daily heller 2-7-14

The Color Red: 1929 – 1940

The Left Front: Radical Art in the “Red Decade,” 1929–1940 art exhibition seeks to find the relationship between activism and art and determine what revolutionary art practices are happening now in Chicago, the United States and worldwide. Learn more about this current design exhibition.

daily heller 2-6-14

Smoke Signals

The former Soviet Union and Peoples’ Republic of China have used cigarette packages to commemorate heroes and national virtues. Explore several designs from both nations that blend political symbolism and cigarettes.

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The Enduring Power of Posters to Promote and Provoke

As Carol A. Wells sees it, “The best posters are powerful and influential. The worst are quickly forgotten.” Wells is an art historian and curator who also oversees the largest collection of socially engaged post-WWII graphics in the U.S. And …

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Weekend Heller: Give Peace a Bell

A 20-foot-high aluminum monument for the UN designed by Oscar-winning filmmaker and graphic designer Arnold Schwartzman, titled ”Shells Into Bells,” was unveiled in Seoul, Korea at the Korean War Memorial on December 20, 2013. The British-born graphic designer (above), who won …

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The Art of Graphic Slander

In La Carte Postale Antisémite: de L’Affaire Dreyfus a la Shoah, the Museum de la Shoah in Paris reveals the devolution of imagery designed to fuel the flames of hatred.

If You Like Our Troops, You Can Keep Them

Ted Rall’s “Censored” Obama Cartoon and Other Controversies

Are editorial decisions really censorship? When I discussed the issue with Ted Rall, America’s most widely read alternative editorial cartoonist, he was unequivocal: “To edit is to censor. It’s true. Look it up in the dictionary.” And thus, his latest blog …

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Defusing the World’s Hot Spots, Hollywood Style

If you are wondering who can defuse a keg of dynamite on the Sub-Continent, the Middle East or Northern Africa, don’t think “Hurt Locker,” think Shirley Temple. Before she was an official ambassador, she was the defacto princess of simple solutions.

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Ai Weiwei’s Neo-Reality

A new documentary film Ai Weiwei – The Fake Case by Andreas Johnsen will be out soon and the poster announcing the film is as provocative as the artists. Thanks to Kellerhouse and Johnsen I reached Ai Weiwei through email with a few questions about art and provocation, and how he felt about this particular interpretive depiction.

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The Human Stain

Chalk wipes off with water or disappears with time. The racist image, however, isn’t as easily erased. It’s a stain — a human stain. The artifacts of institutional racism in the United States are apparent in many vintage advertisements, comic books, cartoons, product packages, board games, novelty toys, picture postcards and every other kind of popular art or entertainment from representation of minstrel shows to radio’s Amos and Andy.

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Rising Sun and the Dogs of War

Wars are fought as much on paper as in the air, on the sea and in the dirt. During World War II the Germans had a slew of army- and navy-derived periodicals, touting the victories and lamenting some defeats. The …