Friday, October 22, 2021

Propaganda : famous posters


According to Cambridge Dictionary, propaganda is defined as “information, ideas, opinions, or images, often only giving one part of an argument, that are broadcast, published, or in some other way spread with the intention of influencing people’s opinions”.

One more definition of the same word:


David Welch from the University of Kent talks about propaganda in his interview to the British Library: “Propaganda is the dissemination of ideas intended to convince people to think and act in a particular way and for a particular purpose. It’s crucial to understand that it’s the instigator’s purpose that defines or distinguishes propaganda from other similar forms of activity such as advertising and education. While definitions have changed, the concept of propaganda has not really changed. But what has changed are the means of communications from the early print media both written and visual to the electronic thinking..obviously a film, radio, television and of course now the Internet and this change in the means of communications has had a profound effect on both the speed with which propaganda is being disseminated and also the scale on which it has been disseminated”.

Here is the full video:

Famous propaganda posters

Uncle Sam is the national personification of the USA. He symbolizes the USA in American Culture since the 19th century.

The poster was created in 1917 to call Americans to serve in the USA Army. Some 2 million or more Americans signed up to fight in France during the WW1. Many may have been inspired by James Montgomery Flagg’s iconic Uncle Sam “I Want YOU” poster. Over 4 million copies were plastered onto walls and signposts throughout the USA. Within weeks, almost all the American citizens had already seen it.

Symbol of anti-Americanism, this poster, by Harald Damsleth ,was used by Nazi Germany to promote anti-Americanism. It shows the “immorality of beauty pageants”, the problem of gun violence in the USA, a boxing-glove holding a money bag and also the mechanical creature of the poster has a Ku Klux Klan hood.

Harald Damsleth drifted away from modernism, a style qualified as “degenerate” by national socialists, and got closer to naturalistic style. His also had some Russophobe posters. In 1950, Damsleth was sentenced to five years of hard labor for treason committed during World War II, but was pardoned after two years served.

Shepard Fairey‘s “Hope” poster inspired Donald Trump’s “Nope” poster. In a sense, the “Nope” poster may also be considered as “propaganda”, but compared to the “hope” poster, the “Nope” poster tries to warn that there may be some dangers if Trump is elected.

In 2010, The Colbert Report’s Stephen Colbert asked Fairey: “How’s that “Hope” working out for you now?” Fairey’s answer: “There were things I admire about Obama and things I’m disappointed in – such as drone strikes. I’m unhappy that he didn’t dismantle the surveillance state and he defended domestic spying. But there’s nobody that’s going to be perfect.”

Rosie the Riveter symbolizes feminine power and independence. It has different versions, celebrates women emancipation and therefore is linked to feminism.

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the USA government called upon manufacturers to produce greater amounts of warfare. In 1942, Westinghouse Electric’s internal War Production Coordinating Committee hired the Pittsburgh artist J. Howard Miller through an advertising agency, to create posters for raising workers’ morale. 42 posters designed by Miller were showcased in the factory for two weeks, then replaced by the next one in the series.  Among all the posters depicting worker’s strength, was the yellow poster with a strong female figure with the words “We Can Do it.”

Ulay : the artist is still present


Ulay‘s official website wrote:”It is with our immense sadness that we write to inform you of the passing of one of the greatest artists of our time, the pioneer uof polaroid photography, the father of performance art, the most radical, the one and only, ULAY, who has left for another journey, today, peacefully in his sleep (November 30, 1943-March 2, 2020)”.

It is with great sadness I learned about my friend and former partner Ulay’s death today. He was an exceptional artist…

