As I take one step after another on the journey towards my goal – a gallery filled with Paris drawings – I never know what the next addition to the exhibition will be. It is often the last completed drawing which steers me towards my next piece.
It is obvious how “Still Life” (a grungy Beaubourg urban-scape) metaphorically took my arm and drew my attention to a tattered poster I’d photographed when last in Paris.
Looking at the drawing “Rebel Rebel” (the title I gave it is from a David Bowie song) I am mindful of Russian Constructivist posters from the 1920s and 30s. I also think of the pop art of Roy Lichtenstein, romantic heroines of film and literature, as well as the white face and black hair of both mime artists and geisha.
I wouldn’t have made a drawing of a flawless poster. What appealed to me was the texture and randomness of decay – and – the fact that this caught my eye in the first place. The tattered ripped subject is simultaneously beautiful and ugly; eye-catching and something to be ignored. These dualities fascinate me!
“Rebel Rebel, you’ve torn your dress/Rebel Rebel, your face is a mess/Rebel Rebel, how could they know?/Hot Tramp, I love you so!”
Today I found an image on-line of the poster as its complete self. If you google images of Fédération Anarchiste you’ll see that all their posters have gorgeous designs and are clearly influenced by the political art of the Constructivists [an artistic movement that extolled art as a practice for social purposes].
You may like to read Subject 4: Street Art while you’re here.