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POSTER OF THE MONTH

vintage travel poster
Jamaica 1950s
Anonymous
40” x 29”
A, L; silkscreen


Here we have a vintage modernist design which puts nearly all of its chips on an infectious smile! In addition, a large and sizzling sun, a blue sky, verdant hills and palm trees, not to mention the blithe Caribbean Sea, are all informed by so casual a modernist energy that we are induced to regard the destination as not for very demanding vacationers. The couple on the raft and the dude paddling it are nothing to write home about. Even the nearby hibiscus blossoms and pineapple treat are middling in themselves. The composition alertly plays mass and specifics back and forth. And still we’re not sold.
What we actually open our appreciation with, however, is the lady up front, so convincingly joyous about her sketchy circuit that we become hooked on what cooks! Those large earrings are lifted by laughter; and we wonder what she could be so pleased about, her very streamlined arms a function of both constitutional robust sparseness and malnutrition. Her dress, simulating a plantation hillside, implies that she’s larger than life, and yet one of us. Looked at from her perspective, this holiday spot welcomes us to the beauties of a population—something most tourists to beach locales never think of. This iconic design dares the viewer/customer to go for something different. What’s not to love about that?!
The other remarkable thing about this surprisingly rare modernist poster is its being a silkscreen. As such, its quiet configurations gain slightly more pop, infusing the central presence with a degree of site specificity to further lift its import. Moreover, a frottage, in the form of a mist of ocean and sun spray, has been invested into the technique to further enhance the surprising mystery of the happy-go-lucky design!


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