“Phenotypes,” an exhibition and talk at the TDC showcases Viktor Koen’s obsession with composing images, symbols, and concepts into typography. For the last twenty years, illustrated type has been a natural extension of his work as illustrator, designer and fine artist. From the publication of his limited-edition portfolio, Funnyfarm: The Alphabet of Mental Disorders (1998) to the most recent exhibition of Sciphabet in the Athens Science Fair last year, his commitment to social criticism has found expression in these meticulously structured typeforms.
A phenotype (from Greek phainein, meaning ‘to show’, and typos, meaning ‘type’) is the composite of an organism’s observable characteristics and expression of its genetic code as well as the influence of environmental factors and interactions of the two. Naming this exhibition – a trilogy preoccupied with art (Artphabet), science (Sciphabet) and their fusion (Steam Punkphabet) – with a biology term seemed only fitting. Artphabet was developed for a series of SVA subway posters. Sciphabet, a steampunk alphabet, premiered as works in progress at the 9th ICTVC Conference, Les Yper Yper gallery in Thessaloniki Greece and is exhibited in Science Fairs since. Steam Punkphabet, rooted in the cyber vintage literature genre of fiction, will be showcased for the first time at this TDC exhibition as work in progress.
See the opening exhibit and hear the designers words at TDC, November 15 from 6:30-8:30 at TDC, 347 West 36th St Room 605. Exhibition goes through January 31, 2019.