Publiée par Marina Abramovic sur Lundi 2 mars 2020

Ulay is the pseudonym of Frank Uwe Laysiepen. He was born in 1943 in Solingen, Germany. Ulay was formally trained as a photographer, and between 1968 and 1971, he worked extensively as a consultant for Polaroid. In the early period of his artistic activity (1968-1976) he undertook a thematic search for understandings of the notions of identity and the body on both the personal and communal levels, mainly through series of Polaroid photographs, aphorisms and intimate performances. At that time, Ulay’s photographic approach was becoming increasingly performative and resulted in performative photography (Fototot, 1976). Later, in the late stage of his early work, performative tendencies within the medium of photography were transformed completely into the medium of performance and actions (There Is a Criminal Touch to Art, 1976). From 1976 to 1988, he collaborated with Marina Abramović on numerous performances; their work focused on questioning perceived masculine and feminine traits and pushing the physical limits of the body (Relation Works). After the break with Marina, Ulay focused on photography, addressing the position of the marginalised individual in contemporary society and re-examining the problem of nationalism and its symbols (Berlin Afterimages, 1994-1995). Nevertheless, although he was working primarily in photography, he remained connected to the question of the ‘performative’, which resulted in his constant ‘provocation’ of audiences through the realisation of numerous performances, workshops and lecture-performances. In recent years, Ulay is mostly engaged in projects and artistic initiatives that raise awareness, enhance understanding and appreciation of, and respect for, water (Earth Water Catalogue, 2012). Ulay’s work, as well as his collaborative work with Marina Abramović, is featured in many collections of major art institutions around the world such as: Stedejlik Museum Amsterdam; Centre Pompidou Paris; Museum of Modern Art New York…
After four decades of living and working in Amsterdam, several long-term artistic projects in India, Australia and China, and a professorship of Performance and New Media Art at the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung, Karlsruhe in Germany, Ulay currently lives and works in Amsterdam and Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Tevž Logar

In honor of performance artist Ulay, who died today at age 76, we're looking back to an electric moment in 2010, when he…

Publiée par MoMA The Museum of Modern Art sur Lundi 2 mars 2020

“Paris 3020” – Daniel Arsham’s new exhibition at PERROTIN Art Gallery

Daniel Arsham‘s exhibition at PERROTIN art gallery presents a suite of sculptures inspired from classical antiquity’s iconic busts, friezes etc. Daniel Arsham is interested in the re-constructive nature of objects in front of time. We all have some kind of an imagination and some perceptions of classical antiquity and Daniel Arsham creates art-works that play with both our imagination and perceptions of this period of time’s art productions.

Arsham’s replicas have been produced by casting each item in hydro-stone to imitate perfectly the original shapes and sizes and they have been pigmented by similar to classical sculpture dyes, such as blue calcite, quartz, volcanic ash, selenite and so on. Afterwards, the surface of hydro-stone undergoes some erosion and Arsham’s signature tactic of crystallization is applied.

2013 Exhibition – #TOMORROWSPAST

This is a sculpture of Micky Mouse phone, that was created by using either resin or volcanic ash, that is here to remind us that it existed once and now feels so obsolete in the age of the iPhone. Arsham has other sculptures, that carry the same message, too.

2013 Exhibition – #TOMORROWSPAST

Crumbling and corroded, this exhibition showcased many other objects that represent the “yesterday”, that already feels so old-fashioned and non-relevant, that makes us smile or even laugh.

The element of fear and failure is in all of the works and all of the exhibitions. Daniel makes art that some may say has no purpose, because everything in architecture has a practical function, but not him art. Arsham’s ideas are very simple and strong. They sometimes remind us something and proposes updated perceptions of things we already new.

Both the 2013 “#TOMORROWSPAST” and the 2020 “Paris 3020” exhibitions showcase eroded items or icons that are shaped by using steel fragments, resin, volcanic ash, broken glass. The choice of these materials is indeed not a coincidence, because they symbolize the new role of those items and icons: the non-functionality and uselessness.



Piet Mondrian is a Dutch artist best known for his abstract paintings. Art that is abstract does not show things that are recognisable such as people, objects or landscapes. Instead artists use colours, shapes and textures to achieve their effect

Piet Mondrian, ‘Composition with Yellow, Blue and Red’ 1937–42
Piet Mondrian
Composition with Yellow, Blue and Red 1937–42

As well as abstract art Mondrian was also passionate about dancing! Apparently he didn’t like slow traditional dances like waltzes or tango, but enjoyed high energy, fast dancing styles! He even called one of his abstract paintings Broadway Boogie Woogieafter a popular dance of the time.

When Mondrian made his paintings, he would always mix his own colours, never using the paint directly out of a tube. He often used primary colours – red yellow and blue – as in this painting.

Piet Mondrian Composition C (No.III) with Red, Yellow and Blue
Piet Mondrian Composition C (No.III) with Red, Yellow and Blue © 2007 Mondrian/Holtzman Trust c/o HCR International, Warrenton, VA

Mondrian did not use a ruler to measure out his lines! He thought carefully about where to place the lines, like those that you see in this painting. Notice how the red, yellow and blue are placed to the side and the centre of painting doesn’t have any colour. Mondrian often used colour and composition in this way. (A composition is the arrangement of shapes and images in a picture).

Although he is best known for his abstract paintings made from squares and rectangles, Piet Mondrian started out painting realistic scenes. He especially liked painting trees.

