SPEAKING OF PICTURES: A VINTAGE GRAPHICS BLOG

SENSATIONAL DESIGN IN VINTAGE POSTER ART

http://www.idesirevintageposters.com/publishing-salon-des-cent-1899.html

To say that a priority of flashy sensations is in the air these days is not telling you anything you don’t already know. A recent and generally decried Nicolas Refn film, The Neon Demon (2016), tackles the rabid self-assertion flooding through millennial actions. Here, though, we want to look at earlier periods marked by overconfident and cynical forces as coming forth by way of vintage poster art. And particularly we’re on the lookout–as was Refn–for strengths in the heart of such weakness.

The advent of somewhat crazy self-satisfaction in lithographic promotions involved a critical mass of bohemians in the 1890s and onward to the beginning of World War I, centered in the Montmartre district of Paris, who had dovetailed with and catalyzed a robust skeptical and secular spirit found in so many Parisians, to the effect that they were well advanced in audacity, lucidity and joie de vivre. The so-called Belle Epoque era would be celebrated in poster art, to crown products and services with the magic of the modern.

Our first vintage design here fittingly emerges from the very heart of the mystique of Paris as the wellspring of artistic innovation and superiority. The offspring of an avant-garde literary publication, the Salon des Cents comprised a group of Parisian posterists who maintained that poster and illustration art could rise beyond “fine art” inasmuch as it spoke with great authority to the “man in the street” whose instincts (the movement believed) responded to a visceral dimension both powerful and never, till then, coming to bear. From another perspective, this insurgency could be called “Surrealism”–a devotion to life-changing sensation.   Continue reading

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WIDE-OPEN GENIUS–AT A TORONTO LANDFILL (A DESIGN BLOG)

When you consider the must-haves for a major city, what do you think of? Whatever the choice, I doubt it comes up impromptu constructions from out of a rather remote landfill! But this past week we were awakened by precisely such a phenomenon. Here we go, then, to make some sense of this state of affairs.

Every large city has its generous patrons of the arts, be they individuals or corporations. Disinterestedness is far from the minds of most of them. They are, nevertheless, a crucial factor of plays, ballets and classical music ever being seen and heard. And they furnish much of the art in the art museums. The upshot of such sponsorship is an array of stimulating bids on the part of those having reflective and craft distinction.

This is all well and good, of course; and with public life ever more savage and shallow, it can’t be taken lightly. And also, for busy city dwellers, those gifts inhabiting fine edifices exert a much-needed balance for those who feel the need to be more than technically and domestically effective.

There are, moreover, those who, by instinct and education, have little trouble looking beyond practical solicitude. What such folks not merely like, but crave, is a wider display of craft and innovation—more in the sense of a holistic rather than incidental jolt. That one, or very likely, several builders, have erected expressions of mysterious creativity on a remote Toronto coastline (an ongoing landfill only open to the public on weekends) carries exponentially more energy than an official (“site-specific”) arts sculpture. To realize that there are others out there presenting design considerations in total anonymity and as completely detached from monetary motives ushers us into a most unique and cogent range of action.

Our photos might help establish more clarity about the difference in play.

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VINTAGE POSTERS–IN HOMMAGE TO A GREAT MEAL!

http://www.idesirevintageposters.com/food-beverages-olio-radino-c.1950.html

One of our most lasting memories from European travels was the special care given to food, and lingering over a meal. The French phrase, “A table!” [dinner ‘s ready], is like a fanfare for an exciting show and discovery.

There are many instances of these phenomena in our collection of vintage graphic art. They range from disclosing the pure delight of the fruits of the land to the vast possibilities of enjoying a meal.

Our first example spans riches of the countryside and presentation of a rustic meal. The genius of producing amazing olive oil and its endowment  to so many menus is characteristic of simple and brilliant fare from the land.   Continue reading

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PART THREE: BRUNELLESCHI ILLUSTRATIONS FOR de MUSSET PROSE WORKS

The first illustrated volume of the prose selections, of the complete works of de Musset (1949), consists of the writer’s rebellion-flourish, Confession of a Child of the Century. Accordingly, the text has evoked from our graphic designer some blue-chip nudes and other demonstrations that to be new is to be outrageous.

