2009. május 19., kedd


Festival International de l’affiche et des arts graphiques de Chaumont - this year is the 20th anniversary. Some years ago I was here to lead a student workshop, and in 1994 I got the ICOGRADA Prize of the Chaumont Poster Competition.
The festival brings together professional artists, design historians, journalists and student designers for workshops, exhibitions, and of course the international competition with more than 2000 entries from 46 countries.
In the previous years, a French graphic designer was asked to design the Festival poster. Now after twenty years twenty artists were invited to do the same. The international cast includes: Paulina Matusiak (the Netherlands); Piotr Mlodozeniec (Poland); Christoph Niemann (USA); Alexandra Noth et Megi Zumstein (Switzerland); Istvan Orosz (Hungary); Pony Ldt (United-Kingdom); Reza Abedini (Iran); Isidro Ferrer (Spain); Haichen Zhu (People’s Republic of China); Jan en Randoald (Belgium); Rodovan Jenko (Slovenia); Dima Kavko (Russia); Alejandro Magallanes (Mexico); Shin Matsunaga (Japan), R2 Design (Portugal); Claudia Roethlisberger (Switzerland); Leonardo Sonnoli (Italy), Thonik (the Netherlands); Vanessa Verillon (France); Henning Wagenbreth (Germany). Also they gave a short lecture about the actual poster.
A poster designer, if he is old enough and works long enough in his profession, suddenly realizes that the motives in his posters are not necessarily brand new even if he wants to make his best and more and more elements seem to be familiar from the past. Polite art historians then say that these elements are from the artist’s autonomous artistic world, while the young generation is likely to frown and may demand a more up-to-date approach.
My poster designed for the Chaumont Poster Festival shows a man without a head sitting back to us in a garden labyrinth and he is drawing his own head, or rather his own brain onto a paper pinned on a drawing board. The similarity between the paths of the maze and the loops of the brain makes the picture somewhat interesting.
When I was asked to talk about my poster, it seemed evident to look for the antecedents of these motives and how they were used in other contexts and also to show you some of the my older work where these elements are there.
There were six topics I had to take into consideration and I tried to find the symbolical meaning of the motives and to be honest, I did find some long forgotten “new” things.
One, a man with his back to us.
Two, a man without a head.
Three, men or hands drawing themselves.
Four, mazes in general.
Five, garden labyrinths.
Six, labyrinth and head together.

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