Piet Mondrian, ‘The Tree A’ c.1913
Piet Mondrian
The Tree A c.1913

Can you see the shape of a tree in this painting? It shows how he began to develop his abstract style. The trunk and branches of the tree have become a network of horizontal and vertical lines.

In the early 19th century, Paris was the place where all the exciting new art was happening and Mondrian felt he had to go there. He took a big risk for his art. He left behind his home in the Netherlands in 1911 and the woman he was going to marry, to pursue his career as an artist in Paris.

This is the Piet Mondrian in his Paris studio.

Photograph of Piet Mondrian in his Paris studio in 1933
Mondrian in his Paris studio in 1933 with Lozenge Composition with Four Yellow Lines, 1933 and Composition with Double Lines and Yellow, 1933 © 2014 Mondrian/Holtzman Trust c/o HCR International USA

The risk paid off. Mondrian became an important artist whose ideas and work influenced lots of later artists. In fact it wasn’t just art that Mondrian inspired. The influence of his paintings can be seen in lots of other things – from furniture to fashion!

Photograph of models in Mondrian dresses by Yves St Laurent (1966)

Andy Warhol


Andy Warhol was a leading figure in the Pop Art movement. Like his contemporaries Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg, Warhol responded to mass-media culture of the 1960s. His silkscreens of cultural and consumer icons—including Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Campbell’s Soup Cans, and Brillo Boxes—would make him one of the most famous artists of his generation. “The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do,” he once explained. Born Andrew Warhola on August 6, 1928 in Pittsburgh, PA, he graduated from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1949. Moving to New York to pursue a career in commercial illustration, the young artist worked for magazine such as Vogue and Glamour. Though Warhol was a gay man, he kept much of his private life a secret, occasionally referencing his sexuality through art. This is perhaps most evident in his drawings of male nudes from the 1950s, and later in his film Sleep (1963), which portrays the poet John Giorno nude. In 1964, Warhol rented a studio loft on East 47th street in Midtown Manhattan which was later known as The Factory. The artist used The Factory as a hub for movie stars, models, and artists, who became fodder for his prints and films. The space also functioned as a performance venue for The Velvet Underground. During the 1980s, Warhol collaborated with several younger artists, including Jean-Michel BasquiatFrancesco Clemente, and Keith Haring. The artist died tragically following complications from routine gall bladder surgery at the age of 58, on February 22, 1987 in New York, NY. After his death, the artist’s estate became The Andy Warhol Foundation and in 1994, a museum dedicated to the artist and his oeuvre opened in his native Pittsburgh. Today, his works are held in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and the Tate Gallery in London, among others.

Pablo Picasso

Spanish expatriate Pablo Picasso was one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, as well as the co-creator of Cubism.

Who Was Pablo Picasso?

Pablo Picasso (October 25, 1881 to April 8, 1973) was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist and stage designer considered one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century and the co-creator, along with Georges Braque, of Cubism. Considered radical in his work, Picasso continues to garner reverence for his technical mastery, visionary creativity and profound empathy. Together, these qualities have distinguished the “disquieting” Spaniard with the “sombrepiercing” eyes as a revolutionary artist. For nearly 80 of his 91 years, Picasso devoted himself to an artistic production that he superstitiously believed would keep him alive, contributing significantly to — and paralleling the entire development of — modern art in the 20th century.

Picasso’s Paintings

Pablo Picasso remains renowned for endlessly reinventing himself, switching between styles so radically different that his life’s work seems to be the product of five or six great artists rather than just one. Of his penchant for style diversity, Picasso insisted that his varied work was not indicative of radical shifts throughout his career, but, rather, of his dedication to objectively evaluating for each piece the form and technique best suited to achieve his desired effect. “Whenever I wanted to say something, I said it the way I believed I should,” he explained. “Different themes inevitably require different methods of expression. This does not imply either evolution or progress; it is a matter of following the idea one wants to express and the way in which one wants to express it.”

Blue Period: ‘Blue Nude’ and ‘The Old Guitarist’

Art critics and historians typically break Pablo Picasso’s adult career into distinct periods, the first of which lasted from 1901 to 1904 and is called his “Blue Period,” after the color that dominated nearly all of his paintings over these years. At the turn of the 20th century, Picasso moved to Paris, France — the cultural center of European art — to open his own studio. Lonely and deeply depressed over the death of his close friend, Carlos Casagemas, he painted scenes of poverty, isolation and anguish, almost exclusively in shades of blue and green. Picasso’s most famous paintings from the Blue Period include “Blue Nude,” “La Vie” and “The Old Guitarist,” all three of which were completed in 1903.

