Thursday, December 13, 2007

A mirror or a vehicle – is there a line?

Here’s a thought-provoking art review written by Jason Foumberg in a recent issue of the New City paper:

“The line separating advertisements and visual art barely exists anymore. Today, graphic artists are to branding as court painters were to monarchs several centuries ago. The visual language of advertising not only co-opts and mirrors much of today’s visual art, but many artists are finding their mature voice as advertisers.

“Cody Hudson, or struggle inc, and Chuck Anderson, aka NoPattern, are both graphics artists with current exhibits in Chicago. In both cases the context is the contemporary art gallery – white walls, clean presentation, explanatory labels – elevating the designer’s practice to a meaningful endeavor where it is elsewhere a vehicle for delivering product.

“Both Chicago-based graphics artists have made designs for t-shirts that retail at Threadless.com, and now Anderson’s wall art hangs in Threadless’ inaugural exhibition in their gallery and new store in Lakeview. Anderson has created ads for Reebok shoes and an album cover for Fall Out Boy, and now exhibits product-less landscapes and designs. On view at Threadless is a wide range of the artist’s output, from drawings and prints to printed ads, or from play to work.

“Seemingly, the range of media exposes Anderson’s artistic process and his scope, including subject matter such as landscapes that are trying to appear too beautiful and an armless shopping zombie with a dollar sign imprinted on his forehead.”

When I read this, I wondered about a line between art and advertising. Has there ever been one? Aren’t we all artists expressing our craft to win over audiences?

What are your thoughts?

1 comment:

JKF said...

Artists making "fine art" would see a line; artists making advertisements would rather not see a line.

Was Wassily Kandinsky merely showing his craft? He was good at composition and color, but it doesn't stop there. He had spiritual ideals.

Warhol effectively erased the line.