Mihajlo Arsovski, Designer With a Mission

Recently, I received a book about a Croatian designer whose work I greatly admire. Mihajlo Arsovski, was born in 1937 in Skopje, Macedonia, to a family of pre-war leftist revolutionaries. He studied art history and architecture in Zagreb. Many of his posters from the 60s contain subtle criticism, resistance to the ruling ideology and demystification of the cult of Yugoslavian leader Josip Tito. Arsovski somehow managed to avoid being sucked into the pitfalls of Communist propaganda.

On one of the collages that Arsovski for the student movement of 1968, the government uses the colored flags. In these places the paint dramatic scenes clips from the street, fotoportrete young women, loving couples, a young man wearing sunglasses with a five-pointed star. On the other hand, the collage of 1964. below documents the work action as a counterweight to face peeks girls wearing sunglasses. For the International festival of student theater, however, combines these different elements: the tram ticket Zagreb electric tram, photographs of the protagonists then very popular group 4M, with quotations from Ionesco’s “Bald Soprano.”

Arsovski is well known for posters for the ITD Theatre in Zagreb. He developed a visual language using  typography, collage and photomontage as the core elements of his methodology.

The book, Arsovski by Dr. Jasna Galjer, an art historian, is only published in Croatian, but the images are well worth the price and attention.

[See yesterday’s Nightly Daily Heller on Salvador Dali’s folly.]

10 thoughts on “Mihajlo Arsovski, Designer With a Mission

  1. Sanja

    Congratulations, dear Ars. We love you and are very proud of you. Thanks to Dr Galjer for compiling and reviewing the inspirational designs by Ars. Can not wait to open the book and a load of dear memories! Especially if Question and Exclamation marks are finshing their adventures on the book pages..
    Best wishes to both of you,and to the book.

  2. Mirko Ilic

    Mihajlo Arsovski along with Boris Bucan is probably the most authentic graphic designers from Ex-Yugoslavia, if not East Europe.  But here we are not talking about his amazing work, instead we are talking about where he was born.  We do not choose where we are born but we choose what we do, and he chose amazingly well.

  3. Pingback: Bites: D.I.Y. crackdown, poor rich Sherlock, Bukowski’s demands, Sasha Frere-Jones’ Best of Best of lists, and more | Vol. 1 Brooklyn

  4. Steven Heller Post author

    The Balkans, of course. Either my globe is out of date or I am the evocation of the provincial New Yorker for whom there is New York and every place else. Apologies to all.

  5. Gasper Sopi

    Knowledge in Baltic geography would hardly help you in this case 🙂 You probably ment to say Balkan geography which refers to countries such as Croatia, Macedonia, etc (South Eastern Europe). Baltic would refer to countries such as Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, etc (Northern Europe).

  6. Steven Heller Post author

    Obviously, my knowledge of Baltic geography leaves something to be desired. Thanks to all who corrected me on this. While we’re at it, which way is up?