In contemplation of Picasso and his Blue Period, Symbolist writer and critic Charles Morice once asked, “Is this frighteningly precocious child not fated to bestow the consecration of a masterpiece on the negative sense of living, the illness from which he more than anyone else seems to be suffering?”

Rose Period: ‘Gertrude Stein’ and ‘Two Nudes’

By 1905, Picasso had largely overcome the depression that had previously debilitated him, and the artistic manifestation of Picasso’s improved spirits was the introduction of warmer colors—including beiges, pinks and reds—in what is known as his “Rose Period” (1904-06). Not only was he madly in love with a beautiful model, Fernande Olivier, he was newly prosperous thanks to the generous patronage of art dealer Ambroise Vollard. His most famous paintings from these years include “Family at Saltimbanques” (1905), “Gertrude Stein” (1905-06) and “Two Nudes” (1906).

Cubism: ‘Les Desmoiselles d’Avignon’

Cubism was an artistic style pioneered by Pablo Picasso and his friend and fellow painter, Georges Braque. In Cubist paintings, objects are broken apart and reassembled in an abstracted form, highlighting their composite geometric shapes and depicting them from multiple, simultaneous viewpoints in order to create physics-defying, collage-like effects. At once destructive and creative, Cubism shocked, appalled and fascinated the art world.

In 1907, Picasso produced a painting that today is considered the precursor and inspiration of Cubism: “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.” A chilling depiction of five nude prostitutes, abstracted and distorted with sharp geometric features and stark blotches of blues, greens and grays, the work was unlike anything he or anyone else had ever painted before and would profoundly influence the direction of art in the 20th century.

“It made me feel as if someone was drinking gasoline and spitting fire,” Braque said, explaining that he was shocked when he first viewed Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles.” Braque quickly became intrigued with Cubism, seeing the new style as a revolutionary movement. French writer and critic Max Jacob, a good friend of both Picasso and painter Juan Gris, called Cubism “the ‘Harbinger Comet’ of the new century,” stating, “Cubism is … a picture for its own sake. Literary Cubism does the same thing in literature, using reality merely as a means and not as an end.”

Picasso’s early Cubist paintings, known as his “Analytic Cubist” works, include “Three Women” (1907), “Bread and Fruit Dish on a Table” (1909) and “Girl with Mandolin” (1910). His later Cubist works are distinguished as “Synthetic Cubism” for moving even further away from artistic typicalities of the time, creating vast collages out of a great number of tiny, individual fragments. These paintings include “Still Life with Chair Caning” (1912), “Card Player” (1913-14) and “Three Musicians” (1921).

Classical Period: ‘Three Women at the Spring’

Picasso’s works between 1918 and 1927 are categorized as part of his “Classical Period,” a brief return to Realism in a career otherwise dominated by experimentation. The outbreak of World War I ushered in the next great change in Picasso’s art. He grew more somber and, once again, preoccupied with the depiction of reality. His most interesting and important works from this period include “Three Women at the Spring” (1921), “Two Women Running on the Beach/The Race” (1922) and “The Pipes of Pan” (1923).

Surrealism: ‘Guernica’

From 1927 onward, Picasso became caught up in a new philosophical and cultural movement known as Surrealism, the artistic manifestation of which was a product of his own Cubism. Picasso’s most well-known Surrealist painting, deemed one of the greatest paintings of all time, was completed in 1937, during the Spanish Civil War: “Guernica.” After German bombers supporting Francisco Franco’s Nationalist forces carried out a devastating aerial attack on the Basque town of Guernica on April 26, 1937, Picasso, outraged by the bombing and the inhumanity of war, painted this work of art. In black, white and grays, the painting is a Surrealist testament to the horrors of war, and features a minotaur and several human-like figures in various states of anguish and terror. “Guernica” remains one of the most moving and powerful anti-war paintings in history.

Later Works: ‘Self Portrait Facing Death’

In contrast to the dazzling complexity of Synthetic Cubism, Picasso’s later paintings display simple, childlike imagery and crude technique. Touching on the artistic validity of these later works, Picasso once remarked upon passing a group of school kids in his old age, “When I was as old as these children, I could draw like Raphael, but it took me a lifetime to learn to draw like them.”

