistic areas.


m?’ by Charles One of the most prominent relations was the effect postmodernism art movement had on architecture and how this changed as the movement pluralized its duration. The book does fit its context and its purpose to inform however the way in which it is written is quite longwinded or theoretical. The wording although well researched was still rather difficult to grasp especially in the economic and worldwide change chapters. I did manage to follow the author’s common thread even with all the theoretical information and I learned a lot about the basis and the foundations of how postmodernism began and changed throughout the decades. There was one specific quote from the book that clarified what postmodernism is from all of the theories, opinions and information. This is the quote I was referring to;

The point of view within the book was not based on a pro or a con argument but explores both sides of postmodernism and how critics analyzed the highs and lows of the separate artistic movements and changes within postmodernism. The research behind the book was theoretically backed up mostly by secondary source material however there is some primary research referenced within the context of the book. The primary source within the book tends to be based on the architectural side of postmodernism. This gave me the impression that Charles Jenkins the author was particularly interested in architecture, economics and practicality in some areas of postmodernism. The concluding chapter of the book was more like an informational paragraph and I think this area of the book could have been clearer and well just more informational in the sense it could create a more concise conclusion.

“If information world has had one obvious effect on culture it is to have put all content in question. The postmodern world is the age of quotation marks, the ‘socalled’ this and ‘ Neo’ that, the self-conscious fabrication, the transformation of the past and the recent present, caused by the fact that almost all cultures are now within possible instant communication within each other.” - Charles Jenkins

The book conclusion could have explored more artistic slant on the postmodern context. The information I read in Thames and Hudson’s ‘Concise history of Graphic Design’ on postmodernism arts and the impact the arts had on the of society. The concluding area of this chapter was much easier to follow because it was informative but not overly analytical of theoretical but more straight to the facts on how the movement changed and worked. I think this book was informational but not a style I found particularly easy to follow and so I would probably only opt to use this author’s works for theoretical research not just for informational or recreational reading in the future.

by georgia jane chipchase


what’s going on this summer? Whats new - Galleries

100 YEARS OF SWISS GRAPHIC DESIGN Venue: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich Dates: February 10 – June 03 2012 Website: http: //www.museum-gestaltung.ch/en/ exhibitions/exhibitions-2012/100years-of-swiss-graphic-design/ Open: Tuesday–Sunday 10.00 to 17.00, Wednesday to 20.00

Swiss graphic design – one of the country’s leading products – is encountered everywhere. While a single individual style cannot be identified, a certain common approach is evident. This is revealed in the striking awareness of quality in the works, in the skilled handcraft, as well as in the precision and reduction to essentials. Graphic design from Switzerland reflects both international trends and local qualities; irony and wit are its constant companions.The view of one hundred years of graphic design shows both the diversity of current visual

communication as well as the fine lines of tradition that connect works from different epochs. Alongside the poster and smaller items of printed matter, the show also includes outstanding examples from advertising and information graphics, typography, signage or book design, design objects that relate to graphic design, as well as selected striking advertising spots, and works for web design. Many objects come from the museum’s own collection. Publication 100 Years of Swiss Graphic Design, Museum für Gestaltung Zürich (ed.), E, appears 2013


Designer to veiw

Stuart McQuarrie Artl Studios J Glasgow, United Kingdom www.artlstudios.co.uk

The challenge Spend ten minutes answering the following questions: “What are my three strengths as a designer? My weaknesses? What’s my favorite color? What designers do I love? What design work do I enjoy? What kind of work do I want to do in the future?” Then design a logo for yourself that is clearly informed by your off-the-cuff responses. Be sure to stick to the time limit provided. Just give it your best shot, don’t cheat one the time limit and Good Luck to everyone

“Designing for yourself is worse than representing a client; it can be like having an identity crisis.” - AIGA’s Graphic Design

By David Sherwin

Photographic Excellence

Photographer - YULIA GORBACHENKO Makeup - VALENTINA GRETSOVA Hair - ALEXANDER TOME Stylist - DAVIS CARRASQUILLO Model - HEATHER AT MUSE AGENCY Stylist’s Assistant - ANGEL YU


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