Thursday, June 27, 2013

Deco Now

My mother, during her college days, earned recreational funds as a hat and shoe model. The black and white photographs of her wearing wealth beyond her years always fascinated me. The clothing! Beautiful suits, ensembled with  the perfect hat, jewelry, gloves, shoes.  Those images of my mother were a mesmerizing glimpse of  the person within. I cannot remember a time when my mother did not have the latest Vogue or Harper's Bazaar  magazines. I loved them too, not for the fashions therin but for the beautiful art in the ads.

One of my grandmothers and one of my grandfather's sisters were in the fashion industry. Thus, there were gatherings to hear all the new stories of  the latest buying trips to fabulous cities to purchase a fortunes worth of furs , gowns, something called "wraps" and all the glittery go withs.   I loved these stories and I keenly loved the fashion sheets my grandmother brought me. Think high fashion ads in black and white outline for me to color!

Think coloring books designed by Erte and you would be pretty close. It is true I did not receive the "fashionista" gene from any of these  awesome women but I am blessed to have been graced with their love for art.  I think these  early influences are the reason my favorite art has always been art deco style. They are in many ways my favorite architectural and design styles too. A few years back I met with a prospective client who had a collection of original Ertes! I was so eager to meet her and could not have been more disappointed.  She had not collected the Ertes. She had inherited them and had NO respect for the art itself. Just the monetary  value. This truth, coupled with her tacky passion for black, purple and crimson interiors I had to pass on accepting her as a client.

In art school students are exposed to every art form from cave drawings forward. There is much to learn, admire, respect but no style or period of art has ever replaced Art Deco as my first love. This elegant , exaggerated, graphic art form is perfect for posters. Certainly the posters of the period  remain  impactful today.

In Miami, a place which should be visited for no other reason than to experience the Art Deco architecture, they have fabulous Art Deco Weekends to support the historic districts.

But there is a new trend.

Not just for Movie and Event posters.

Have you seen these?


darkfoam said...

Very cool! I love art deco myself. Plus I love the story of your mother modeling. Ironically,this morning I was telling some friends who were asking about my mother's early history how she modeled the clothes that her parent's knittery had designed. This would have been in the late 30s and very early 40s.

Doom said...

Yum! Would, or did, it surprise you to learn you have a friend in Doom in this way? I recently wrote that I am hoping to design my bedroom, or this, my computer room, in (or as?) art deco. As period as possible. Start with one room, then if I like, move on. Might take years, but...

I do have one... distraction. I used to love the architectural aspects of art deco. But after reflection, psychologically I backed off. Oh, now, I still think it is beautiful. It is just so... collective. It is massive, complex, detailed, and beautiful from the outside. But if you put yourself inside of it, then look out, it is cold, hollow, crushing of spirit somehow. Or... to me. Something about having my cake and eating it to I suppose?

chickory said...

I am not a huge art deco fan. some of it is amazing -agreed the architecture is the best. some of the design is a little too machine age for me - all those angles. I like the marseilles poster very much, its not as deco as some of the others.

I see you tuned on comment mod. i guess the web crawlers have finally ruined blogger. so sad.

fishy said...

Sorry about the comment mod but it is Google's recommendation for combating the crawlers

Aunty Belle said...

Luv yore mama story. Wish we wimmenfolk s till wore hats, not ball caps tuned ackwards.

Part of Art Deco is fabuloso, very Great Gatsb, but I share some of Doom's psych angst when look in' at it....very mechanized, machine mimic when applied to human form...Aunty has a visceral flinch at all thangs utilitarian, the Industrial Age worship of efficiency at all costs, even grinding down the person. John Gault. Still, the new posters is fascinating reflection of the current movie offerings...literally Iron Man, Man of Steel, ya see? Industrial strength humanoids, caught between the human and machine. Therefore, to me, Art Deco is the perfect effect match for current movie posters, ads, etc. and google? Can't be more machine dominated than that.

Oddly, what has beauty most of all fer Aunty is that unpredictable intuitive imagery that machine can't make.

Nature and natural is less angular, except maybe in the artic glaciers, but then, that ain't hospitable to human either.

All that above, but I does appreciate the art form, it do communicate a warnings. A future?

Meanwhile, back at the porch, please come play Haiku!!!

fishy said...

I think "modeling" in my mother's day was more real and less exaggerated as we see today with the "super models". Back in the day real women modeling fashion was intimate....I know my grandmother organized "trunk" shows of the latest fashions in department stores where the models were right there with the patrons.

I love that you love Art Deco.

The trick to avoid the "crushing" effect is to simplify, simplify, simplify! Limit the palette, limit the contrast and pay careful attention to lighting. Done right it will help a spirit soar.

No Art Deco dogs and chickens?
I bet you could absolutely rock that.

Actually I like your work for many of the same reasons I like Art Deco;
clarity of statement distilled down to the essentials and exquisite color sense.

I think the original Art Deco posters have a wonderful balance between curvilinear and rectilinear forms. That champagne babe is curvy to the max! The Miami weekend posters clearly contrast the hard edged world against resilient people.

On another note, I adore Art Deco in hotels but not usually in my cathedrals where my favorite is classic Romanesque! On the other hand, The Boston Avenue Church is spectacular.

Aunty Belle said...

I am sorta rethinking mah comment....Akshully like the clarity and streamlined look of the batman poster. It's way cool.

And I like Erte....and yes, the girls have curves....I see the art of it. Not sure what it evokes in me...I'se thinking as I type and it ai't very coherent, but mayhap it is that the posters look contrived, flattened out? Argh! Still feel that the Art Deco style is a code for something I git fidgety about.

Doom said...

Oh? I think I see, fishy! Thanks for the hup as I begin my endeavor.

Art deco is even smartly sexy in a subdued manner. I think in much of art deco, there is a subtle hidden innuendo. Sometimes not so subtle, but so direct that it blunts the point somehow to. Or to me. I'm with Aunty on enjoying the more human aspects of it. Or... some such. It's part of my draw. Chaste sexuality, really? Or formal? Or artistic? Anyway, thanks for the advice.

darkfoam said...

Perhaps what makes Aunty itchy is what makes me itchy too although I still like the art .. Certain aspects of Russian social realism remind me a bit of Art Deco. Now that might be only me....

darkfoam said...

Of course, social realism was also an art movement in the United States. Those were interesting times in the USA what with Hollywood in its hay day, Art Deco, and social realism, the Great Depression.

darkfoam said...

Oh, and btw.. One of the first pieces of furniture I purchased in my early 20s was an Art Deco armoire.