In the aftermath of World War II, Picasso became more overtly political, joining the Communist Party. He was twice honored with the International Lenin Peace Prize, first in 1950 and again in 1961. By this point in his life, he was also an international celebrity, the world’s most famous living artist. While paparazzi chronicled his every move, however, few paid attention to his art during this time. Picasso continued to create art and maintain an ambitious schedule in his later years, superstitiously believing that work would keep him alive. Picasso created the epitome of his later work, “Self Portrait Facing Death,” using pencil and crayon, a year before his death. The autobiographical subject, drawn with crude technique, appears as something between a human and an ape, with a green face and pink hair. Yet the expression in his eyes, capturing a lifetime of wisdom, fear and uncertainty, is the unmistakable work of a master at the height of his powers.

What Was Picasso’s Full Name?

Pablo Picasso’s gargantuan full name, which honors a variety of relatives and saints, is Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruíz y Picasso.

When and Where Was Pablo Picasso Born?

Pablo Picasso was born on October 25, 1881, in Málaga, Spain.

Early Life and Education

Pablo Picasso’s mother was Doña Maria Picasso y Lopez. His father was Don José Ruiz Blasco, a painter and art teacher. A serious and prematurely world-weary child, the young Picasso possessed a pair of piercing, watchful black eyes that seemed to mark him destined for greatness. “When I was a child, my mother said to me, ‘If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general. If you become a monk you’ll end up as the pope,'” he later recalled. “Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.”

Though he was a relatively poor student, Picasso displayed a prodigious talent for drawing at a very young age. According to legend, his first words were “piz, piz,” his childish attempt at saying “lápiz,” the Spanish word for pencil. Picasso’s father began teaching him to draw and paint when he was a child, and by the time he was 13 years old, his skill level had surpassed his father’s. Soon, Picasso lost all desire to do any schoolwork, choosing to spend the school days doodling in his notebook instead. “For being a bad student, I was banished to the ‘calaboose,’ a bare cell with whitewashed walls and a bench to sit on,” he later remembered. “I liked it there, because I took along a sketch pad and drew incessantly … I could have stayed there forever, drawing without stopping.”

In 1895, when Picasso was 14 years old, his family moved to Barcelona, Spain, where he quickly applied to the city’s prestigious School of Fine Arts. Although the school typically only accepted students several years his senior, Picasso’s entrance exam was so extraordinary that he was granted an exception and admitted. Nevertheless, Picasso chafed at the School of Fine Arts’ strict rules and formalities, and began skipping class so that he could roam the streets of Barcelona, sketching the city scenes he observed.

In 1897, a 16-year-old Picasso moved to Madrid to attend the Royal Academy of San Fernando. However, he again became frustrated with his school’s singular focus on classical subjects and techniques. During this time, he wrote to a friend: “They just go on and on about the same old stuff: Velázquez for painting, Michelangelo for sculpture.” Once again, Picasso began skipping class to wander the city and paint what he observed: gypsies, beggars and prostitutes, among other things.

In 1899, Picasso moved back to Barcelona and fell in with a crowd of artists and intellectuals who made their headquarters at a café called El Quatre Gats (“The Four Cats”). Inspired by the anarchists and radicals he met there, Picasso made his decisive break from the classical methods in which he had been trained, and began what would become a lifelong process of experimentation and innovation.

Wives, Girlfriends and Children

A lifelong womanizer, Picasso had countless relationships with girlfriends, mistresses, muses and prostitutes, marrying only twice. He wed a ballerina named Olga Khokhlova in 1918, and they remained together for nine years, parting ways in 1927. They had a son together, Paulo. In 1961, at the age of 79, he married his second wife, Jacqueline Roque. Roque committed suicide in 1986.

While married to Khokhlova, he began a long-term relationship with Marie-Thérèse Walter. They had a daughter, Maya, together. Walter committed suicide after Picasso died. Between marriages, in 1935, Picasso met Dora Maar, a fellow artist, on the set of Jean Renoir’s film Le Crime de Monsieur Lange (released in 1936). The two soon embarked upon a partnership that was both romantic and professional. Their relationship lasted more than a decade, during and after which time Maar struggled with depression; they parted ways in 1946, three years after Picasso began having an affair with a woman named Françoise Gilot, with whom he had two children, son Claude and daughter Paloma. They parted ways in 1953. Gilot would go on to marry scientist Jonas Salk, the inventor of the polio vaccine.

Picasso fathered four children: Paulo (Paul), Maya, Claude and Paloma Picasso.

When Did Pablo Picasso Die?

Pablo Picasso died on April 8, 1973, at the age of 91, in Mougins, France.