SPEAKING OF PICTURES: A VINTAGE GRAPHICS BLOG

ALEX COLVILLE AND THE QUESTION OF EVERYDAY LIFE

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In face of the vast and fascinating output of paintings emanating from painter, Alex Colville (1920-2013), no one could miss its premium upon embracing a “mysterious,” unfamiliar side of familiar life. His strategy, in raising this matter, would seem to comprise having the readily recognizable images fastidiously dig themselves into moments of the ordinary and then letting it dawn upon the viewer that something extraordinary is afoot.

Many of these paintings are glowingly attractive, subliminally conveying to the viewer that, despite challenges befalling all of us, the energy on view carries a most gratifying gift to us. This provocative and exciting intuitive insinuation is well worth touching upon, by way of an avenue to further considerations.

Shown here to get things underway, is work in a farm village implying a whole universe of some other kind of work!

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THEY MAKE YOU LOOK!

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The other day, while on a bike ride to the outer limits of Toronto’s East, we saw a family of wild turkeys in a wildlife preserve. Immediately our attention was absorbed by that delicate and resilient energy. Such magnetism finds its way to many instances of marketing. We’ll consider some of these from the perspective of our collection of graphic art. Continue reading

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YUMMY! VINTAGE GRAPHIC ART IN RESTAURANT DECOR!

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One of the most exciting kinds of projects at the outset of our vintage poster business was providing apt settings for restaurants. The phenomenon of enjoying a night of delicious food and wine in an inspired setting—inspired in the senses of social buzz and industrial and graphic design buzz—represents a golden opportunity for an introduction of art work that has been invested with as much love and wit as the food. Continue reading

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TIFF SELLS THE MOVIES—MARKETING DESIGN STRATEGIES

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Film festivals are remarkable in many ways. The approach I want to explore a bit is the marketing apparatus one can dip into in order to post some semblance of “success” with a varied population.

The chess game shown above was part of a first weekend midway along a span including the TIFF headquarters and the concert hall where  A list celebrities would be on hand to  show and promote their latest venture. Like chess, winning in the festival wars takes a certain kind of smarts. While we’re examining this matter as pertaining  to Toronto, let’s begin with the year’s tagline, “This Is Your Festival.” Continue reading

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ARCADE FIRE—DON’T DREAM OF MISSING THEM!

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Many rock and roll bands pride themselves on a punchy rhythm section. Those Montreal-based, world-renowned rockers, Arcade Fire, true to their Surrealist captivation, take percussive fire to startling dimensions! Their numerous pistons, deftly digitalized, do not simply get your toes tapping but transport the listener’s whole body into a dynamic  thrust such that the subsequent incidents (vocal and instrumental) play out as enacting a saga of proceeding, no longer part of the normal, mainstream, rational world. (The comprehension may be incisive for some and quite dull for others.) Continue reading

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ENCHANTED FORESTS IN VINTAGE POSTERS

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A visit, last weekend, to one of the many forested areas not far from Toronto, has directed our attention to the unique qualities of vintage graphic art taking its bearings from the sensuous magic of such subtly robust places. Continue reading

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COMING OF AGE—ON THE SILVER SCREEN AND IN ORIGINAL VINTAGE POSTERS

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Buy U.S. War Stamps Bonds 1942; Al Parker; 20” x 14 ¼”; A-,L

The film, BOYHOOD, is a coming-of-age creation, with a difference. It particularly reminds us that in the golden era of graphic design (and right up to the present) this irresistible and touching subject has been impressively explored.

Our first illustration, a brilliant vintage American modernist poster, gives us a young  philatelist being gently ushered into the good and the bad of the big world outside. Memories-in-the-making—happy or sad? Definitely rich; and what a brilliant promotion! Continue reading

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Posted in Art Deco Posters&Graphics, Art Nouveau/Belle Époque Posters&Graphics, Avant-Garde Posters&Graphics, Current Events, Modernist Posters&Graphics, Performance Art, Poster&Graphic Art, Poster&Graphic Artists, Surrealist Posters&Graphics | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

VINTAGE ILLUSTRATED BOOKS BY PERE CASTOR

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Bravo, Tortue(Bravo Tortoise), 1950; 7″ x 8 1/4″

Last week we met, Christina, working at our beloved Cafe Neuf—here in Toronto for a 1 year hiatus from work at the Paris publisher, Flammarion. On hearing this from her, it was a very quick step to happily discussing the Pere Castor children’s illustrated books (which adults can’t resist)—a commitment by Flammarian going back to the early 1930s.

Today we bring you 2 issues of the series in our collection, which we didn’t cover in the previous blogs. Our pairing today is special in that it spotlights one from the Golden Era of the 1930s, with illustrations by Rojan; but, for a change of pace, one from 1950, illustrated by Romain Simon. Continue reading

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THE ELEMENT OF DARKNESS IN VINTAGE GRAPHIC DESIGN

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Chicago Go Greyhound c. 1960 ; Rod Ruth; 40” x 30”; A-, P

Nocturnal imagery has a long-standing record of providing special impacts. In the vintage poster shown above, it lends an aura of mystery to the skyline of Chicago, the better to illuminate the glamor of its renowned commercial architecture. Continue reading

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CARDBOARD, BUT FAR FROM TACKY—ORIGINAL VINTAGE PLACARDS!

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Rhum Tamaris c.1940; Anonymous; 14 1/4″ x 10 1/4″; A-,Cdbd.

We’re beginning this survey from our placard collection, with a very simple design, a photograph of a pretty girl replete with accessories apt for the tropical production areas of rum. The poised congeniality of her expression is special. And the homespun, patterned dress, with headscarf to match, is a sort of beacon, simulating the sugar cane-based flavor of the beverage.

Promotional graphics printed on thin cardboard were designed for the interiors of shops, restaurants and bars. Their modest dimensions accord with a more casual take upon the product than full-fledged, street-salient lithographs. On the other hand, they were capable of more intimate, more exquisite communications. Both of these factors will be explored in the following steps. Continue reading

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