Thursday, December 24, 2009

Poster of the Week

How Can You Worship a Homeless Man on Sunday and Ignore One on Monday?
by Peter Cohen

When I arrived in New York City, I couldn’t believe so many homeless people were sleeping on the sidewalks. I started volunteering in a soup kitchen and came to realize that New Yorkers were burned out on it. Homelessness had been around a long time and some had even made donations but saw no improvement, so they gave up.

I happened to be reading the New Testament out of curiosity at the time, and I came across the passage in which Jesus refers to Himself as homeless. The whole idea just came together.

I decided to print 2,000 of the posters with the Coalition for the Homeless’ contact information. Rather quickly the Coalition started receiving calls about the poster they didn’t know existed. The director tracked me down, and that became the start of a campaign that raised hundreds of thousand of dollars, increased volunteerism and helped the Coalition to continue its work on behalf of the homeless.

Artwork © 2010 Coalition for the Homeless.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Poster of the Week

Solidaridad con las Costureras de Guatemala
by Marilyn Anderson

”Free Trade” practices of transferring U.S. clothing production to countries such as Guatemala were already beginning in the 1980s. Women earning low wages were the primary workers in these maquiladoras, but unions in Guatemala had to fight for their right to exist and suffered the murder of many labor leaders.

My years of living in Guatemala and knowledge about the traditional arts there made me understand that the women who worked in the maquiladoras were being deskilled. They had become part of the world-wide drive toward globalization – one result of which meant the destruction of traditional cultures.

Struggles continue today to give workers of all kinds in Guatemala the right to join unions. But the image in my poster has a hopeful message in the quetzal bird hovering over the needle worker and her sewing machine. The national bird of Guatemala signifies freedom – in this instance freedom from oppression and lack of labor rights.

Artwork © 2010 Marilyn Anderson.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Poster of the Week

Good Planets are Hard to Find
by Harrell Graham

The universe contains about 100 billion galaxies each with millions – or billions – of stars. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, contains our star, the Sun. Out of all these stars in all these galaxies ours is the only one we know with a planet that supports life.

The Earth and its living systems have evolved for five billion years…and now with our technology we have the power to destroy it all.

We also have the power to save it.

Artwork & Text © 1985
Photo courtesy NASA

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Poster(s) of the Week

Bruce Gilbert
2004, silkscreen

“The iRaq poster project was created to remind the public that we are at war. A friend and I created the posters anonymously as Forkscrew Graphics, a Los Angeles design group committed to social awareness projects. We simply used the language and iconography of an incredibly visible campaign (Apple’s iPod) to help stimulate dialogue surrounding an important and complicated issue: What is the U.S. doing in Iraq, and what does it mean to us and the rest of the world? We were sold a war that promised to secure freedom to us and to others by delivering democracy to the people of Iraq, and it’s become increasingly clear that it’s done neither. Ultimately the desired effect of the project is to shift the focus from products to people, from consumers to concerned citizens. We want to show that no matter how manipulated the mediasphere becomes, and no matter how many tons of messages the marketing world dumps on the public, there are ways to take the symbols and tools of marketing and use them to disrupt the barrage of commercial communications.”

Artwork © 2004 and 2007 Forkscrew Graphics
Inset photo © Forkscrew Graphics