“LET’S GO, BOYS!” GENTLEMEN IN ADVERTISING


Whereas promotional graphics featuring women tend to zero in on the physical and intentional presence of their person, with men it’s the scope of the activity that is (usually) paramount.Even when the project seems to be a simple portrait, as in this poster, we have to note that it’s his battle gear and the transport ship’s porthole that take precedence.

Here the blustery weather and the aptness of the coat upstages the face-shaded, anonymous gentleman. But here, also, our pat formula begins to wobble, reminding us that an exercise like this is a learning experience for me as well as you. There is frisson accompanying the edge of his body cutting into the wind, and in that sense the figure’s presence does have importance in evoking excitement that eventually makes a financial difference.

On the other hand, as the bell boy hops to it to open the door to the ballroom, we’re far more interested in the facility and its buzz than we are in him.

Even when the dad is in the spotlight, it is his being feted by his family that comprises the meaning of the work (the product being a part of the occasion).

By way of setting up a little demonstration of the difference being explored here, we show a lady in order to confirm that it is her no-nonsense demeanor and her verve that make the product arresting.

Here it’s the wide domestic diversion that counts , not the fellow killing himself with Rough Cut.

A rare exception of a male figure forcibly generating a mystique which, in this case, fuels the interest in the performer as a commodity.


It is the rather feminine swirl (something like this eliciting the rather stuffy mantra, “Real men don’t dance”) that leads the way here, tending to disclose that the masculine presence in graphic art has a more attunuated quality than that of the feminine. (In performance art, where high energy has its innings, the ratio would be quite different.)

 

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This entry was posted in Art Deco Posters&Graphics, Modernist Posters&Graphics, Performance Art, Poster&Graphic Art, Poster&Graphic Artists and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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