We won’t argue here about the validity of such a gesture; but we will maintain that the visual output, for the sake of an era undergoing stresses far beyond Age of Enlightenment frivolity, can be well captured in its dignity by the narrative range of Brunelleschi’s designs.

The first vignette seems very tame by 21st century reckoning; but it covers (dubiously, perhaps) stairways to the stars while still rooted in instinctive poise.

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CARLEY

Many would say that a bird in a cage is a diminished and unhappy bird. They’ve never carefully watched a canary in a cage.

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PART TWO: BRUNELLESCHI ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE WORK OF ALFRED DE MUSSET

You will discover that, whereas with the first instalment (as to poetry) of our review of the Brunelleschi-illustrated full output of Alfred de Musset’s writings (1949), the key is of erotic fantasy, with the 3-volume theatre works the priority has shifted to a more mainstream motive.

Our first instance here of Brunelleschi’s remarkable range, as capturing subtle mood, takes us to a melancholy moment of the play, “A Caprice,” where the tone has, accordingly, undergone a rapid change.

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A TRULY DELUXE ILLUSTRATED PUBLICATION

In 1995 we trained down from Paris to Versailles early one Sunday morning. There was a market of antiquities, but very few items for us. Almost in desperation about the slim pickings, we did notice and buy a 12-volume, stunning rendition of the complete poems, novels and plays of Alfred de Musset (1810-1857), illustrated, in pochoir style, by that deco dazzler, Umberto Brunelleschi (1879-1949), and published in 1949.  This was to be Brunelleschi’s swan song; and de Musset’s career steered a course straight to doom, as befits a Romantic-era notable. But this glowing paper product has much more than that to contribute.

The first episode will pertain to the three (of four—one being sold) poetry volumes, which, like the whole collection, takes as its watchword the title of one of his novels, namely, Confessions of a Child of the Century. Our strategy for presenting this treasure of vintage graphic design will be to note features of the “Confessions” as linked to a glowing pochoir. The opening vision ushers in a poetic dialogue touching upon a “Spanish Chestnut.”

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I DESIRE VINTAGE POSTERS TURNING 30! (PART 6)

THANKING THE MANY FOR THEIR INVALUABLE SUPPORT !

Perhaps a rather small matter, but a portent of our good fortune in encountering a host of warm and generous associates along our odyssey with vintage graphic art, here was our first purchase, made on July 5, 1986, at a French antique shop in Manhattan, with the Statue of Liberty celebrations in full swing and leaving us unable to find art galleries open for business, but instead the establishment of Roland. Our host was accommodating, funny and a lovely change from the denizens of the Gotham art trade.

Here’s a blog regarding Villemot who was our first thrill in vintage  posters!

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I DESIRE VINTAGE POSTERS TURNING 30! (PART 5)

INTERNET FOREVER!

There is one more major consideration in covering our internet days, and that is the promotional feature of Social Media. The core of our engaging potential clients online, over and above our website, is the I Desire Vintage Posters Facebook. Please visit us and “Like” us. As I’m sure you know, the main feature of Facebook is “faces,” visual factors; and from our perspective the predominant visual force has to do with vintage graphic art. Our strategy has been to produce photos about design factors (as varied as architecture and basketball) and link the energies of what is generally Toronto experience to the energies of works from our collection.    (Stemming from the beginning of our using computers, we were fortunate in encountering a Toronto agency very adept at ”Search Engine  Optimization”[SEO]—the MOST important marketing tool for internet visibility and retailing.) Continue reading

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I DESIRE VINTAGE POSTERS TURNING 30! (PART FOUR)

We welcome the World Wide Web  in 2000!

Our first sighting of the rich vein of vintage poster art happened in New York City. After many years of cherishing the City as a seductive hub of dance, fine art and literature (the latter area being seen as a market for our wares), we were in a kind of seventh heaven on discovering a new world to explore.

That history provided a special delight when, near the outset of our internet days, the New York Times, Summer, 2001, ran an article about us in their digital design head’s up column, The Circuit Section! Though a website was obviously necessary by the year 2000–when, incidentally, we left our day-jobs to become full-time vintage poster dealers–we were far from internet-savvy and several years passed before, with our third and present webmaster, we were fully en route. Our story today (and again, next week) covers the stages of idesirevintageposters.com

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